Happy Birthday, Maine! The state of Maine will be 195 years old on Sunday, March 15, 2015.Before becoming a state, Maine was a district of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Maine brought pressure to become independent from Massachusetts and sought admission to the United States as a "free" state that rejected slavery. Southern states objected, contending that admitting Maine would upset the political balance between free states and states that allowed slavery. Congress ultimately proposed admitting Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. Although many Maine politicians objected, Congress approved the Missouri Compromise.

The resulting Act of Admission states that, as of March 15, 1820, "the State of Maine is hereby declared to be one of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects whatever."