January 25, 2012
Contact: Megan Sanborn
(207) 441-0501

Office of the Secretary of State presents the Sesquicentennial for Schools Program

AUGUSTA, Maine - As part of Maine’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of America’s Civil War, the Office of the Secretary of State has created the Sesquicentennial for Schools Program, presented by State Archivist, David Cheever.

"It was on April 15, 1861 that President Abraham Lincoln asked states such as Maine to raise 75,000 volunteer soldiers to defend the Union against southern states that were seceding, primarily over the issue of slavery," said David Cheever. "Maine answered Lincoln’s call with vigor and this event is representative of Maine's key role in the Civil War."

The intent of the Sesquicentennial for Schools Program is to help Maine students get a better understanding of the important part their state played in one of our Nation's most prominent historic events. Mr. Cheever will be visiting schools statewide to talk with students about the impact that Maine had on the Civil War and the impact that the Civil War had on Maine.

?I am very excited about this program.? said Secretary of State, Charlie Summers, ?David Cheever is a charismatic speaker and his presentation will bring this topic to a local level for students by offering accounts of people in their town or neighboring towns, who contributed to or participated in the war efforts.?

The Maine State Archives holds the most extensive collection of Civil War documents in the nation, including photographs of thousands of Maine soldiers, muster rolls, battlefield reports, official papers, and correspondence.

The Sesquicentennial for Schools Program is free and recommended for grades 5-12. Visits are currently being scheduling on a first come, first serve basis. If you are interested in scheduling a visit for your school or would like more information, please contact Melissa Couture at or (207) 626-8400.