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5 Fun Facts About May 24 In Maine History

---Learn Every Day: ME Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history me To: 618-270-4005---

1. On May 24, 1820, Maine became the 23rd state in the United States. Until this day, Maine had been a part of Massachusetts, but after years of political disagreements, the people of Maine voted to separate and form their own state.

2. On May 24, 1911, the Great Fire of 1911 broke out in downtown Bangor, Maine. The fire started in a hayshed and quickly spread to nearby buildings. By the time the fire was finally under control, over 50 buildings had been destroyed and thousands of people were left homeless.

3. May 24, 1938, marked the opening of the Maine Turnpike, the state's first toll highway. The 109-mile long road runs from Kittery to Augusta and was built to improve transportation and increase economic development in the state.

4. On May 24, 1956, the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, arrived in Portland, Maine. The submarine had just completed its historic voyage under the North Pole, becoming the first ship to navigate the treacherous Arctic waters.

5. May 24, 1961, is the date of one of Maine's most infamous crimes. On this day, 15-year-old Brenda Spencer shot and killed two people and injured nine others at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California. Spencer was later found to have grown up in the small town of San Carlos, Maine, and had a history of mental illness.
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