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Maine Historic Figures

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807-1882. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine and was educated at Bowdoin College. Longfellow became one of the best loved American poets of all time with works such as "The Song of Hiawatha" and "The Courtship of Miles Standish". He earned great fame as one of the first poets to use themes of the landscape and Native American culture as the focus of his work. At the young age of 19, Longfellow was asked by Bowdoin College to serve as their Chair of Modern Languages.
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Harriet Beecher Stowe
1811-1896. During the time she lived in Maine, Harriet Beecher Stowe became one of the most important figures during the Civil War period by penning perhaps the most influential novel of its time. While living in Brunswick, Maine, Stowe was inspired to write Uncle Tom's Cabin, a story that was sympathetic towards the plight of slaves in the United States. Highly controversial, this novel stirred up emotions on both sides the slavery issue and was often used as a symbol to rally the abolitionist movement.
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James Blaine
1830-1893. James Blaine began his career as a journalist in Maine before going on to become one of the nation's most prominent politicians. After serving in the Maine State Legislature for three years, Blaine was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as Speaker of the House from 1869 to 1875. In 1884, Blaine earned the Republican Party's nomination for President of the United States and was narrowly defeated by Grover Cleveland. Blaine was also named the U.S. Secretary of State twice by Presidents Garfield and Harrison.
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Senator Margaret Chase Smith
1897-1995. Skowhegan native Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1948 making her the first ever elected to this position and also the first women to serve in both houses of Congress. Smith distinguished herself in office by being one of the politicians to openly stand against the "Red Scare" politics of the 1950's. Smith also made history by running for President in 1964, becoming the first woman be seriously considered for nomination.
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Former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie
1914-1996. Muskie was born in Rumford, Maine and studied at Bates College. He began his political career as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and later served for two terms as Maine's Governor. In 1958, Muskie was elected to the U.S. Senate where served for 22 years. He became President Carter's Secretary of State in 1980 and served as in integral member of the Tower Commission during the Iran - Contra Scandal. Muskie also ran for President in 1972 and was the Democratic Party's nominee for Vice President in the 1968 election. A graduate program for public policy was established in his name at the University of Maine.
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