Maine is a state in northern New England in the United States. It is bounded by the Canadian provinces of Quebec on the northwest and New Brunswick on the northeast. To the southwest lies New Hampshire, and to the southeast, the Atlantic Ocean. Maine entered the Union on March 15, 1820, when it was separated from Massachusetts to form the 23rd state. Augusta is Maine’s capital. Portland is the largest city. Its nickname is “The Pine Tree State.” Maine’s motto is Dario (I lead). The state song is entitled “State of Maine Song.”
Maine ranks 39th in size among the states, with an area of 33,741 sq mi. The area includes 2,263 sq mi) of inland water and 613 sq mi of coastal water over which it has jurisdiction. It is by far the largest state in New England and has an area nearly equal to that of all the other New England states combined. The state’s greatest east-west distance is 202 mi; the greatest north-south distance is 311 mi. The mean elevation is about 600 ft.
All of Maine was once covered by glaciers, the last of which receded about 10,000 years ago. Because of the glaciers, much of Maine is covered with stones, boulders, and clays. Many of the hills and mountains have been rounded, lakes have been formed, and river courses have been changed. Although glaciers covered all of Maine, there are nevertheless substantial physiographic differences in the regions of the state. Maine can be divided into three major natural regions: the White Mountain section, the New England Upland, and the Seaboard Lowland. These three regions are part of the New England province, which in turn forms part of the Appalachian Region.
Maine has a humid continental climate with a moderate summer and a long winter. The climate is generally milder along the coast, particularly in the winter. The average January temperatures in Maine range from about 10 F in the northern part of the state to about 24 F along the coast. Average July temperatures range from 62 to 70 F with the southern interior being the warmest and the east coast and north the coolest. However, daytime summer temperatures may reach the lower 90s F, and temperatures in winter have fallen as low as -48 F in the interior.
The population of Maine in 2000 was 1,274,923, according to the national census, ranking it 40th among the states. The population grew during the 1990s by 3.8 percent. Only 40 percent of Maine’s people live in areas classified as urban, making Maine the third most rural state in the nation, behind Vermont and West Virginia. The average population density in 2002 was 42 per sq mi. However, the density in about one-half the state is about 1 person per 1 per sq mi. More than one-half the population lives in the southwest corner of the state.
Whites comprise the vast majority of Maine’s residents, representing 96.9 percent of the people in 2000. Another 0.7 percent is Asians, 0.6 percent are Native Americans, 0.5 percent are blacks, and 1.2 percent are of mixed heritage or did not report race. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders numbered 382. Hispanics, who may be of any race, represent 0.7 percent of the people. Native Americans in present-day Maine belong to either the Passamaquoddy or Penobscot tribe. The Penobscot reservation is on Indian Island, in the Penobscot River near Old Town, and the two Passamaquoddy reservations are in Washington County.
Maine has one of the oldest state constitutions still in effect in the United States. It became effective in 1819, when Maine was admitted to the Union. It has frequently been amended, but this has not changed the basic structure of the state government. Maine sends two members to the U.S. House of Representatives and two members to the U.S. Senate, giving the state a total of four electoral votes.
Fishing, lumbering, farming, trapping, and shipbuilding were the leading economic activities of Maine from the 18th to the late 19th century, when the state began to develop a more broadly based manufacturing industry. In the second half of the 20th century Maine’s economy began making another transition. While manufacturing remained the biggest contributor to the state’s gross product, jobs in manufacturing decreased, falling 14 percent between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Meanwhile, the number of jobs in the service industries and retail trade showed substantial growth. Such growth is indicative of the importance of tourism to the state’s economy.
Maine has many annual sports competitions, including ski races in winter and sailing regattas, golf tournaments, and horse races in summer. Among the special summer events are the Great Kennebec Whatever Festival at Augusta and the Potato Blossom Festival at Fort Fairfield, which are both held in July, and the Lobster Festival held at Rockland in August. Lobsters are also the focus on the Fourth of July in Jonesport, which hosts the World’s Fastest Lobster Boat Races. Agricultural fairs are held in more than 20 towns during the summer and early fall. The Litchfield Fair, in September, is a community fair that has been celebrated for almost 140 years. The many summer theaters in the state give regular performances from June to Labor Day. Winter highlights include the World Mogul Invitational at Newry and the statewide Maine Maple Sunday, which are both held in March. Numerous international skiing events are held from January to April at Sugarloaf/Carrabassett.
Maine’s scenic beauty attracts artists, writers, and photographers, and its many lakes, rivers, wooded areas, and mountains lure sports enthusiasts the year round. Its long coastline is noted for its picturesque coves, harbors, and islands. Numerous sheltered sandy beaches alternate with imposing rocky headlands where breakers crash against the shore. Maine’s coastal waters attract a steadily increasing number of saltwater sports fishing enthusiasts. Thousands of pleasure craft, from tiny sailboats to large yachts explore the coast. Camping, canoeing, mountain climbing, hunting, golf, and skiing are also available to vacationists.
The governor of Maine is John Baldacci. He was born on January 30, 1955. He is a Democrat. He resides in Bangor, Maine. The First Lady is Karen. His previous occupation was at a family-owned restaurant. He was apart of the Bangor City Council, the Maine senate, and the US House of Representatives. He received a BA from the University of Maine.