Margaret Chase Smith created the library in part to provide herself a forum for meeting with students. Through her own example, she hoped to inspire young people to aspire and to serve.
To continue this important legacy, the Margaret Chase Smith Library maintains a Field Trip Fund to ensure that Maine school children continue to learn the virtues of achievement and good citizenship. While at the facility, students watch a twenty-minute video on Senator Smith's life and tour her house, the museum, and the archives. Teachers interested in bringing classes may request funds by contacting the library.
For a list of Educational Programs, click here.
National History Day
This highly regarded academic program began in 1974 as a small contest hosted by the History Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. They decided to create a contest devoted to history that was modeled like a science fair. The idea quickly spread throughout the Midwest and by the mid-90s became a national organization headquartered in Washington D.C. overseeing year-round programs culminating in a weeklong national contest at the University of Maryland in College Park. Since its founding, NHD has grown to involve contests in all fifty states, American Samoa, Guam, Korea, China and parts of South Asia.
The program promotes the learning of history to students in grades six through twelve. Through the encouragement of their teachers, the students choose historical topics related to an ever changing but broad yearly theme. Then they conduct extensive primary and secondary research relevant to their chosen topic. Through a combination of creativity and scholarship, students then present their historical research in the form of papers, exhibits, performances, web sites and documentaries in state and national competitions.
NHD in Maine is a collaborative effort between the Margaret Chase Smith Library, the University of Maine, the Maine Masonic College, the Maine Humanities Council, and the Maine Historical Society.
Maine Town Meeting
Since 1990 the Margaret Chase Smith Library has held an annual Maine Town Meeting each spring. The purpose of this public policy program is to provide Maine citizens with a forum to examine important national issues and discuss their relevance to the state. A common thread running through past events has been the desire of Senator Margaret Chase Smith to involve citizens in public service and civic affairs.
Typically the program features presentations by a politician and a historian on a timely issue. Ample time is allowed for guests to ask questions and offer their reflections on the topic.
Thanks to support from the the Colonel Paul D. LaFond, USMC (Ret.), Fund, the program is provided at minimal cost. Because of space limitations, however, participation is limited. The library seeks to have representation from many areas of Maine society. Therefore, we invite specific leaders and concerned citizens. Individuals interested in receiving an invitation to future town meetings should click here to contact the library.
Leeke-Shaw Lecture on International Affairs
Named in honor of the late Ada E. Leeke and Captain Evelyn H. Shaw, the Leeke-Shaw Lecture series brings presentations by experts from the field of International Affairs to the Margaret Chase Smith Library.
Ada E. Leeke was a teacher, an original member of the library's Advisory Committee, and a longtime personal friend of Senator Smith. She was a graduate of Stanford University and the Claremont Graduate School. After serving with distinction in the Women's Army Corps, she maintained an active interest in education and contributed substantially to the growth of the Margaret Chase Smith Library.
Captain Evelyn Shaw was also an original member of the Advisory Committee. She, too, was a graduate of the Stanford University School of Education. The author of numerous books and articles, Captain Shaw was a close associate and longtime friend of Miss Leeke. This lecture series endowment is funded through a generous gift provided by Captain Shaw.
This program is presented in cooperation with the Mid-Maine Global Forum. Individuals interested in receiving an invitation to future lectures should click here to contact the library.