What's Happening?

From our interactive museum exhibits to our Research Library to our premier meeting and event space, there's always something fun happening at the Oregon Historical Society. See below for upcoming events.

Unless otherwise noted, programs take place at the Oregon Historical Society building in downtown Portland (1200 SW Park Avenue) and are free of charge with museum admission. Click on links or call (503) 222-1741 for more information.



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Second Sunday Series

“A History of Cheese in the Pacific Northwest”

Tami Parr

Sunday, August 10 at 2 PM

Free and open to the public


Oregon’s renaissance of artisan cheese-making began in the 1960s and 1970s with influence from the era’s countercultural back-to-the-land movement, but the history of cheese-making in the region dates to the early nineteenth century. Writer Tami Parr will tell the story of how regional cheese-making transformed from work done independently on small farms to a consolidated industry with larger companies and cooperatives and then back to the farm. Parr is the author of Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Northwest Cheese: A History. Books will be available for sale and signing. And while you are here for cheese history, be sure to get an accompanying education at our exhibit, Clink! A Taste of Oregon Wine.


Lecture on the Wilderness Act

Mark Harvey

Thursday, August 14 at 7 PM

Tickets: $5, Free for OHS members (available at the door)


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which was written in 1964 by Howard Zahniser. The federal legislation created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States and led to the protection of 9.1 million acres of federal land. Join us as we mark this important anniversary with author Mark Harvey, who will share a presentation on his new book, Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act.


What’s It Worth?

Sunday, August 24 from Noon to 4 PM

Tickets: $10 per item (5 items max) plus regular museum admission


Ever wondered if you have a hidden treasure? The Oregon Historical Society is excited to announce its first “What’s It Worth?” event, where local evaluators will assess the worth of your items. OHS volunteer and book appraiser John Henley has recruited many of Portland’s top appraisers to provide Antiques Roadshow-style evaluations of your treasures. Items that can be evaluated include art, books, coins, political buttons, jewelry, American Indian art and artifacts, clothing, autographs, and more. Proceeds from this new fundraiser will support OHS operations and programs. Note: Firearms and weapons are not permitted. All items presented for evaluation must be able to be carried by hand. Evaluations that are provided are not considered paid appraisals.


History Pub

“Workers in the Wine Industry: Stories of the Labor that Supports One of Oregon’s Most Successful Industries”

Jesus Guillén and Leda Garside

Monday, August 25 at 7 PM

At McMenamins Kennedy School

Free and open to the public; canned food donations accepted for the Oregon Food Bank


Workers in vineyards and cellars provide the labor that is necessary to craft Oregon’s internationally recognized wines. As in other agricultural industries, many of those laborers are of Latino heritage, including many recent immigrants to the United States. Two people intimately involved with the work that makes Oregon wines truly remarkable will offer first-person accounts about their work. Jesus Guillén followed his father from Mexico to the Oregon vineyards in 2002, falling in love with the state on arrival. Beginning as a vineyard worker, he quickly began to learn English and study winemaking, working his way up to become Head Winemaker of White Rose Estate in 2008. Leda Garside had worked in community health for many years when she joined Tuality Healthcare in 1992. As she began to focus more of her work on migrant health care, leaders in the local wine industry were exploring ways to better serve the healthcare needs of vineyard workers. They hired Leda to run the fledgling ¡Salud! program in 1997, and she continues in the role today, providing health care to thousands of workers and families that make Oregon’s award-winning wines possible. In addition to the presentations, information about the Oregon Wine History Archive at Linfield College will be available. This program is offered in collaboration with the Oregon Historical Society’s summer exhibit Clink! A Taste of Oregon Wine.


History Pub is organized by McMenamins, Holy Names Heritage Center, and OHS, and supported by a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition (funded via Oregon Cultural Trust).


Willamette Week Wine Wednesday: Willamette Valley Vineyards

Wednesday, August 27 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM

Tickets: $15, includes three tastes, appetizers, and after-hours access to Clink!

Buy Tickets Now! | Space is limited


What would an exhibition on the history of Oregon wine be without a chance to taste some of Oregon’s finest varietals? Join us in our tasting room for an exclusive happy hour event with Willamette Valley Vineyards! Founder Jim Bernau purchased the Estate site in 1983 and cleared away the old pioneer plum orchard hidden in scotch broom and blackberry vines. He planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris, and in the beginning he hand watered these vines with thousands of feet of hose. A combination of determination and extraordinary people has brought Willamette Valley Vineyards from an idea to one of the region’s leading wineries, earning the title of “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.




Wayne Morse Political Cartoon Exhibit

September – October

Part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series

University of Oregon Library, Eugene

Free & open to the public


Featuring Jack Ohman, political cartoonist, as keynote speaker on September 30. Wayne Morse collected over one hundred signed original editorial cartoons that were published about him in newspapers around the country. This exhibit will display a representative sample that illustrates his legacy not only during the Vietnam era but also his contributions and controversies with the Republican Party, disputes with several presidents, and conservation and labor issues. Cosponsors include the University of Oregon Libraries and the Wayne Morse Historical Park Board Corporation.

This event is part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series presented by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Wayne Morse was known for many policies that he championed – labor rights, civil rights, aid to education and conservation. But his most enduring legacy is his consistent and courageous dissent against the Vietnam War. These programs highlight Morse’s prescient opposition to the war on constitutional and moral grounds and the continuing issues of war powers and military policy. All events are free and opened to the public and are cosponsored by The UO Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, Oregon Historical Society, World Affairs Council of Oregon, and The Constitution Project.

“The Echoes of the Vietnam War”

Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 PM

Christian Appy, Daniel Ellsberg, and Lt. Colonel Thuy Tran

Part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series

At the First Congregational Church

Free & open to the public; space is limited, registration required


Christian Appy is the author of Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (Viking, 2003), an award-winning oral history of the war. His current book project examines the war’s impact on American national identity, particularly the idea of American exceptionalism, from the 1950s to the present. Daniel Ellsberg was a consultant at RAND when he released the Pentagon study of U.S. decision making in the Vietnam War which came to be known as The Pentagon Papers. He is also the author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and The Pentagon Papers. Thuy Tran is on the board of advisers for the Vietnamese community of Oregon, where she previously served as vice president. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the 142 Medical Group, Portland Air National Guard.


This event is part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series presented by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Wayne Morse was known for many policies that he championed – labor rights, civil rights, aid to education and conservation. But his most enduring legacy is his consistent and courageous dissent against the Vietnam War. These programs highlight Morse’s prescient opposition to the war on constitutional and moral grounds and the continuing issues of war powers and military policy. All events are free and opened to the public and are cosponsored by The UO Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, Oregon Historical Society, World Affairs Council of Oregon, and The Constitution Project.


Clink! End of Summer Celebration

Sunday, September 14 from 1 – 4 PM

Tickets: $15, includes wine tasting (museum admission not included)

Buy Tickets Now!


Savor the last taste of our Oregon summer at a closing event for Clink! Join renowned wineries ArborBrookBrooks, Cooper Mountain, Elk Cove, Maysara and Ponzi for tastings, and then listen to a special Second Sunday presentation by Susan Sokol Blosser at 2 PM.


Second Sunday

Susan Sokol Blosser

Sunday, September 14 at 2 PM

Free & open to the public


When Susan Sokol Blosser and Bill Blosser planted their first vines in the Dundee Hills of Oregon in 1971 – during a time of unpredictability and change – little did they know how the industry would flourish 40 years later. Join Founder Susan Sokol Blosser as she explores the story behind the early stages of Oregon wine history set in a time characterized by movements and people changing the world – civil rights, feminism, and more. Hear her perspective of how the life, times and individualism mindset of the 60s and 70s potentially planted the first seeds that drove the pioneering families to move to this state and root themselves in uncharted “Oregon wine” territory.


Susan Sokol Blosser, wine industry pioneer, community leader, environmental advocate, and author, is a contemporary Oregon icon. As Sokol Blosser Winery’s president (1991-2008), she was a forerunner in practicing the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) while pursuing her vision of great wine. She has written two books: At Home in the Vineyard: Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life and Gracious & Ruthless: Surprising Strategies for Business Success.


Worldwide Spin in Public Day

Saturday, September 22, 10 AM – 5 PM

Free and open to the public

Oregon’s diverse climates and fertile environments made it a booming hub for textiles in the 19th century. American entrepreneurs saw an emerging textile market all across the western territories, and they went to Oregon to make their fortunes. Raising livestock and making fiber, these frontier craftsmen produced goods that rivaled the finest cloths of Europe. In celebration of this history, OHS will host the Portland Spinnerati for “Worldwide Spin in Public Day.” Come meet us in the plaza, where the spinners will be using wheels and spindles to honor the lost art of hand-made textiles.


Smithsonian Museum Day

Saturday, September 27, 10 AM – 5 PM

Free admission with Museum Day Ticket


In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums who offer free admission every day, Museum Day 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! Visit the Oregon History Museum to see 2 Years, 1 Month: Lincoln’s Legacy before it closes October 6. Print your Museum Day ticket at


Line of Fire: Cartooning's Political Impact

Monday, September 29 at 6:30 PM

Jack Ohman, Political Cartoonist, Sacramento Bee 

Moderated by Kerry Tymchuk

Part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series

Location TBD (Portland)

Free & open to the public; registration required at


Join us for a lively conversation about political cartooning, politics, and history in Jack Ohman's first Portland public appearance since his departure from The Oregonian. This event is part of the Wayne Morse Legacy Series, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and Senator Wayne Morse's brave dissent against that resolution and the war. Sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon; cosponsored by the Oregon Historical Society and the World Affairs Council.




Living History Performance

“The Great Dissenters: An Evening with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice John Marshall Harlan”

Presented in costume by Bill Barton and Paul DeMuniz

Monday, October 6 at 7 PM

At the Oregon Historical Society

Free and open to the public; space is limited, please RSVP to


Join Oregon attorney Bill Barton and former Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz for a living history presentation on two prominent figures in American judicial history, Justice John Marshall Harlan and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It was Harlan’s lone dissents in the “Civil Rights Cases” 109 U.S. 3 (1883) (in which Harlan maintained that discrimination in public accommodations was a “badge of slavery”) and Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 537 (1896) (in which Harlan argued that Louisiana’s law requiring whites and blacks to ride in “separate but equal” railroad cars violated the Fourteenth Amendment) that secured for Harlan his place as one of the Supreme Court’s greatest justices. In 1881 Holmes published The Common Law in which he said that the only source of law is a judicial decision, and that judges decided cases on the facts, and the true basis for judicial decision are drawn from outside the law. During his tenure on the Supreme Court, Holmes advocated broad freedom of speech under the First Amendment, and his most famous dissent was Abrams v. U.S., 250 U.S. 630 (1919) which ultimately went on to become the bedrock of free speech protections in America.


Second Sunday

“A Novel Look at Oregon’s African American History”

Jane Kirkpatrick and R. Gregory Nokes

Sunday, October 12, 2 PM

At the Oregon Historical Society

Free and open to the public


Bestselling and award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick and former journalist and author R. Gregory Nokes share their stories of African Americans who settled in early Oregon. Kirkpatrick's latest novel, A Light in the Wilderness, is based on the life of Letitia Carson, an 1845 emigrant from Missouri who may or may not have been a slave when she left with her common law Irish husband Davey Carson. After his death in the Soap Creek Valley near Corvallis, Letitia Carson had occasion to bring a lawsuit during a turbulent time in Oregon for persons of color. Jane’s book is Letitia’s story. Nokes's latest title, Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory, which was a non-fiction finalist for a 2014 Oregon Book Award, sets the stage for understanding the hidden stories of black pioneers, both those who came voluntarily and those who came as slaves. Together these authors explore the weave of fact and fiction and how each brings novel ideas to advance our understanding of history and the men and women who went before us.


Oregon Archives Crawl & Community Day

Saturday, October 18, 10 AM – 3 PM

Access to archival institutions at OHS, Multnomah County Central Library, and City of Portland Archives and Records Center

Free and open to the public


The fourth annual Oregon Archives Crawl takes place in three locations — Multnomah County Central Library, Oregon Historical Society, and City of Portland Archives and Records Center — and features collections from dozens more. This celebration of Oregon Archives Month offers the opportunity to meet real, live archivists representing over thirty Oregon archives and cultural organizations and see fabulous examples from their varied collections! OHS will feature special library tours and activities for the whole family. Admission is free for everyone all day! Visit the Oregon Archives Crawl website for up to the date information.


Home Movie Day

Saturday, October 18, 10 AM – 5 PM

At the Northwest Film Center

Free and open to the public


Home Movie Day is an international event put on locally by film folks interested in dusting off and projecting the home movies found in your basements and attics. Films to be projected include 16mm, 8 mm and super 8 mm. No video tapes will be screened. All movies will be inspected and repaired before projecting. Audience members are encouraged to watch others’ home movies and participate in the screenings while waiting for their own films. Information will also be available regarding transfer services in the Northwest, best practices for storing movies at home, and organizations that might be interested in accepting your films into their permanent collection. For more information on the history of Home Movie Day as well as other locations around the world visit the Center for Home Movies.



Make Your Next Meeting Historic!


Are you a member of a group or organization that would like to learn more about the Oregon Historical Society? Invite an OHS volunteer docent to attend your next meeting to learn about the exciting programs and services YOUR Historical Society has to offer!


Please fill out the form below and return to Rachel Randles at or by mail to 1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205. Once we receive your request, we will connect you with a volunteer docent to further discuss your event.


Event Request Form (PDF)


Partner Events & Programs


Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon Poster

The Oregon Historical Society is excited to partner with the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon. Produced by Destination Races, this popular race is held in the heart of Willamette Valley, less than an hour's drive from Portland. The event features a magnificent sunrise start at Stoller Family Estate, and 13.1 miles along scenic back roads graced by vineyards, farms, and orchards. The course finishes in the town of Carlton for the post-race Wine & Music Festival hosted by Ken Wright Cellars and partnering Willamette Valley Vintners. Register at


OHS Members have the option to attend Early Packet Pick-Up at OHS for free ($15 value) on Thursday, August 28 from 5-7 PM . Pick up your packet, enjoy wine and appetizers, and check out the Clink! exhibit. To RSVP for this event, email


Screening: The Gentleman of the Senate: Oregon’s Mark Hatfield

Sunday, September 7, 4 PM

At Portland State University’s Lincoln Performance Hall

1620 SW Park Avenue, Portland

Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased at



The Oregon Historical Society is proud to have provided archival footage and photographs to support the creation of this new documentary about the life and career of former Governor and United States Senator Mark O. Hatfield. Following the screening, there will be a special reception at the Oregon Historical Society. Proceeds from the premiere and reception will help fund the donation of a DVD copy of the film to every library in the state of Oregon.





Oregon Experience


Oregon Experience logo

From historical biographies to issues and events that have shaped our state, Oregon Experience is an exciting television series co-produced by OPB and the Oregon Historical Society. The series explores Oregon’s rich past and helps all of us – from natives to newcomers – gain a better understanding of the historical, social, and political fabric of our state. Each half-hour show brings to life fascinating characters – both familiar and forgotten – who have played key roles in building our state into the unique place we call home.


Upcoming Episodes:


The Beach Bill

In 1967 Governor Tom McCall signed the Beach Bill with great fanfare — granting the public recreational access to Oregon’s beaches. But the bill almost died in committee. A behind the scenes look at the history, politics and people behind HB 1601.


Air Dates:
Monday, August 4, 9:00 PM

Wednesday, August 6, 2:00 AM



In 1852, beer came to the Northwest quenching the thirsts of loggers, miners, fisherman and farmers. Today Portland is the beer capital of the world. The story of the industry through compelling and amusing anecdotes of the Oregon beer community.


Air Dates:
Monday, August 4, 9:30 PM

Wednesday, August 6, 2:30 AM


NEW! Oregon Historical Photo of the Week

Every week, Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state's diverse, exciting history. All photos are courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society. Click for today's photo.

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