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Online Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

"Twenty Nationalities, But All Americans"

Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.

Exhibit

A Convenient Soldier: The Black Guards of Maine

The Black Guards were African American Army soldiers, members of the segregated Second Battalion of the 366th Infantry sent to guard the railways of Maine during World War II, from 1941 to 1945. The purpose of the Black Guards' deployment to Maine was to prevent terrorist attacks along the railways, and to keep Maine citizens safe during the war.

Exhibit

Guarding Maine Rail Lines

Black soldiers served in Maine during World War II, assigned in small numbers throughout the state to guard Grand Trunk rail lines from a possible German attack. The soldiers, who lived in railroad cars near their posts often interacted with local residents.

Exhibit

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons: Staging the Past

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons (1858-1937) of Kingfield, Maine, experimented with the burgeoning artform of photography. Starting in 1897, Emmons documented the lives of people, many in rural and agricultural regions in Maine and around the world. Often described as recalling a bygone era, this exhibition features glass plate negatives and painted lantern slides from the collections of the Stanley Museum in Kingfield on deposit at Maine Historical Society, that present a time of rapid change, from 1897 to 1926.

Exhibit

State of Mind: Becoming Maine

The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?

Exhibit

400 years of New Mainers

Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Maine. Controversy aside, immigration is also America's oldest tradition, and along with religious tolerance, what our nation was built upon. Since the first people--the Wabanaki--permitted Europeans to settle in the land now known as Maine, we have been a state of immigrants.

Exhibit

Lt. Charles Bridges: Getting Ahead in the Army

Sgt. Charles Bridges of Co. B of the 2nd Maine Infantry was close to the end of his two years' enlistment in early 1863 when he took advantage of an opportunity for advancement by seeking and getting a commission as an officer in the 3rd Regiment U.S. Volunteers.

Exhibit

Reuben Ruby: Hackman, Activist

Reuben Ruby of Portland operated a hack in the city, using his work to earn a living and to help carry out his activist interests, especially abolition and the Underground Railroad.

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

The Irish on the Docks of Portland

Many of the dockworkers -- longshoremen -- in Portland were Irish or of Irish descent. The Irish language was spoken on the docks and Irish traditions followed, including that of giving nicknames to the workers, many of whose given names were similar.

Exhibit

Rumford's Notable Citizens in the Civil War

A number of Rumford area residents played important roles during the Civil War -- and in the community afterwards. Among these are William King Kimball, who commanded the 12th Maine for much of the war.

Exhibit

A Craze for Cycling

Success at riding a bike mirrored success in life. Bicycling could bring families together. Bicycling was good for one's health. Bicycling was fun. Bicycles could go fast. Such were some of the arguments made to induce many thousands of people around Maine and the nation to take up the new pastime at the end of the nineteenth century.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Civil War-era clothing

An exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads, Part 1," featuring American Civil War civilian and military clothing, 1860 to 1869.

Exhibit

This Rebellion: Maine and the Civil War

For Mainers like many other people in both the North and the South, the Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865, had a profound effect on their lives. Letters, artifacts, relics, and other items saved by participants at home and on the battlefield help illuminate the nature of the Civil War experience for Mainers.

Exhibit

Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In

Adorning oneself to look one's "best" has varied over time, gender, economic class, and by event. Adornments suggest one's sense of identity and one's intent to stand out or fit in.

Exhibit

The Nativist Klan

In Maine, like many other states, a newly formed Ku Klux Klan organization began recruiting members in the years just before the United States entered World War I. A message of patriotism and cautions about immigrants and non-Protestants drew many thousands of members into the secret organization in the early 1920s. By the end of the decade, the group was largely gone from Maine.

Exhibit

Field & Homefront: Bethel during the Civil War

Like many towns, Bethel responded to the Civil War by sending many soldiers and those at the homefront sent aid and supported families. The town grew during the war, but suffered after its end.

Exhibit

Drawing Together: Art of the Longfellows

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is best know as a poet, but he also was accomplished in drawing and music. He shared his love of drawing with most of his siblings. They all shared the frequent activity of drawing and painting with their children. The extended family included many professional as well as amateur artists, and several architects.