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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

A Day for Remembering

Most societies have had rituals or times set aside to honor ancestors, those who have died and have paved the way for the living. Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, is the day Americans have set aside for such remembrances.

Exhibit

Designing Acadia

For one hundred years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine’s important natural history and identity. This exhibit highlights Maine Memory content relating to Acadia and Mount Desert Island.

Exhibit

Evergreens and a Jolly Old Elf

Santa Claus and evergreens have been common December additions to homes, schools, businesses, and other public places to America since the mid nineteenth century. They are two symbols of the Christian holiday of Christmas whose origins are unrelated to the religious meaning of the day.

Exhibit

Anshe Sfard, Portland's Early Chassidic Congregation

Chassidic Jews who came to Portland from Eastern Europe formed a congregation in the late 19th century and, in 1917, built a synagogue -- Anshe Sfard -- on Cumberland Avenue in Portland. By the early 1960s, the congregation was largely gone. The building was demolished in 1983.

Exhibit

Indians at the Centennial

Passamaquoddy Indians from Washington County traveled to Portland in 1920 to take part in the Maine Centennial Exposition. They set up an "Indian Village" at Deering Oaks Park.

Exhibit

La Basilique Lewiston

Like many cities in France, Lewiston and Auburn's skylines are dominated by a cathedral-like structure, St. Peter and Paul Church. Now designated a basilica by the Vatican, it stands as a symbol of French Catholic contributions to the State of Maine.

Exhibit

Patriotic Imagery: 1861-1880

Imagery on letterhead soldiers used, on soldiers' memorials produced after the war, and on many other items captured the themes of the American Civil War: union, liberty, and freedom.

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.

Exhibit

Memorializing Civil War Veterans: Portland & Westbrook

Three cemeteries -- all of which were in Westbrook during the Civil War -- contain headstones of Civil War soldiers. The inscriptions and embellishments on the stones offer insight into sentiments of the eras when the soldiers died.

Exhibit

The Life and Legacy of the George Tate Family

Captain George Tate, mast agent for the King of England from 1751 to the Revolutionary War, and his descendants helped shape the development of Portland (first known as Falmouth) through activities such as commerce, shipping, and real estate.

Exhibit

The Arrival of Winter

The astronomical arrival of winter -- also known as the winter solstice -- marks the year's shortest day and the season of snow and cold. It usually arrives on December 21.

Exhibit

La St-Jean in Lewiston-Auburn

St-Jean-Baptiste Day -- June 24th -- in Lewiston-Auburn was a very public display of ethnic pride for nearly a century. Since about 1830, French Canadians had used St. John the Baptist's birthdate as a demonstration of French-Canadian nationalism.

Exhibit

Commander George Henry Preble

George Henry Preble of Portland, nephew of Edward Preble who was known as the father of the U.S. Navy, temporarily lost his command during the Civil War when he was charged with failing to stop a Confederate ship from getting through the Union blockade at Mobile.

Exhibit

Liberty Threatened: Maine in 1775

At Lexington and Concord, on April 19, 1775, British troops attempted to destroy munitions stored by American colonists. The battles were the opening salvos of the American Revolution. Shortly, the conflict would erupt in Maine.

Exhibit

Civil Defense: Fear and Safety

In the 1950s and the 1960s, Maine's Civil Defense effort focused on preparedness for hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters and a more global concern, nuclear war. Civil Defense materials urged awareness, along with measures like storing food and other staple items and preparing underground or other shelters.

Exhibit

Eye in the Sky

In 1921, Guy Gannett purchased two competing Portland newspapers, merging them under the Portland Press Herald title. He followed in 1925 with the purchase the Portland Evening Express, which allowed him to combine two passions: photography and aviation.

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

Poland Spring: Summering in Fashion

During the Gilded Age at the end of the nineteenth century, Americans sought to leave increasing urban, industrialized lives for the health and relaxation of the country. The Poland Spring resort, which offered a beautiful setting, healing waters, and many amenities, was one popular destination.

Exhibit

Art of the People: Folk Art in Maine

For many different reasons people saved and carefully preserved the objects in this exhibit. Eventually, along with the memories they hold, the objects were passed to the Maine Historical Society. Object and memory, serve as a powerful way to explore history and to connect to the lives of people in the past.

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

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

Margaret Chase Smith: A Historic Candidacy

When she announced her candidacy for President in January 1964, three-term Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman to seek the nomination of one of the two major political parties.

Exhibit

Promoting Rockland Through a Stereopticon, 1875

Frank Crockett and photographer J.P. Armbrust took stereo views of Rockland's downtown, industry, and notable homes in the 1870s as a way to promote tourism to the town.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Mourning Fashions

A themed exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring 18th and 19th century mourning jewelry and fashions.