Aug. 26, 2005: Workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery breathe a collective sigh of relief when they learn that a federal base-closing commission has left the shipyard off a list of military installations scheduled for closure.

Gov. John Baldacci and members of the Maine congressional delegation attend a celebratory rally in front of the shipyard after the news is announced.

Maine’s elected officials thank the shipyard’s supporters, their own staffs and the shipyard workers for their work in promoting the yard. They also praise their counterparts in New Hampshire for cooperating in the lobbying effort to keep the shipyard in business.

The teamwork marks a turnabout from a time several years earlier when Maine and New Hampshire tussled before the U.S. Supreme Court about where the boundary line separating the two states is and which side of the line the shipyard is on. Maine won that battle.

The shipyard, established more than two centuries ago, remains open and operating in 2020.

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 To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at:


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