The strange tale of Maine's "hidden public apology" for the infamous Malaga Island evictions in 1912 -- which I broke in the current issue of Down East -- is the topic of this morning's editorial in the Bangor Daily News.
The daily provides a thumbnail sketch of the events and the legislature's decidedly unpublicized apology, before concluding:
"Fortunately, the Legislature and Gov. John Baldacci have opportunities to rectify this. They, along with descendants, will be invited to an Aug. 1 ceremony on the island. That event, along with next year’s centennial of the Malaga deportations, would be perfect times to amplify the apology, making it much more meaningful."
One correction: the News writes that "by the early 1900s, many Malaga residents were mentally and physically disabled." As radio documentarian Rob Rosenthal and others have revealed, this was not, in fact, true. Eight people -- a fifth of the island's population -- were incarcerated at the Maine School for the Feebleminded, but for most of them on what essentially amounted to trumped up charges.
I've been trying to learn more details about the August 1 event and will pass on what I discover.
[Update, 7/28/2010: Rachel Talbot Ross of the NAACP tells me the Malaga commemoration event is on, but has been pushed back to August 28.]
[Update, 9/14/2010: The event happened, complete with governor.]
Talking pirates with KUER's Radio West
1 week ago