Maine Became a State
Ahh, the life in Maine! The Pine Tree State
became the 23rd state in the Union on March 15, 1820. Campers
enjoy the dense woodlands and beautiful scenery. Others prefer a
lobster dinner on Maine's picturesque coastline. What do you
think of when you think of Maine? How about "Red Paint" people,
the Vikings, the French, or Massachusetts?
We don't know
much about the "Red Paint" people, the first inhabitants of the
area 5,000 years ago, except that they used red clay to line the
graves of their dead. Five hundred years before Columbus reached
the West Indies, Leif Ericson and his Vikings landed on the
Maine coast. In 1604, the land was part of a French province.
Control of the land was in dispute between the French and the
British until the British took ownership after their victory in
the French and Indian War in 1763. After the American
Revolution, Maine was a province of Massachusetts. People living
in the area began to demand statehood after Massachusetts failed
to provide adequate protection against British raids during the
War of 1812.
Many people moved to Maine for the timber
industry, others for the beauty of the area or a chance to
settle somewhere new. Nearly 300,000 people already lived there
when it became a state. Now it is the most sparsely populated
state east of the Mississippi. The town of Kennebunkport, Maine,
has been a fashionable seaside resort since the early 20th
century. Do you know what former president and first lady still
vacation there? Have you ever visited Maine?