Dec. 8. 1819: U.S. Rep John Holmes, Democrat-Republican from Maine, submits a petition to the House advocating for the admission of Maine as the 23rd U.S. state.

U.S. Sen. Prentiss Mellen, a Massachusetts native residing in Portland, does likewise in the Senate.

Holmes later becomes one of Maine’s first two U.S. senators. Mellen is appointed the first chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Dec. 8, 1820: A four-page weekly newspaper, the Maine Gazette, begins publication. The newspaper, which aligns itself with Whig Party policies, is the earliest lineal antecedent of today’s Brunswick-based Times Record, a daily newspaper.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

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