1820: Maine, America’s Vacationland

Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine. (Photo by RapidFire via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1820, Maine was admitted to the Union.

Here are some things you may not have known about the 23rd state.

The first inhabitants of what would become Maine was a loose confederacy of Algonquin-speaking people, called the Wabanaki.

The first European contact came about 800 years ago when Norwegians arrived on the coast. The Norwegians didn’t settle in the area, but returned over the next few centuries to trade and collect timber. A 10th-century Norwegian coin was discovered during 1954 archeological dig in the state.

The first European settlers came in 1604. In 1652, what is now Maine was made part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It remained part of Massachusetts, separated by New Hampshire, until it was made a state in 1820.

The original capital of Maine was Portland, but it was moved to the more centrally located Augusta in 1832.

Maine has many geographic and demographic oddities. It’s the only state to border only one other state. It’s the easternmost state. It’s the state that is located closest to Africa. It’s the site of the only sovereignty dispute over land between the United States and Canada. It’s the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi River. 83 percent of the state is covered by forest, the highest percentage in the country. It has the highest percentage of non-Hispanic whites of any state at 94.4 percent. It also has the highest percentage of French Americans, and the highest percentage of French speakers in the U.S.

Today’s question: What was the name of the fictional Maine town in which the TV show “Murder, She Wrote” was set?


Today is International Day Against Police Brutality; World Consumer Rights Day; National Day in Hungary; and Constitution Day in Belarus.

It’s unofficially National Peanut Lovers Day.

It’s the birthday of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson, who was born in 1767; musician Phil Lesh, who is 77; and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 84.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1982, the top song in the U.S. was “I Love Rock ’n Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

The No. 1 movie was “Richard Prior: Live on the Sunset Strip,” while the novel “North and South” by John Jakes topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Weekly question: Pluto was originally the pet dog of which Disney character?

Submit your answer at triviapeople.com/test and we’ll add the name of the person with the first correct answer to our winner’s wall … at triviapeople.com. We’ll have the correct answer on Friday’s episode.



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