News and Press

Stay up to date on the latest news from the Oregon Historical Society by browsing recent media coverage and news releases. 

For all media inquiries, or for questions on Oregon Historical Society logo usage, please contact:  

Rachel Randles
Director of Marketing & Communications
p 503.306.5221

Press Kit

Press Releases

Oregon Historical Quarterly Summer 2018 Special Issue “Oregon’s Manila Galleon” Wins 2019 AASLH Award of Excellence

August 13, 2019

The Oregon Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that the Oregon Historical Quarterly is the recipient of an American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Award of Excellence for the publication’s Summer 2018 special issue, “Oregon’s Manila Galleon.” The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 74th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. OHS staff will accept the award on behalf of the Quarterly’s editorial advisory committee at a special banquet during the 2019 AASLH Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, on Friday, August 30.

Oregon Historical Society’s Fifth Annual “Celebrity Chocolate Cake Smack-down” Celebrates 60th Anniversary of the Oregon State Fair’s Gerry Frank Chocolate Layer Cake Contest

August 8, 2019

For 60 years, the sole judge of the Oregon State Fair’s Chocolate Layer Cake Contest has been the one and only Gerry Frank—public servant, business leader, and cheerleader for all things Oregon. Back by popular demand, the Oregon Historical Society (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland) will host its fifth annual Celebrity Chocolate Cake Smack-down on Monday, August 12, at 12pm with Gerry as the judge. Join us for this free public event and watch as local community leaders and media personalities present their best recipes for judgment, and join in the tasting once Gerry declares a winner!

“Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II” Opens at the Oregon Historical Society July 12

July 11, 2019

On Friday, July 12, the Oregon Historical Society is proud to open a new special exhibit called “Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II.” Produced by The National WWII Museum, the exhibit features artifacts, photographs, and oral histories that highlight some of the extraordinary achievements and challenges of African Americans during World War II, both overseas and on the Home Front. In the years before World War II, African Americans in many parts of the country were treated as second-class citizens. The government condoned discriminatory practices and denied African Americans many rights and liberties through laws that kept them in positions of inferiority. On display through January 12, 2020, “Fighting for the Right to Fight” illustrates how hopes for securing equality inspired many to enlist, the discouraging reality of the segregated noncombat roles given to black recruits, and the continuing fight for “Double Victory” that laid the groundwork for the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Over 50 Oregon Students Qualify to Advance to National History Day Contest in Maryland

June 7, 2019

On Saturday, April 27, over 200 students gathered at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland to compete at Oregon History Day, the statewide qualifying competition for the annual National History Day (NHD) contest. Students presented over 100 research projects, in the forms of papers, documentaries, websites, performances, and exhibits, in front of 62 judges to determine which projects would advance to National History Day® in College Park, Maryland. Over a quarter of those students placed high enough to advance, and many will be traveling across the country this weekend to represent Oregon at the University of Maryland, near Washington, D.C., June 9 – 13.

Local artists redefine quilting in new Oregon Historical Society exhibit, On the Edge: An Exhibition by SAQA Oregon Artists

May 14, 2019

Quilting has long been at the core of Oregon history. According to the Oregon Encyclopedia, for women who were preparing to embark on the Oregon Trail, “quilt-making was an important part of the preparation for moving west, as women focused on the need for bedding and to make sure they had something to keep them emotionally connected to their past.” Fast-forward 150 years, and makers continue to create quilts that document the stories of our time. The evolution of the Art Quilt Movement has pushed the boundaries of what one envisions from a quilt, moving these sources of comfort and tradition off beds and onto gallery walls. The Oregon Historical Society is proud to host an original exhibit of art quilts developed by local Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) artists titled On the Edge. In Oregon, whether staring down from the top of a mountain or standing on a beach, we are all on the edge — be it physically, geographically, emotionally, philosophically, in personality, or in style. SAQA invited members to interpret, either in a representational or abstract way, a response to this theme, and the selected works are part of this two-gallery juried show, open now through August 15, 2019.

Press Coverage

Woolley directs Darcelle's life in drag

September 11, 2019

By Jason Vondersmith, Portland Tribune. Brandon Woolley moved to Portland in 2010, ironically the weekend of Pride Festival week. He'd heard about Darcelle and saw the legendary drag queen in the crowd. "I don't think I made it to the club until six months later, and I was mesmerized by this tiny little bar in Old Town, where four nights a week you see fantastic drag and campy fun choreography," said Woolley, referencing Darcelle XV Showplace, where Darcelle, aka Walter Cole, has performed since the 1960s.

Darcelle is finally having her Portland moment

September 10, 2019

By Lizzy Acker, The Oregonian/OregonLive. Four nights a week, 88-year-old Walter Cole heads to the bar he bought 52 years ago in Old Town Portland. He arrives a few hours before the 8:30 p.m. show and starts to get ready for the night ahead. His first step is the make-up, centered on trademark thick and sparkly eyebrows that take up a third of his face. He still applies it all himself, and as he does, Cole transforms from Walter into Darcelle -- a Portland icon and the Guinness Book of World Records recognized “Oldest Drag Queen” in the world. Now, 51 years after Cole first started performing in drag, he and Darcelle are getting a musical, opening Sept. 19 at Lincoln Hall, and an exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, on now through Nov. 3.

Being Darcelle: ‘That’s No Lady’

August 19, 2019

By Jason Vondersmith, Portland Tribune. To say Donald Horn has been busy documenting the life and times of Walter Cole, aka Darcelle, the longtime Portland female impersonator, would be an understatement. Horn's Triangle Productions will stage "That's No Lady," the story of Darcelle, next month at Lincoln Performance Hall. About the same time, Horn's 725-page book by the same name comes out via Amazon/KDP Publishing. On Aug. 30, Horn's curated exhibit of Darcelle's costumes, "The Many Shades of Being Darcelle," opens at the Oregon Historical Society. And, not only has paperwork been submitted to list Cole's Northeast Portland home on the National Register of Historic Places, an effort led by Horn, but he'll try to earn the same designation for Darcelle XV Showplace at 208 N.W. Third Ave., site of the famous act for more than 50 years.

‘Wild Wild Country’ group discusses Rajneesh saga of 1980s

June 27, 2019

By KOIN 6 News Staff. It’s been nearly 40 years since the followers of Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh formed a large and influential city in rural Wasco County but the unique chapter in Oregon history still captivates many. Four key players from all sides of the Rajneesh episode, including 3 who appeared in “Wild Wild Country,” spoke Thursday at a seminar hosted by the Oregon Historical Society. The attorney and former member of the Rajneesh, Philip Toelkes, and the lead federal prosecutor of the case Bob Weaver were on the panel. William Gary, the lead counsel for Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer on the matter, and U.S. Magistrate Judge John Jelderks, who presided over several of the state court legal proceedings, also spoke.

Helix students triumph during history contest

June 22, 2019

By Tammy Malgesini, East Oregonian. Students from Helix were again recognized for their efforts in the Oregon History Day contest — qualifying for the National History Day event in Maryland. The state qualifying contest, which was open to students in sixth through 12th grade, was held April 27 at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland. This year’s theme was “Triumph and Tragedy in History.” The selection committee highlighted “Let Her Buck: The Tragic Story of Bonnie McCarroll,” a first place group documentary project by Kaylee Cope and Alexis Leake of Griswold High School. Judges called the project, “notable.”

Press Kit

Oregon Historical Society Logos

The following logos are available for OHS partners to download and use in promotional materials that have been approved through the OHS Marketing Department. The Oregon Historical Society horizontal logo is preferred in marketing materials, but the vertical logo can be used when necessary to fit within a particular layout.

OHS logos with black and white typefaces are both available. The black typeface should be used on materials with a white or light colored background. The white typeface should be used on materials with a black or dark colored background. The OHS logo includes both the gold Peace Medal emblem as well as the printed typeface and should never be applied separately from each other. The OHS logo should never be printed with a white or colored box surrounding it, and the full color logo should always be used unless prior permission has been received from the OHS Marketing Department to use a black and white version of the logo.

Black Typeface
  • Horizontal JPEG
  • Horizontal EPS
  • Vertical JPEG
  • Vertical EPS
White Typeface
  • Horizontal EPS
  • Vertical EPS

All of these logos can be downloaded in the following zip archive:

OHS Logos (ZIP, 4.5 MB)

If you have any questions regarding the use of the Oregon Historical Society logo, or if you need an alternative file type, please contact Rachel Randles, Director of Marketing & Communications.

Oregon Historical Society Boilerplate

For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state's collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (, educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon's history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful, and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon's cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.

For an expanded biography on OHS, please visit our About Us page.

For more information or additional materials, please contact:

Rachel Randles
Director of Marketing & Communications