Bill Bowerman (1911-1999) is considered one of the greatest track and field coaches the world has ever known. In his 24 years at the University of Oregon, he won four NCAA team championships and coached 33 Olympians, 16 sub-four-minute milers and 64 All-Americans.
In the summer of 1970, some tens of thousands of people converged in rural Clackamas County for an event called Vortex 1. This “biodegradable festival of life” celebrated freedom — freedom from violence, from drug laws and from clothes. It also served as an elaborate ploy to lure young people away from Portland. And to this day, Vortex remains America’s only large-scale rock festival ever sponsored by a Republican governor.
In the late 1800s, thousands of Chinese miners came to Eastern Oregon in search of gold. Among them were two men - Ing “Doc” Hay and Lung On - who opened a store and herbal apothecary called Kam Wah Chung. Though originally catering to their fellow Chinese, over time these two men attended to the medical needs of many, becoming highly regarded members of the community.
In 1887, a gang of horse thieves gunned down as many as 34 Chinese gold miners on the Oregon side of the Snake River near Hells Canyon. Some have called it the country’s worst massacre of Chinese by whites. Though the killers were known, and at least one confessed, no one was ever convicted.
Oregon once had one of the country's most extensive streetcar systems in the country. Streetcars provided cheap, comfortable public transportation - before there were automobiles. Streetcar lines formed the streets and neighborhoods that shaped our cities, providing a foundation for the modern streetcar revival.
At age 85, Portland's Darcelle XV is the nation's oldest performing drag queen and operates what is thought to be the country's longest running drag revue. Throughout her long career she has been a part of revolutionary change within the LGBT community. Today, Walter Cole, as Darcelle XV, remains Portland's iconic Drag Queen.
From Razor clam souffle’ to her famous currant teacakes — Mary Beard loved to cook, and always with the freshest seasonal ingredients. Her son James embraced his mother’s passion for food. And even as the proclaimed “dean of American cookery” later moved away and traveled the world, James Beard would forever champion Oregon as a food-lover’s paradise.
In the 1960s a new breed of pioneers began arriving in Oregon’s Willamette Valley determined to grow Vitis vinifera, the fine wine grapes of Europe. They were told it couldn’t be done and were amply warned that Western Oregon was too cold and wet for vinifera to flourish.
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.