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.
Spring & Summer 2013 Calendar of Events click here (PDF)
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“The Accomplishments and Adventures of the Oregon Geographic Names Board” Sharon Nesbit and Mary McArthur
Monday, November 25, 7 PM
McMenamins Kennedy School
Free and open to the public
Celebrating its 105th anniversary Oct. 1, the Oregon Geographic Names Board (OGNB) is one of the least known, yet most fascinating, components of the Oregon Historical Society. The all-volunteer board of historians, cartographers, journalists, and authorities on the state's landscape meets twice a year to consider new and changed names on the state map before making recommendations to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. From contentious to comical, the board's discussions range from heated battles over changing the numerous "squaw" names in Oregon to musing over how small a creek should be before it goes unnamed. Sharon Nesbit and Mary McArthur, retiring president and vice-president, of the board will talk about naming features in Oregon. Nesbit is a columnist and Troutdale-area historian. McArthur is the third McArthur, along with her grandfather and father, to have her name on the spine of the book, Oregon Geographic Names.
Oregon Encyclopedia History Night
“Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods”
Tuesday, November 26, 6:30 PM
Free and open to the public
Each month, the Oregon Encyclopedia hosts History Nights at McMenamins Pubs in Portland, Troutdale, and Bend. At each History Night, the OE looks back at the people and events that have shaped our communities. History Nights are sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, the Des Chutes Historical Museum, and the Northwest Examiner. Learn more about the Oregon Encyclopedia at http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/.
A Celebration of Oregon Authors
Sunday, December 1, noon - 4 PM
Kick off your holiday shopping at Holiday Cheer, our annual book sale and author celebration. In its 46th year, Holiday Cheer is a chance to celebrate the rich literary talents in Oregon, and marks the start to the holiday season at the Oregon Historical Society. Listen to carolers, have a chat with your favorite author, and pick up a personally signed book for everyone on your holiday shopping list!
Click here for a list of the authors.
John F. Kennedy Lecture with James Swanson
Author of End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (to be released November 12, 2013)
Tuesday, December 10, 7 PM
First Congregational Church | 1126 SW Park Ave., Portland
Tickets: $25 GA, $20 OHS Member
50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Oregon Historical Society is honored to host author James Swanson in Portland for a lecture on an event which so dramatically shaped American history. In conjunction with the anniversary, the Kennedy section in the Oregon History Museum’s Windows on America exhibit, currently displaying Jack Ruby’s wallet, will expand this November to include additional historic material relating to that tragic day in Dallas. Click here to read more about James Swanson and End of Days.
Winter Community Day
Saturday, December 14, 11 AM – 3 PM
Free admission all day
Children and adults alike can drop in anytime from 11 AM to 3 PM to learn how to fold origami ornaments and holiday cards from local instructor Yuki Martin. Community Day activities will also include the unveiling of an exhibit component featuring the work of local origami artists associated with POPS, the Portland, Oregon, Paper Shapers. Members of POPS will also be doing folding demonstrations in the exhibit during the day.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Member Discount: It’s a Wonderful Life Presented by Stumptown Stages
OHS Members: Save $10 on tickets (call or visit the Box Office in person and let them know you are an OHS member)
November 21 – December 22, 2013
Brunish Theatre at the Portland'5 Centers for the Arts.
Nominated for numerous PAMTA’s, winner of seven and loved by audiences, Stumptown Stages’ original musical based on a holiday classic is back for its second season! This tale, of an angel who shows a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman what life would have been like if he never existed, is sure to warm the heart and bring holiday joy! Be sure to join us for this new Portland holiday tradition!
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.
Next Episode: “Portland Noir”
Portland’s illicit past is filled with tales of shanghaied sailors, opium dens, and open vice. The city’s underground activities began early in its history. In the 1800s, Portland was the Northwest's major trading center. With a population of mostly young male migratory workers, the port town gained an international reputation for violence and lawlessness. Over the years, stories of the era have taken on legendary proportions. Portland Noir examines the true story of the city’s sordid history.
Pre-screening at McMenamins Mission Theater
October 11, 2013, 7 PM (doors open at 6 PM)
Free and open to the public
Air Date: Monday, October 21, 9 PM