“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.
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.
May 6, 2019
In 1964, The Beatles came to America for the first of the group's three North American visits. Their journey in America began on Friday, February 7 of that year, when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr arrived from the UK at the newly named John F. Kennedy International Airport. With cameras flashing and reporters jostling, they were whisked into Manhattan amid the screams, shouts, and tears of New York-area teens, braving the cold for a mere glimpse of the band. Then, that Sunday, the veritable king of the television variety show, Ed Sullivan, introduced them to a captivated American audience of more than 73 million viewers — at the time a television record. And, just like that, Beatlemania was upon us. Curated by the GRAMMY Museum and Fab Four Exhibits, Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! brings us back to the early ‘60s when rock and roll was re-energized — some say saved — by four lads from Liverpool. Opening at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland on Friday, May 10, this exhibit covers the period from early 1964 through mid-1966 — the years Beatlemania ran rampant in America. During this time, the band affected nearly every aspect of pop culture, including fashion, art, advertising, media, and, of course, music. “It doesn’t take a hard day’s night of thinking to understand the impact that The Beatles had on the history of music and popular culture,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “The Oregon Historical Society is excited to bring to Portland this fun, interactive exhibition celebrating the band that forever changed rock and roll.”
March 22, 2019
The Oregon Historical Society is excited to partner once again with TEDxPortland on the Ideas Booth to crowd-source an Idea Worth Spreading for TEDxPortland Year 9! Created in 2018 and unique to TEDxPortland, community members can visit the Ideas Booth at the Oregon Historical Society for a chance to join the TEDxPortland stage – a platform that has hosted names including Ann Curry, Macklemore, and Colin O’Brady. The Ideas Booth will be accepting ideas from March 22 through April 2 and is open during regular Oregon Historical Society museum hours. All visitors to the Ideas Booth will also receive free admission to visit the Oregon Historical Society!
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.
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.”
Darcelle’s story is becoming a musical, with a score by the likes of Storm Large, Tom Grant and Quarterflash
June 12, 2019
By Lee Williams, The Oregonian/OregonLive. There are labors of love. Then there's "That's No Lady," a rhinestone-studded obsession. The upcoming musical honors the 88-year life of Portland's Darcelle XV, last year’s guest of honor at the Portland Pride Parade — and Guinness World Record holder as the oldest working drag queen in the world. The show premieres in September from Triangle Productions. Don Horn, Triangle's founder and the show's creator, visited Cole at his Northeast Portland home every Wednesday for the past 2½ years, poring through decades of photos, newspaper articles and VHS tapes. He dug into archives at Darcelle's signature nightclub, Darcelle XV Showplace, and interviewed fellow performers and friends. Working with Cole, Horn whittled some of Darcelle's 1,500 costumes for "The Many Shades of Being Darcelle: 52 Years of Fashion, 1967-2019," an exhibit that opens at the Oregon Historical Society Aug. 30 and runs through Nov. 3. A few signature looks will appear in "That's No Lady," as well as choreography by dancer Roc "Roxy" Neuhardt, Cole's life partner, who died in 2017.
June 6, 2019
By Devon Haskins, KGW. "We didn't think about it. Our duty was to hit the beach. That's what we did." Those words are from mortar machinist Navy 3rd Class, Ben Asquith. He was among the 34 thousand that landed on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion at Normandy. The invasion originally scheduled for May 1944 was delayed due to a lack of landing craft. Weather almost delayed it once again, but the decision to move forward with the invasion was made by the Commander of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, General Dwight Eisenhower.
June 6, 2019
By McKenna Ross, The Oregonian/OregonLive. The thing Ben Asquith remembers most about D-Day was the sound of the machine guns. The 94-year-old World War II veteran was a machinist third class for the Navy when he landed on Omaha Beach 75 years ago. Though June 6, 1944, was hectic with history’s largest amphibious invasion landing in Normandy, the clearest detail to him is still the firepower. “The most vivid thing in my mind about the invasion was the noise,” Asquith, wearing his sailor’s uniform and a boutonniere, said. “It was war.” Asquith and two other veterans told dozens about their experiences on the day experts say changed World War II at the Oregon Historical Society on Thursday. The “A Celebration of Heroes” event allowed dozens to meet World War II veterans.
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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 ( www.ohs.org), 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.
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