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Keywords: 1970s

Historical Items

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Item 20842

Canal Bank, Portland, ca. 1970s

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: circa 1978 Location: Portland Media: Photographic print

Item 105475

Geoffrey Beene evening dress, Scarborough, ca. 1975

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: circa 1975 Location: Scarborough. Media: wool, acetate, nylon, plastic, metal

Item 26604

Thomaston Garage, Thomaston, ca 1970s

Contributed by: Thomaston Historical Society Date: circa 1970 Location: Thomaston Media: Photographic print

Exhibits

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Exhibit

A Snapshot of Portland, 1924: The Taxman Cometh

In 1924, with Portland was on the verge of profound changes, the Tax Assessors Office undertook a project to document every building in the city -- with photographs and detailed information that provide a unique view into Portland's architecture, neighborhoods, industries, and businesses.

Exhibit

The Jews of Maine

Like other immigrant groups, Jews came to Maine to make a living and enjoy the natural and cultural environment. Their experiences have been shaped by their occupational choices, Jewish values and, until recently, experiences of anti-Semitism.

Exhibit

Skiing Pleasant Mountain

By the second half of the 20th century, skiing began to enjoy unprecedented popularity. Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton (later Shawnee Peak) was Maine's foremost place to join the fun in the 1950s and 1960s.

Site Pages

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Site Page

Western Maine Foothills Region - Rumford High School Basketball - 1970s - Page 2 of 2

Rumford High School Basketball - 1970s The Rumford High team of 1975 was a very young team, as they started three sophomores, but still finished…

Site Page

Western Maine Foothills Region - Rumford High School Basketball - 1970s - Page 1 of 2

Rumford High School Basketball - 1970s Text By: Matt Kaubris Images provided by: Rumford Area Historical Society Rumford High School was built in…

Site Page

Presque Isle: The Star City - Bangor and Aroostook GP-38, Presque Isle, 1991

… engine sports the paint scheme developed in the 1970s. Note the white lines and numbers that were added to an earlier test scheme.

My Maine Stories

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Story

Growing up in Lewiston
by Kathy Becvar

Growing up in Lewiston in the 1960s and 1970s.

Story

Working as a telephone operator in the 1940s
by Doris Tardy

Working as a telephone operator in 1946 was new and exciting, and challenging.

Story

My Paper Industry career and setting up a museum
by Sherry Judd

I worked in and around the Paper Industry all my life. Now I run Maine's Paper and Heritage Museum.

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan

Longfellow Studies: Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith" and "Whitman's Song of Myself" - Alternative Constructions of the American Worker

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies
Most if not all of us have or will need to work in the American marketplace for at least six decades of our lives. There's a saying that I remember a superintendent telling a group of graduating high-school seniors: remember, when you are on your deathbed, you will not be saying that you wish you had spent more time "at the office." But Americans do spend a lot more time working each year than nearly any other people on the planet. By the end of our careers, many of us will have spent more time with our co-workers than with our families. Already in the 21st century, much has been written about the "Wal-Martization" of the American workplace, about how, despite rocketing profits, corporations such as Wal-Mart overwork and underpay their employees, how workers' wages have remained stagnant since the 1970s, while the costs of college education and health insurance have risen out of reach for many citizens. It's become a cliché to say that the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" is widening to an alarming degree. In his book Wealth and Democracy, Kevin Phillips says we are dangerously close to becoming a plutocracy in which one dollar equals one vote. Such clashes between employers and employees, and between our rhetoric of equality of opportunity and the reality of our working lives, are not new in America. With the onset of the industrial revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century, many workers were displaced from their traditional means of employment, as the country shifted from a farm-based, agrarian economy toward an urban, manufacturing-centered one. In cities such as New York, groups of "workingmen" (early manifestations of unions) protested, sometimes violently, unsatisfactory labor conditions. Labor unions remain a controversial political presence in America today. Longfellow and Whitman both wrote with sympathy about the American worker, although their respective portraits are strikingly different, and worth juxtaposing. Longfellow's poem "The Village Blacksmith" is one of his most famous and beloved visions: in this poem, one blacksmith epitomizes characteristics and values which many of Longfellow's readers, then and now, revere as "American" traits. Whitman's canto (a section of a long poem) 15 from "Song of Myself," however, presents many different "identities" of the American worker, representing the entire social spectrum, from the crew of a fish smack to the president (I must add that Whitman's entire "Song of Myself" is actually 52 cantos in length). I do not pretend to offer these single texts as all-encompassing of the respective poets' ideas about workers, but these poems offer a starting place for comparison and contrast. We know that Longfellow was the most popular American poet of the nineteenth century, just as we know that Whitman came to be one of the most controversial. Read more widely in the work of both poets and decide for yourselves which poet speaks to you more meaningfully and why.