I was watching television the other day and stumbled across some broadcasters who were performing an interesting exercise. They were trying to make a Mount Rushmore of the four major sports leagues, essentially trying to pick the greatest basketball, baseball, football, and hockey players respectively. Naturally, the question that came to my mind, was, who would be on the Maine Mount Rushmore?
- Joshua Chamberlain – This is probably the George Washington of our group. Born in Brewer in 1828, he graduated from Bowdoin College in 1852. He achieved his greatest fame during the American Civil War, where at the Battle of Gettysburg he and the 20th Maine famously held the Union flank, preserving victory for the North. He returned home from the war a hero and was elected to four consecutive terms as Maine Governor. To this day, his victory in 1868 is the widest margin of victory of any Maine gubernatorial race. Following his political career he assumed the position of Bowdoin College president, which he held for twelve years until he was forced to resign due to poor health. He eventually passed away in 1914, at the age of 85, in Portland.
- Stephen King – I’ll make this the Thomas Jefferson of the group, mostly because Jefferson is perhaps best known as the author of the Declaration of Independence and Stephen King is obviously an author as well. King was born in Portland in 1947 and graduated from the University of Maine in 1970. He is widely considered the most prominent horror writer of his generation, with many of his stories taking place in Maine, particularly the fictional town of Derry. Many of his books have been adapted into movies, including Carrie, The Green Mile, and Misery. He currently resides in Bangor.
- Hannibal Hamlin – This is the Abraham Lincoln of the group because why not? He actually served as the 15th Vice President of the United States under Lincoln from 1861 to 1865. Hamlin was born in the tiny town of Paris in 1809 and later graduated from Hebron College. In addition to Vice President he also served in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, and was elected 26th Governor of Maine in 1857. He passed away in 1891, at the age of 81, in Bangor.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – This is the Theodore Roosevelt of our Mount Rushmore, not because there’s a logical connection, but just because he’s the only one left. Longfellow was born in Portland in 1807 and went on to attend and graduate from Bowdoin College. He was considered the most influential poet of his day and his works include Paul Revere’s Ride, The Courtship of Miles Standish, and The Song of Hiawatha. He passed away in 1882 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.