During the early 1940s, Vanport, Oregon, was the second largest city in the state. But on a Sunday afternoon in May 1948, it disappeared completely — destroyed by a catastrophic flood.
Hundreds of books exist about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the decades of pioneers who followed them West. But even today, most Oregonians don't know much about the people who had settled here centuries before "the settlers" came. "Broken Treaties" introduces viewers to the tribes of our state and explores a thread of the Oregon story that hasn't been told very well over the years.
In recognition of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which sent 120,000 Japanese Americans to incarceration camps until after the conclusion of World War II, and the second annual Minoru Yasui Day, this program offers stories of those who stood against the incarceration and the racism faced by many Japanese Americans after the war. George Nakata grew up in Portland’s Nihonmachi and was incarcerated at Minidoka as a child. In his adulthood, Mr. Nakata has become a trusted story-teller, sharing many stories of incarceration from the community. Linda Tamura will highlight some of the Hood River, Oregon, residents who supported their Japanese American neighbors in the face of aggressive discrimination they faced after the war. We will read personal letters and proclamations from Oregonians to Governor Sprague in 1941 and 1942, both advocating for and resisting the exclusion and incarceration of Oregonian Japanese Americans.
World War I marked a turning point in world and U.S. history that is far too little understood today. The United States’ formal declaration of war and entry into the Great War in April 1917 represented a seismic shift for the nation, which to that point, had attemped to avoid larger scale entanglements in European power politics and conflicts. One hundred years later we are in a position to recognize the epochal changes heralded by the First World War and the U.S.’s role in the conflict as well as its aftermath.
Few other cities in the world have water as pure and as well protected as Portland. For nearly 115 years, an ingenious, gravity-fed system has delivered mountain rainwater from an isolated river called the Bull Run. Yet the rich history of Portland’s water supply has unfolded largely unbeknownst to the people it serves.
2008 is the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today its work is still enjoyed in parks and forests around the state. Through interviews with former enrollees, and historic film and pictures, the program tells the story of the CCC in Oregon.
The Americans who opposed World War I built the largest, most diverse, and most sophisticated peace coalition up to that point in U.S. history. They came from a variety of backgrounds: wealthy and middle and working class, urban and rural, white and black, Christian and Jewish and atheist. They mounted street demonstrations and popular exhibitions, attracted prominent leaders from the labor and suffrage movements, ran peace candidates for local and federal office, and founded new organizations that endured beyond the cause. For almost three years, they helped prevent Congress from authorizing a massive increase in the size of the U.S. army—a step advocated by ex-president Theodore Roosevelt. Then many persevered, in the face of a concerted campaign by the government to silence them. Several anti-war activists founded the organization that became the ACLU to defend those whom the state prosecuted for refusing to change their minds. Soon after the end of the Great War, most Americans believed it had not been worth fighting. And when its bitter legacy led to the next world war, the warnings of these peace activists turned into a tragic prophecy—and the beginning of a surveillance state that still endures today.
Tom McCall, Oregon’s chief executive from 1967 to 1975, may go down in history as the state’s most productive governor. He was certainly the most interesting. Nearly forty years after he left office and thirty years after his death, Oregon Governor Tom McCall remains one of the state’s most renowned political figures. He envisioned a quality of environment and life unique to Oregon, and he worked relentlessly to protect those values.
The origins and the evolution of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival - how one man’s vision for a holiday event grew to become the economic mainstay of the city of Ashland and a major force in American Theater.
Americans fought their wars for democracy at home as well as abroad. Wartime propaganda and policies defined new rules for the status and practice of citizenship in Oregon and across the nation. Women activists, for example, claimed a more complete female citizenship. For women of color and women in ethnic communities, this push intersected with claims and contestations rooted in their racial and ethnic identities and pushed back against a system of white racism that seemed destined and determined to expand. Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants, and hosts of others all engaged in war-related debates and activism that furthered their ongoing claims to civic rights and obligations. Some saw the promise of citizenship through wartime loyalty in support of government programs and the war effort. Others claimed a citizen's right to dissent, often paying a high price to do so. This panel will provide audiences an overview of these histories and create opportunity for discussion about their ongoing legacies today.