On this date in Maine history: Aug. 9


Aug. 9, 1842: The U.S. signs the Treaty of Washington, or Webster-Ashburton Treaty, with the United Kingdom, establishing what is now the boundary between the United States and Canada, including the boundary in northern and eastern Maine.

The treaty resolves a dispute known as the “Aroostook War,” a disagreement that led to deployment of militia units to the northern frontier and almost resulted in armed conflict.

The 1783 peace treaty that ended the Revolutionary War between the United States and Great Britain had failed to define adequately the border separating Maine and what later became the Canadian province of New Brunswick, resulting in confusion and dangerously competing land claims.

Aug. 9, 1911: Aviator St. Croix Johnstone, 24, of Chicago makes Maine’s first plane flight, taking off in a Moisant monoplane in Augusta for a half-hour, 25-mile trip up and down the Kennebec Valley. About 10,000 people watch the exhibition. The event occurs about eight years after the Wright brothers’ famed first flights in North Carolina.

Six days later, Johnstone dies in a flying accident during the 1911 Chicago International Aviation Meet.

The Augusta demonstration begins on…

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