Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, has been appointed to the Maine Bicentennial Commission by Senate President Michael D. Thibodeau. The Commission is charged with preparing and administering a plan for 2020's celebration of Maine’s 200th anniversary.
“I love the State of Maine and am deeply honored to have been appointed to the Commission,” said Sen. Diamond. “I feel strongly that the goodness of the people here and the beauty of our natural environment can’t be matched anywhere else. I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to make this a celebration worthy of our great state.”
The Commission was created by the Legislature earlier this year and includes representatives from the governor’s office, the Legislature, the chief justice of the Maine Supreme Court, the secretary of state and the commissioner of education. Additional appointments are made by the Maine Humanities Council and leaders of the University of Maine system, the Maine Community College system and Maine Maritime Academy. Ex officio members of the Commission include Senate President Thibodeau, Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, The Maine state archivist, the state historian, and the director of the Maine State Museum.
The District of Maine had been part of Massachusetts since the country's inception. A movement arose in the late 18th century, however, for Maine to break away and become its own state. The campaign slowly gained momentum until the District, outraged by a lack of support from Massachusetts during the War of 1812, voted on independence in July 1819. All nine counties voted for statehood. The Maine constitutional convention met in Portland in October of 1819 and the resulting document was approved by a large margin in January 1820. Maine officially became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820.