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Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park

1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205, US (map)

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Past events that happened here

  • Sunday
    Apr 8 2018
    Second Sunday: Housing Segregation and Resistance in Portland

    Inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act and the publication of Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, local researchers are uncovering and analyzing new sources related to the history of housing segregation — and resistance to that discrimination — in Portland, Oregon. Through a roundtable of short presentations, the audience will learn about the Black community’s creative tactics in resistance to housing discrimination, how the Portland Housing Bureau used zoning to promote segregation or integration, ways Portland laws and policies created and enforced de jure racial segregation, and how realtors supported segregation through restrictive covenants in housing deeds.

  • Friday
    Apr 6 2018
    Origins of Today’s Radical Right & the Crisis in Our Democracy

    Democracy in Chains is an explosive exposé of the little-known thinker behind the radical right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution: the Nobel Prize winning political economist James McGill Buchanan. It was Buchanan who taught Charles Koch that for capitalism to thrive, democracy must be enchained. Without Koch’s bottomless wealth, journalists have shown, American politics would not have reached their current nadir. But without Buchanan, Koch would not have a winning strategy for his messianic vision of free-reign capitalism—or a corporate university at his disposal to guide and defend it.

    The Atlantic has called the book a “vibrant intellectual history of the radical right.” George Monbiot wrote in The Guardian: “It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century.” NPR’s reviewer concluded that “If you’re worried about what all this means for America’s future, you should be.”

    Come hear Professor MacLean share the story of how she found the trail of this collaboration in the archives as she explains its frightening import for our lives and our institutions.

    Nancy MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and the immediate past president of the Labor and Working Class History Association. She is the author of several books, including Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan; Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace; The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000: A Brief History with Documents; and Debating the American Conservative Movement: 1945 to the Present. She also served the editor of Scalawag: A White Southerner’s Journey through Segregation to Human Rights Activism. Her scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards, and been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation.

    This program is offered in partnership with the Citizenship and Crisis Initiative, a joint effort of the OSU Center for the Humanities and School of History, Philosophy, and Religion.

  • Sunday
    Feb 11 2018
    Civil Rights, Then and Now: 1960s/1970s Civil Rights leaders

    Learn about the connections between the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s/1970s and the social justice movements that are currently occurring - how things have changed, how they have stayed the same, and what they can do to get involved.

  • Saturday
    Jan 20 2018
    50 Years of KBOO: OHS Exhibit Opening Party

    Come join us for an all-day party to kick off our exhibit opening at the Oregon Historical Society!

    50 Years of KBOO is the story of Oregon’s first community radio station. Learn how KBOO started as a relief to Portland’s bleak FM desert and became a community effort to build a more accessible media. This exhibition reveals how KBOO connects to counter-culture and activism locally as well as nationally. See how radio is made, and how listener-supported radio first came to be, as part of a chronicle of our region’s shared history.

  • Sunday
    Jan 14 2018
    Second Sunday: Beyond Fake News

    At all levels, the news can both represent and misrepresent the facts at hand. From debate over local opinions on the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to the discourse around “alternative facts,” it can seem difficult to find current and accurate information to use as we make decisions in our communities. This is the focus of Beyond Fake News: How We Find Accurate Information about the World, a free conversation with Kelly McElroy sponsored by Oregon Humanities.

    Kelly McElroy is an outreach librarian at Oregon State University. She is passionate about curiosity in her work to connect people to information. She coedited the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbooks and is interested in engaging communities in thoughtful inquiry about the information they need for school, work, and play.

    Through the Conversation Project, Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state's future. Oregon Humanities connects Oregonians to ideas that change lives and transform communities. More information about Oregon Humanities' programs and publications, which include the Conversation Project, Think & Drink, Humanity in Perspective, Public Program Grants, Responsive Program Grants, and Oregon Humanities magazine, can be found at oregonhumanities.org. Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

    This program is made possible by the generous support of Oregon Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Oregon Cultural Trustt.

  • Saturday
    Jan 13 2018
    Family Saturday: American Indian Cultures in Oregon

    The OHS Education Department is hosting six Family Saturday events at the Oregon Historical Society in 2018! Families are invited to this all-ages program that focuses on culture and diversity in Oregon. All Family Saturdays will include hands-on crafts and activities and some events will feature special performances by community groups. All Family Saturday events also include Free Admission to all of OHS!

    The first Family Saturday program on January 13 will highlight American Indian cultures in Oregon. The event will showcase performances by Native musical trio Cedar Rose and traditional Kalapuya/Coos storytelling by Esther Stutzman and Shannin Stutzman.

    Hands-on activities will be going on throughout the day and include:

    Create your own parfleche Seasonal round activity Decorate applique squares Touch objects made by traditional artists

  • Friday
    Jan 12 2018
    Member Opening Reception: Racing to Change


    RSVP online at https://orhs.ejoinme.org/racingtochange or call 503.306.5211

    Oregon Historical Society members & exhibit supporters are invited to a special exhibition preview and reception for Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years, on view January 15 through June 24, 2018. The fourth exhibition created in partnership with the Oregon Black Pioneers, Racing to Change illuminates Oregon's vibrant black community and their courage, struggle, and progress amongst a larger context of discrimination and displacement during the civil rights movement in Oregon in the 1960’s and 1970’s.


    6:30PM REMARKS


  • Sunday
    Dec 10 2017
    Red, White, and Black: An Oregon Wine Story


    Doors at 5:30pm, Program begins at 6pm
    Screening and discussion presented by Bertony Faustin, Remy Drabkin, Jarod Sleet, and Jesus Guillen

    Oregon has grown from obscurity to one of the world's most renowned wine regions. The pioneers of Oregon wine set an amazing stage. Their unwillingness to listen to naysayers established the foundation for a thriving wine community, where just forty years ago, none was thought possible. Yet today, in a region that prides itself on being an inclusive community, not all are asked to the table.

    Red, White & Black is a passion project and the brainchild of Bertony Faustin, proprietor of Abbey Creek Vineyard in North Plains, Oregon. The first recorded Black winemaker in Oregon, Bertony began the Red, White & Black journey to help identify and tell the stories of other minority winemakers to highlight those people who are deeply entrenched, have their livelihood on the line, but somehow are missed by the press and not often included openly in the larger Oregon wine community. This film tells the story of what life is like, what hurdles, acceptances, challenges, and opportunities exist, as well as shares what it is like to be a person of color or LGBT in a generally white, highbrow industry.

    Join us for a screening of this new film, along with wine tastings, to-go wine purchases, and conversation with featured winemakers.

    Bertony Faustin, Oregon’s first recorded Black winemaker, is proprietor of Abbey Creek Vineyard and Winery and, increasingly, the spokesperson for other minorities in the Oregon wine industry. He is also the personal passion behind Red, White & Black. Remy Drabkin is the Owner and winemaker at Remy Wine in McMinnville, Oregon. Jarod Sleet is Assistant Winemaker at Roco Winery. Jesus Guillen is Owner/winemaker at Guillen Family Wines and winemaker at White Rose Estate, Dayton, Oregon.

  • Sunday
    Nov 12 2017
    The Art of the Protest Song

    In celebration of High Hopes: The Journey of John F. Kennedy, the Oregon Historical Society has partnered with four local folk musicians to present a showcase of popular topical/ and protest songs from the Kennedy era as well as original songs focused on contemporary issues. Join us for a rousing display of the music that helped define Kennedy’s era and the tradition of protest songs that continues today.

    Alexa Wiley is a post-folk songwriter activist whose singing style is potent, tenacious, and spiritual.

    Magda Leyna is a Portland-based singer/songwriter whose music focuses on creating empowered communities and liberating the indigenous feminine.

    Nathan Earle is a songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist living in the NW US.

    Bill Valenti is a seasoned folkie songwriter from Bend, Oregon, who launched the “Art of the Protest Song” series three years ago, bringing renewed focus to this powerful form of journalism.

    This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by KBOO Community Radio.

  • Wednesday
    Oct 25 2017
    The Chinese Exclusion Act documentary preview

    Presented by Chinese American Citizens Alliance. Discussion Moderator: Gloria Lee

    Preview The Chinese Exclusion Act documentary which will be airing on PBS stations in 2018. Gloria Lee of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance will lead a discussion of the film afterwards, giving you a chance to share your thoughts and listen to fellow audience members.

    Through powerful and illuminating visuals, historical documents, testimonies and insights of leading scholars and experts, The Chinese Exclusion Act documentary explores the history of Chinese immigration to the United States and its significance to issues of globalization, immigration, labor and civil rights today.

    The film explores what a little-known 1882 law, the Chinese Exclusion Act, has to do with American identity, democracy, and civil rights today.


  • Saturday
    Oct 21 2017
    Teach the World Workshop #2: Invite the World to your Classroom

    You are invited to attend this first ever Culture Box Workshop where you will “dig in” and explore these treasures and visit with teachers K-12 who have had extensive experience with them.

    The Global & Multicultural Resource Center (GMRC) is the heart of World Affairs Council of Oregon's K-12 Global Classroom Youth and Education Program housing an extensive 30 year collection of Culture Boxes on over 100 countries of the world. These boxes are filled with hands-on, authentic treasures and lessons about the art, culture, and daily life of people from every continent.

    Our Equity Materials Library addresses multicultural, anti-bias, civil and human rights issues both here and around the globe. Our Cultural Immersion Program helps transform your school into a microcosm of the world with cultural displays, guest speakers, artists-in-residence, and props. Last year our Culture Boxes were enjoyed by over 10,000 students K – 12.

    Please email Karen Ettinger at karen@worldoregon.org for a list of Culture Boxes and their Alignment with Oregon Standards and Common Core.

    Registration Fee: $35 (includes breakfast)
    Professional Development Units Offered: 3
    Please register early the space is limited to 40 people. http://worldoregon.org/events/workshop2

  • Friday
    Oct 13 2017
    Creating a New Normal (Strong for Veterans)

    STRONG FOR VETERANS is an all-volunteer non-profit focused on Leadership, Strength, and Community. We support Veterans and their Families by creating a platform that brings different resources together, enabling collaboration to better serve the Veteran community.

    Join us for a very special evening of memories, reflection, and insight on Creating a New Normal from CSM Brunk W. Conley and Army Veteran and Craft Distiller Dawson Officer of 4 Spirits Distillery.

    Command Sergeant Major Brunk W. Conley served as the 10th Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard. His immediate previous assignment was as State Command Sergeant Major for the Oregon National Guard. He began his military career in December 1981 and he completed One Station Unit Training (OSUT) at Ft. Benning, Georgia in the fall of 1982, where he was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of 11B, Infantryman. He completed Airborne School and was assigned to Company A, 3rd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Ft. Lewis, Washington. He held positions as a rifleman, grenadier, automatic rifleman, senior rifleman and team leader.

    Upon completion of his initial enlistment, Command Sergeant Major Conley joined the Oregon Army National Guard.

    Regional non-profits serving Veterans and their Families will also attend.

    Our events are free and all are welcome.

    6:00pm - 7:00pm Mingle, Meet speakers
    7:00pm - 9:00pm Program

    Strong For Veterans
    Region · Portland, Oregon
    Strong For Veterans is an all-volunteer non-profit supporting Veterans and their Families. We are focused on Leadership, Strength, and Community.

  • Sunday
    Oct 8 2017
    Race and Resistance in Early Twentieth Century Oregon

    Presented by Dr. Kimberly Jensen and Jo Ogden.

    Like the United States as a whole and many other nations, the state of Oregon has a long history of linking economic, political, and cultural rights — or lack thereof — to the race associated with a person or group of people. Race, a human power relation, orders access to wealth and power to people defined as White, at the expense of others. Such generalization, however, obscures the complexity and the many individual stories that can help us understand the ongoing impact of race and the struggles against it today. Join us as we delve into this history by exploring broad themes and specific incidences of ways people enacted and resisted race-based policies from one time period: Oregon in the early twentieth century.

    Kimberly Jensen is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University. She is the author of Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War, Oregon's Doctor to the World: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and a Life in Activism, and "'Women's Positive Duty to Participate': The Practice of Female Citizenship in Oregon and the Expanding Surveillance State During the First World War and its Aftermath" in the Summer 2017 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

    Johanna Ogden is an independent Portland historian. She is author of "Race, Labor, and Getting Out the Harvest: The Bracero Program in World War II Hood River, Oregon," in Memory, Community, and Activism – Mexican Migration and Labor in the Pacific Northwest, Michigan State University Press, and "Ghadar: Historical Silences and Notions of Belonging," the Oregon Historical Quarterly, Summer 2012 issue. Her upcoming book, India's Oregon Trail: Ghadar, Thind and the Struggle for Belonging, is set for publication in fall 2018 by University of Washington Press.

  • Saturday
    Oct 7 2017
    Genealogy Workshop — Researching Chinese-American Family History

    Have you just started digging into your family tree, or are you a genealogy veteran who wants to learn more tips and tricks? Whether you have a lot, or a little, or even no experience with genealogy, family historians from the OHS Research Library will make digging up the past loads of fun! Join us for an upcoming family history workshop at the Oregon Historical Society to help you discover your roots.

    In this class, researchers of Chinese American family history will gain background knowledge and techniques specific to researching the Chinese American population. Participants will learn about the complexity of names in both Chinese and English transliterations, immigration history (both legal and otherwise), grave marker reading, Chinese obituaries, historic and contemporary family tree documentation, unique sources and databases for Chinese Americans, village mapping, and Chinese literacy challenges in research. This class will illustrate the use of resources ranging from historic and archival documents to contemporary DNA testing, and everything in between. This class encourages the use of the internet as a tool to maximize research yields.


  • Saturday
    Sep 30 2017
    From Maxville to Vanport: Community Input Event

    The Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) is creating a new piece of community-guided music, “From Maxville to Vanport,” incorporating the stories of two unique towns in Oregon’s history: Maxville and Vanport. The project will culminate in a concert-length composition for the PJCE to be performed May 26 and 27, 2018, as part of the Vanport Mosaic Festival (May 25–28). Maxville and Vanport both had significant multicultural populations at a time when Oregon was particularly unfriendly to non-white residents, and their histories deserve to be heard and better understood by all Oregonians.

    At this event, PJCE will present a song that will become part of that larger work and will gather input from people who care about these stories. Audience members will hear vocalist Marilyn Keller and composer/pianist Ezra Weiss perform the song “From Maxville to Vanport,” featuring text by Renee Mitchell. Commentary from all three as well as Maxville Heritage Executive Director Gwendolyn Trice and former Vanport resident Edward Washington will follow, along with robust discussion with the audience. Vanport flood survivors, their families, and all people who are interested in how this story will be told as PJCE takes the performance on tour to eastern Oregon and back to Portland in the spring of 2018 are especially encouraged to attend.

    The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble is a 12-piece jazz chamber orchestra which commissions and performs original works by its members and by other jazz composers in the Portland music community. The PJCE has received support from the OCF’s 2015 Creative Heights and Small Arts programs, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the Oregon Arts Commission. Now in its tenth year, the PJCE has commissioned more than 50 composers, and produced more than 30 concerts of original works.

    This event is sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, and the Maxville to Vanport Project is sponsored by the Oregon Community Foundation.


  • Thursday
    Sep 28 2017
    Vanport exhibit: A Story Lived. A Story Told
    Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park

    Vanport. A Story Lived. A Story Told A Vanport Mosaic “Out of The Box” exhibit

    A “miracle city.” A “sociological experiment.” A “municipal monstrosity.” A “nasty ghetto.” During its short life span (1942-1948) Vanport--Oregon’s second largest city and the nation’s largest public housing project--drew national attention and conflicting opinions. For the over 40,000 people who lived there, Vanport was simply their home.

    When the Columbia River flooded on May 31 of 1948, Memorial Day, the entire city was erased from the map and from much of Portland’s memory in a single day.

    Mixing archival photographs and historical records with personal testimonies of former residents, this pop-up exhibit presents the multifaceted story of Vanport and its vibrant community. It is a story of migration, housing, displacement, and perseverance.

    Come explore the enduring impact of this chapter in Oregon’s history.

    ADMISSION: Members FREE Multnomah Co. Residents (with proof of residency) FREE Proof of Multnomah County residency can include a State Issued Identification Card, Driver's License, or Utility Bill. Library cards and TriMet passes are not valid forms of ID.

    Curated by Laura Lo Forti and Greta Smith.

    Made possible by the generous support of: The Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Portland State University and the Division of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Oregon Historical Society, The City of Portland, and Prosper Portland

    Special thanks to: Oregon Historical Society, City of Portland Archives, Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, Multnomah County Archives, Portland State University Special Collections and University Archives, Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources, James S. Harrison, Oregon Black Pioneers, Kim Moreland, Thomas Robinson, Terry Baxter, Susan Barthel, Tanya March, Norman Gholston, and Peter Marsh.

    Did you live in Vanport or have friends or family who did? What stories have you witnessed or heard of community life, the flood, and its aftermath? The Vanport Mosaic invites you to contribute to our on-going effort, now in its third year, to record oral histories and digitize photos and artifacts. Please contact us at info@vanportmosaic.org or 510.717.2441.

    The Vanport Mosaic is a community-driven and artist-led collective, comprised of artists, historians, educators, and media makers who engage the public in remembering silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest in order to understand our present. Save the date for the Vanport Mosaic Festival 2018, May 25-28.

    Vanport Mosaic
    Vanport Mosaic is a collective of artists, storytellers, educators and media makers seeking to engage the public in remembering the silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest in order to better understand our present.

  • Wednesday
    Sep 27 2017
    Oregonians’ Efforts for Peace in the Middle East

    This evening of dialogue will feature perspectives and memories shared by three Oregonians — a Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian — who for almost three decades have been struggling together from their common faith, to work, pray, and strive for peace in the Middle East. Rabbi Joshua Stampfer, Mr. Frank Afranji, and the Rev. Dr. Rodney Page first traveled to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza in 1988, during the first Intefada (uprising). They then founded the Oregon Inter-religious Committee for Peace in the Middle East. On New Year’s morning in 1990 they started Cavalcade for Peace in the Middle East just before the first Gulf war. The Cavalcade continued, on New Year’s morning, for many years. Join us for an evening of reflection on the ways they have worked together in Oregon to increase interfaith understanding and foster peace. Jan Elfers, new Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, will moderate the panel. Questions will be taken from the audience.

  • Saturday
    Sep 23 2017
    Smithsonian Museum Day at the Oregon Historical Society

    In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums who offer free admission every day, Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day Live is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket... for free!


    Print or download your Museum Day Ticket and present it to the Oregon Historical Society to see current exhibits High Hopes: The Journey of John F. Kennedy, Use Well Your Time While in Your Prime: Samplers from the Oregon Historical Society Collection, Native Portraits: Contemporary Tintypes by Ed Drew, and more!


  • Sunday
    Aug 13 2017
    Beyond the Beach Bill: Statewide Debates over Public Beaches

    The history of Oregon's public beaches is far more complex than the passage of a single law championed by environmental leaders Bob Straub and Tom McCall, with early successes followed by several years of conflict and threats. Two political insiders walk us through the dramatic debates that swept from the coast into Salem and across Oregon, as the state's leaders and citizens argued over roads, taxes, and property rights. Their presentations make clear that the free access to beaches that helps define Oregon today was anything but assured!

    Floyd McKay was a political reporter for The Oregon Statesman and news analyst for KGW-TV during the years when Straub, McCall, and citizens across the state wrote what came to be known as the Oregon Story, a history McKay recounts in his book, Reporting the Oregon Story: How Activists and Visionaries Transformed a State. Janet McLennan’s multi-decade career in public service included advocating for open beaches in the 1960s. After serving as Executive Director of Beaches Forever, she finished law school and worked on natural resource law, management and policy in the state and Federal governments, including as Natural Resource Advisor to Governor Bob Straub.