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Keywords: social protest

Historical Items

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Item 11046

State employees protest, 1981

Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1981-05-02 Location: Augusta Media: Photographic print

Item 31004

High School protest, Lubec, ca. 1975

Contributed by: Lubec Historical Society Date: circa 1975 Location: Lubec Media: Photographic print

Item 105847

Women's Suffrage march in Market Square, Houlton, ca. 1912

Courtesy of Henry Gartley, an individual partner Date: circa 1912 Location: Houlton Media: Photographic print

Online Exhibits

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Exhibit

Protests

Throughout the history of the state, residents have protested, on paper or in the streets, to increase rights for various groups, to effect social change, to prevent social change, or to let their feelings be known about important issues.

Exhibit

Begin Again: reckoning with intolerance in Maine

BEGIN AGAIN explores Maine's historic role, going back 528 years, in crisis that brought about the pandemic, social and economic inequities, and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Exhibit

Patriotism Shared

Post office clerks began collecting strong red, white, and blue string, rolling it onto a ball and passing it on to the next post office to express their support for the Union effort in the Civil War. Accompanying the ball was this paper scroll on which the clerks wrote messages and sometimes drew images.

Site Pages

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Site Page

Mercy Hospital - Sisters of Mercy

(In British-ruled Ireland at the time, Protestants dominated the upper classes and monopolized virtually all of the land.) Mary Catherine McAuley…

Site Page

Historic Hallowell - History Celebrated, Threatened and Preserved

Citizens marched in protest from Hallowell to the state Capital and called for the creation of a National Historic District to preserve the downtown…

Site Page

Swan's Island: Six miles east of ordinary - II. Pinkies, wherries, skiffs and chebaccos: Early Settlement

Swan sought out laborers (preferably Protestant families) to cultivate the land and work his mills. Coasting vessels transported the island’s lumber…

My Maine Stories

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Story

Black Lives Matter Protest Portland, Maine
by Joanne Arnold

Documenting the signage at Portland Police Station following the BLM Protests of June 2020

Story

Being an NP during social unrest
by Jacqueline P. Fournier

A snapshot of Mainers in a medical crisis of the time/Human experience in Maine.

Story

We Gonna Be Alright and Say It Loud
by Ryan Adams

Creating artwork during a period of social and cultural awakening

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan

World War I Sacrifice and Protest

Grade Level: 9-12 Content Area: Social Studies
Learn about World War I using primary sources from Maine Memory Network and the Library of Congress.

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.