July 12, 1896: Arthur Sewall of Bath is nominated for the vice presidency at the five-day Democratic National Convention in Chicago, running for election with populist and presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan.

Sewall is a wealthy shipbuilder and industrialist, but the only elective office he ever held was that of alderman and councilman in Bath. At the convention, Bryan delivers his famous Cross of Gold speech.

The ticket goes down to defeat in the November election, losing to Republican former Ohio Gov. William McKinley and his running mate, corporate lawyer and New Jersey politician Garrett Hobart.

Vice President Hobart dies in office in 1899; Sewall dies at 64 on Sept. 5, 1900, at a time when he still would have been vice president if the Democratic ticket had won the 1896 election.

July 12, 1995: The bald eagle is removed from the federal endangered-species list. When the species was put on that list in 1972, Maine had only 29 nesting pairs and eight eaglets – a steep 97 percent decline from the amount estimated to have been present in the state 150 years earlier.

Much of the drop was attributed to environmental pollution. After environmental controls and improvement in land-use management are imposed, the number rises quickly. In 2013, a survey finds 633 nesting pairs in Maine.

Today a visitor to the Hatch Hill Landfill in Augusta can see eagles there at almost any time of year, but especially in winter.

Presented by:

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 islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

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