Notes from the Archives: Politics in Maine

by Nancy Noble, MHS archivist/cataloger

While the 2012 elections and months of endless campaigning are thankfully starting to feel like a distant memory, I was recently brought back into the political arena when I cataloged 14 programs from Maine Republican State Conventions, from 1966 to 1996, gifts of the Maine State Library.

While the covers alone are a source of amusement (including variations of elephant images), inside and back covers contain wonderful portraits of some of our past heroes of Maine politics, such as Margaret Chase Smith, Horace Hildreth, Bob Monks, Bill Cohen, Jim Longley, John McKernan, and now-retired Olympia Snowe.

There are also gleaming portraits of national figures such as Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, and Richard Nixon. And buried further within are lesser known figures, such as Porter Leighton, Charlie Cragin, and Mary W. Payson.

Business advertisements round out the local flavor, including “”Moosehead Getty Gas & Trading Post” (Greenville), “Anthony’s Restaurant and Supper Club” (Portland), and “Ellsworth IGA Foodliner” (Ellsworth).

These programs offer a rich texture of the political life and culture in Maine. They can be found at M 324.2 M284.

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