Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Malaga Island tragedy, one century later
I have two lengthy stories in today's Maine Sunday Telegram, and it's the one way inside in the Insight section that's been the most popular, shared, and commented article on the paper's website today.
I'm pleased this is so, as it is on the Malaga Island tragedy, a shameful episode in our state's history that documentarians Rob Rosenthal and Kate Philbrick aptly termed "a story best left untold." Well the story -- of a Maine island community cleansed from the coast on the orders of the governor of Maine in 1912 -- is getting told, and by the Maine State Museum no less, which opened an impressive and symbolically important exhibit on the incident yesterday.
One correction: one of the islanders was declared "feebleminded" and incarcerated at a state asylum because she didn't realize Teddy Roosevelt had been succeeded by William Howard Taft as president. In the print version of my piece, I understand I wrote "Robert Taft" by mistake, which means I ought to have been sent to Pineland as well.