Jan. 27, 1893: Former U.S. House Speaker James G. Blaine of Augusta dies at his Washington home. Blaine was the Republican nominee for president in 1884, when he lost the general election to Grover Cleveland.

Blaine’s body is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood. The remains of his wife, Augusta native Harriet Stanwood Blaine, are buried there after her death in 1903.

Both the Blaines are disinterred in 1920 – Maine’s statehood centennial year – and moved to the new Blaine Memorial Park, which overlooks a cluster of cemeteries and much of Augusta’s west side.

The park’s landscaping is done by the Olmstead firm, which also designed Central Park in New York. According to Blaine’s longtime secretary, Thomas Sherman, Blaine often enjoyed walking to that hilltop spot, a mere 15 blocks from his house, when he was in Augusta.

Jan. 27, 1944: In World War II’s penultimate year, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery launches four newly built submarines on the same day, three of them simultaneously.

The USS Ronquil, the USS Redfish and the USS Razorback rise from their blocks at 1 p.m., and a few hours later the USS Scabbardfish slides down Building Way No. 4 into the Piscataqua River.

The launching of the Redfish, Ronquil and Razorback submarines on Jan. 27, 1944. A fourth submarine, Scabbardfish, was launched later the same day. U.S. Navy photo, Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire

Jan. 27, 1964: Maine’s U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), a Republican, announces her candidacy for president.

At the GOP convention in July near San Francisco, she becomes the first woman to have her name submitted for nomination at a major U.S. party convention. U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater wins the nomination but loses the November election to President Lyndon Johnson.

U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, arrives at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco in July 1964. Associated Press photo

Bob Bryan, left, and Marshall Dodge in the 1970s. The two recorded several “Bert and I” albums and influenced the way the rest of America saw Mainers. Dodge was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 1982. Press Herald file photo

Jan. 27, 1982: Yale University graduate Marshall Dodge (1935-1982), co-creator with Robert Bryan (1931-2018) of the “Bert and I” stories of Maine humor, dies after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling toward Waimea on the island of Hawaii.

Dodge and Bryan released the first “Bert and I” record album of stories, told in a Maine accent, in 1957, when Dodge was a philosophy major at Yale University and Bryan was a Yale Divinity School student. Dodge had spent no more than a week in Maine when they did the recording.

A New York native, Dodge moved to Maine about nine years before his death. Dodge founded the Maine Festival of the Arts in 1976 at Bowdoin College.

Jan. 27, 2015: A blizzard featuring 50-mph wind dumps more than 2 feet of snow on parts of southern and central Maine, with downtown Portland’s accumulation of 27.4 inches setting a record for that date.

The storm also drops 27 inches in Lewiston and 26 inches in Sanford. Some communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire receive nearly 3 feet.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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