In 1960, Portland was the second-most segregated city on the West Coast, behind Los Angeles. Four of five Black residents lived in the Albina District. This presentation explores how the real estate industry, public officials, and citizens justified that spatial segregation. It traces the private- and public-sector mechanisms utilized to confine and re-shape Black settlement within Albina. A major motive for segregation was to enable financial exploitation of Black homeowners and renters, allowing housing-industry manipulators to extract wealth from the Black community.
The people of Baker City knew him as a successful businessman and his home town’s most active booster. But few realized just how successful “Mr. Baker” had been. This is a story of ambition and achievement and one ordinary man’s relationship with the small town he loved.
Wayne Morse served four terms (1945 -1969) in the US Senate. He represented Oregon with brilliance and bravado and followed a vision of “principle above politics.” He could be quick to criticize, and he rankled many opponents. But he wrote and sponsored legislation that was well ahead of its time.
In the years leading up to his presidential nomination in 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy was a frequent visitor to Oregon, serving as grand marshal of the Medford Pear Blossom Parade and throwing out the first ball at a Little League game in The Dalles. It was all a long way from Harvard, but it led to a crucial victory in the Oregon primary that propelled him toward the Oval Office.
The Second World War brought major changes — economic, social and demographic — to the state of Oregon. The war years also left profound impressions on the individuals who lived through them, whether in military service or on the home front. “Oregon at War” is a one-hour special that explores both the big picture and the personal stories of Oregon and Oregonians during World War II.
Hunting Birds with a Camera: How William Finley and Herman Bohlman used photography to save Oregon's birds. The Oregon Historical Society is proud to present a retrospective on the work of early twentieth century nature photographers William L. Finley, Irene Finley, and Herman T. Bohlman. Scaling trees, fording rivers, and braving Oregon's most rugged landscapes, they went to almost any lengths to capture Oregon's birds on film. Their photographs and tireless dedication to education captivated the public and helped lead to the creation of the state's first wildlife refuges, laying the foundation for Oregon's legacy as a leader in conservation. Join us for a night of adventure and laughter as we explore the rarely seen, behind-the-scenes photographs and recapture the spirit of Finley's long beloved public programs.
For decades, the musical traditions of Ghana were explored and extended by Ghana-born and Portland-based drummer, composer, and bandleader Obo Addy. Together with his world beat band, Kukrudu, and traditional quartet, Okropong, Addy was one of Ghana's greatest musical ambassadors. Join us for a presentation on Obbo Addy's impact on the Pacific Northwest, including a performance by Okropong.
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.
Learn about the traditionally untold stories of the Civil Rights Movement, specifically the role of women of color. Speakers will share reflections on their work in the Oregon Civil Rights Movement — their struggles and greatest memories — as well as advice for young activists on how to get involved and what they can do to make a positive difference in their local communities.
Racial violence was particularly significant in the nationalization of civil rights, as evidenced by the creation of the NAACP in the wake of northern migration and the racial violence that ensued in the first decade of the twentieth century. That process of violence, migration, and organization connects places such as Mississippi and Oregon, and telling stories about this violence — whether it occurred in Mississippi or in Marshfield, Oregon — linked Black communities and fueled the rise of a national civil rights movement. Join us for a discussion between historians working in two corners of the country, as they explore the ways violence and storytelling have connected those places to the national movement for equality.