1990s - The People
Who was a Vermonter in the 1990s?
On August 17, 1991, hundreds of Vermonters gathered on the State House lawn. They celebrated the bicentennial(two hundredth anniversary of an event) with music, games and fireworks. Vermont’s 200th birthday was a happy event.
But earlier that week, there was also sad news. Governor Richard Snelling died of a heart attack. Lieutenant Governor Howard Dean suddenly became the new governor of Vermont.
In 1990, the US census counted the population of the state. A total of 562,758(five hundred sixty-two thousand, seven hundred fifty-eight) people lived in Vermont. The state had over 50,000 more people than it had in 1980. Vermont’s population was growing, but it was still a small state. By 2000, only the state of Wyoming had fewer people than Vermont.
A dairy farmer named Fred Tuttle was one of the people who lived in Tunbridge, Vermont. In 1996, he starred in a funny movie called Man with a Plan. Many people thought Tuttle was a typical Vermonter. The movie came to life in 1998 when Tuttle won an election. People voted for him over a politician(someone who runs for or holds a position in government) who moved to Vermont from Massachusetts.
At the beginning of the decade(period of ten years), over half of the people living in Vermont were born in Vermont. By the end of the decade, almost half of the people living in Vermont were born outside of Vermont. Some new residents moved to the state from Bosnia, a country in Europe. They left their homes as refugees(people who flee their country to find safety or protection) because of a war. Over 1,400 Bosnians started a new life in Vermont. They became community members in Essex, Barre, Middlebury and other towns.
Abenaki people have always lived on the land that is now Vermont. In 1996, members of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenaki people applied for federal recognition(a process for the federal or US government to set up a formal relationship with the government of a Native American tribe). Governor Howard Dean and the state government argued against the Abenaki application. The United States government denied the application. Abenaki bands in Vermont still do not have federal recognition.
Abenaki people live in Vermont today. Their ancestors have lived here for thousands of years. In the 1990s, Abenaki people worked to preserve and celebrate their identity and heritage.
Do you know anyone who lived in Vermont in the 1990s?
Thinking About History
Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.
How long ago is history? Are your parents and teachers part of history?
Is history different for younger people and older people?
Follow the links below to explore related topics.
How many people lived in your town in 1990?
Read the article Counting Heads in 1791 from Green Mountaineer Magazine
Learn more about Bosnian Music and Dance from the Vermont Folklife Center
Watch basketmaker Jeanne Brink make an Abenaki basket in this 1998 video
Read about Grandma Lampman and the fight to protect important Abenaki land in Missisquoi
Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.
Vermont Historical Society. "1990s - The People." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed December 5, 2023. https://blog.vermonthistoryexplorer.org/vermonters-in-the-1990s