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Maine course

5 facts about the land of lobster

More than 90 percent of the nation’s lobsters are caught along the Maine coast.

To help mark the release of the Maine Statehood Forever stamp, here are five facts you should know.

1. Maine is a product of the Ice Age. A glacier cut the coastline into the hundreds of bays, inlets and harbors that make up the state we know today. Viking explorer Leif Erikson and his crew possibly sailed to the area in the year 1000. British and French colonists later established some of Maine’s first permanent European settlements.

2. Residents are referred to as “Mainers.” Famous Mainers include Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress; author Stephen King; and the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, who was a summer resident of Kennebunkport.

3. The state has its own signature style. In 1912, Leon Leonwood Bean, known as “L.L.,” began selling his innovative footwear known as Bean boots in a one-room operation that grew into the L.L. Bean retail giant. When Bean died in 1967 at the age of 94, the company received 50,000 condolence letters.

4. Maine is ripe with good food. With more than 98 percent of the nation’s low bush blueberries harvested in the state, the fruit is one of Maine’s largest exports. More than 90 percent of the nation’s lobsters are caught along the Maine coast, and 11 percent of maple syrup comes from the state.

5. There are many natural and manmade sites to see, too. Because of its rocky coastline, the state is home to more than 60 lighthouses. There are also picturesque mountains, including the famed Mount Katahdin, and about 90 percent of Maine is covered in forests — one reason it’s known as the Pine Tree State.

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