Everybody in Maine has grieved for the folks of Lewiston, and been impressed by their power and dedication to their neighborhood over the previous week, within the wake of the mass capturing there on Oct. 25. In honor of them and their resilience, listed below are seven of probably the most fascinating, enjoyable and provoking historic and factual tidbits to come back out of the Lew.
Bates School’s trailblazing historical past
The primary coeducational college in New England was the Maine State Seminary, based in Lewiston in 1855 by native preacher Oren Burbank Cheney. It was additionally one of many first universities within the nation to confess Black college students. In 1863, enterprise tycoon Benjamin Bates — for whom the town’s Bates Mill complicated is called — donated a big sum of cash to the college, which modified its identify to Bates School and it turned a liberal arts college. In 1865, the primary girl to obtain a school diploma in New England graduated from Bates.
A seminal second in labor rights
With a proud, working-class historical past, Lewiston was additionally the positioning of a seminal second in New England labor rights historical past. In 1937, hundreds of textile staff and shoemakers in Lewiston’s mills started to strike en masse, demanding higher pay, working situations and union illustration. The strike was violently suppressed by Gov. Lewis Barrows, who known as within the Maine Military Nationwide Guard at one level, leading to an eventual loss for the employees. A 12 months later, the Honest Labor Requirements Act enshrined issues just like the minimal wage and time beyond regulation pay into federal regulation.
An inspiring sports activities story
Within the late Nineteen Nineties, hundreds of Somali immigrants moved to Maine, the vast majority of whom settled within the Lewiston space. Although initially there was some racial stress, over the previous decade the Somali-American neighborhood has thrived — exemplified by Lewiston Excessive Faculty’s boys soccer staff, which gained state championships in 2015 and 2017 with a roster composed of each Somali and white college students. Their uplifting story about teamwork and understanding impressed each a documentary movie and the ebook One Aim: A Coach, a Group, and the Recreation That Introduced a Divided City Collectively.
An notorious sports activities story
Probably the most controversial and iconic fights in boxing historical past passed off in Lewiston on Could 25, 1965, between Muhammed Ali — then often known as Cassius Clay — and Sonny Liston. After an upset in February in Miami Seashore wherein Ali gained, a rematch was scheduled for Lewiston three months later on the Central Maine Youth Heart, right now often known as the Androscoggin Financial institution Colisee. Ali took Liston down with one punch within the first spherical, with a so-called “phantom punch.” It was the one heavyweight title struggle ever held in Maine, and a photograph from it is among the most iconic photographs in sports activities historical past.
Maine’s first Nobel Prize winner
A bridge over the Androscoggin River between Lewiston and Auburn is called for one in every of two Nobel Prize winners from Maine. The Bernard Lown Peace Bridge is called after Lown, who was born in Lithuania in 1921 however moved to Maine as a younger teen, the place he attended Lewiston Excessive Faculty. In 1985, Lown was one of many winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Worldwide Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear Struggle. The bridge was named for him in 2008. Lown died in 2021.
Maine’s favourite alcohol
A number of years in the past, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey dethroned Allen’s Espresso Brandy as Maine’s hottest liquor. Many could not understand that a lot of the nation’s provide of Fireball is bottled in Lewiston, at maker Sazerac’s bottling plant. After a 2017 enlargement, in 2020 the plant started bottling the beloved booze 24 hours a day, and now employs 169 folks.
Canada’s Mr. Rogers
Patrick Dempsey is probably the most well-known entertainer to come back out of Lewiston, however Ernie Coombs is a detailed second — no less than, in Canada. Coombs was born and raised in Lewiston, and later attended North Yarmouth Academy a couple of miles down the highway in Yarmouth. After helping Fred Rogers on his unique Pittsburgh TV present, Coombs helped Rogers develop an early model of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on Canadian TV. Rogers moved again to the US in 1965, however Coombs stayed north and ultimately created “Mr. Dressup,” which ran for 29 years on the CBC, between 1967 and 1996. It was among the many most beloved youngsters’s tv exhibits in Canadian historical past, for which Coombs, who died in 2001, was named a member of the Order of Canada. A documentary, “Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Imagine,” premiered on Amazon Prime this 12 months.