Additional resources about Tom McCall, including links to Tom McCall bibliographies, service-learning support and additional enrichment materials.

McCall; Tom; 1913-1983 --Photographs.; OrHi 90708

"The proudest hour of my life."

Tom McCall was sworn into office as Oregon's 30th governor in January 1967.  

Governor Tom McCall & Audry; Samuel; Tad; Inauguration 1967.; Lot 353 Box 1 F5; OrHi 97357

With his family on the day of his inauguration, 1967.

Tom McCall; Mark Hatfield and Staub.; CN 012489

Tom McCall, Secretary of State, with Governor Mark Hatfield, and Oregon Treasurer Robert Straub. Hatfield preceded McCall as Governor. Straub succeeded McCall as governor.  

Tom McCall late 1970's.; Lot 353 Box 5 F10; OrHi 97318

Chaos reigned in McCall's office. 

Tom McCall typing in his study; 1981.; Lot 353 Box 5 F10; OrHi 97319

Big hands hunted and pecked out letters and speeches. (1981)

Tom McCall addressing Oregon legislature.; Lot 353 Box 2 F14; OrHi 97339

“Our thoughts today, and our deliberations to come, must spring from our determination to keep Oregon lovable and to make it even more livable.”

Tom McCall to the Oregon Legislature

Tom McCall visit to Oregon beaches, May 1967 Oregon public vs. private beach issue; Governor Tom McCall; Oregon beaches; Tom Lawson McCall photographs collection [graphic]; 1905-1984 (bulk 1966-1975); Org. Lot 353; box 1; folder 23; ba017646

McCall arriving by helicopter to capture the beaches for Oregon. 1967 

Tom McCall visit to Oregon beaches, May 1967. Oregon public vs. private beach issue; Governor Tom McCall; Oregon beaches; Tom Lawson McCall photographs collection [graphic]; 1905-1984 (bulk 1966-1975); Org. Lot 353; Box 1; Folder 23; ba017647

McCall with surveyors trying to determine the delineation between public and private beach ownership. 1967 

Beaches--Law and legislation--Oregon.; bb003335

McCall and Sidney Bazett consider the beach that had been blocked off by a Cannon Beach motel owner for the exclusive use of his guests. 1967 

Beaches--Law and legislation--Oregon.; bb003334

Where does public beach end and private beach begin? 

L-R Rep. Sidney Bazett; Robert Schultz; Gov. Tom McCall; 5/14/1967.; #690-A; OrHi 52609

“No local selfish interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our people.” Tom McCall

Tom McCall measuring Oregon Coast for public beach access.; OrHi 66578

“We cannot afford to ignore our responsibilities to the public of this state for protecting the dry sands from the encroachment of crass commercialism.” Tom McCall

Portrait of Tom McCall.  1982.  Oil on linen.  81 x 72".  Oregon State Capitol Collection, Salem.

This life size portrait of McCall was painted by Henk Pander in 1982. The scene portrays McCall's highly publicized tour of the Oregon coast. May 1967.


“True quality is absent if we allow social suffering to abide in an otherwise pristine environment.” Tom McCall


McCall shows his horsemanship in a local parade. 

Tom McCall fishing on McCall Ranch; Crooked River; Oregon; 4/20/1925.; Lot 353 Box 1 F1; OrHi 97326

McCall's family ranch was in Crook County near Prineville. He never outgrew his love for Oregon. 

Gov. Tom McCall canoeing Willamette River.; Lot 353 Box2 F6; OrHi 97343

The impact of industry on the Willamette River was subject matter for McCall’s documentary, Pollution in Paradise.

Tom McCall fishing; early 1980's?; Lot 353 Box1 F11; OrHi 97348

Still fishing.

Tom McCall fishing North Umpqua River by Daniel Callaghan

The Statue of Tom McCall was based on this photo taken by Daniel Callaghan. McCall stepping out of the North Umpqua River. Steelhead in one hand, fishing rod in the other.

Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park

Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park 

Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park
Statue of Tom McCall placed in Salem at Riverfront Park


In an interview with author Studs Terkel, McCall said, "Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better."

In his farewell address to the Oregon Legislature, McCall said, "May we forever prove (by our action) that people can join together for mutual benefit and greater good."

This curriculum guide is based on the belief that young people gain much from the merger of classroom learning with community action. Through service learning, students develop leadership and problem solving skills. They practice being thoughtful, active community members, and learning becomes deeper, more personal.

Essential Questions

What is special about Oregon?

What does it mean to be a hero?


Classroom learning focuses on helping students understand the Beach Bill, the Bottle Bill, the Bicycle Bill and Land Use Planning, and Tom McCall's role in their passage.

The Community Action part of this unit reflects McCall's belief that only ordinary citizens can sustain the livability and environmental concerns that make Oregon special. Students work together, applying reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, to address a real community need.

Common Core State Standards

Student Objectives

Students will be able to

  • Interpret Tom McCall's quotes through writing/drawing/dramatic recital.
  • Identify/understand the major policy issues associated with McCall's time as Oregon Governor, i.e., The Bottle Bill, The Beach Bill, The Bicycle Bill and Land Use Planning.
  • Understand how these policies are intertwined with issues of livability and environmental protection.
  • Identify community members, heroes, who work for "the greater good".
  • Work together to identify, plan for, and address community issues/problems.


Literary Texts

  • Poems
William Stafford, Oregon Poet

Informational Texts

  • Tom McCall Biographies & Speeches
  • Original Text of

Art, Music, Media

Sample Activities and Assessments

Classroom Learning

Video Response and Written Journal Reflection: Watch eleven minute video montage of Tom McCall. Students keep a journal entry of questions and emotional response to the video. What video snapshot do you want to know more about? Which piece had the most emotional tug? What questions were you asking as the video was playing?

Class Discussion: Using the video as a starting place, Introduce the policies most closely associated with Tom McCall: Beach, Bottle, Bike, and Land Use Planning. (mnemonic device: BBBLUP).

Internet Research: Students discover additional information about the policies. Use Oregon Blue Book, Oregon Historical Society, and/or Oregon Archives. Students differentiate information as coming from primary or secondary sources.

Class Discussion: Share learning through small group activities such as share/pair.

Poetry Response/Journal Write/ Class Discussion: Read William Stafford's poem, With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach. Students write about beach experiences, outdoor experiences. What is there about Oregon's beaches that draw people in? If Oregon's beaches were privately owned, how would personal experiences be different?

Video Analysis: Watch the video a second time. Students look for direct references to the BBBLUP bills. How is the second viewing different from the first? Refer back to journal writing from first viewing. Are there any snapshots that students want to see again? Students really listen to McCall's voice. What words are pronounced oddly? What does he appear to be most passionate about?

Quotes Study/Discussion/Journal Response: Using McCall's quote about heroes, students identify the attributes of a hero and consider the heroes within their own community, the ordinary people who make the world a little bit better. Is Tom McCall a hero? Students read additional McCall quotes, select one to respond through journal writing.

Blog: Create a classroom blog site to document service-learning work.

Dramatic Interpretation:What would Tom McCall Say? Students memorize a quote or a piece from the video, and give a dramatic interpretation of it. Students could also look at current issues through the eyes of Tom McCall and create "quotes" for him. Students have access to the video on OHS website.

Music:Use the CD of Time and Rivers Flowing, by Mason Williams as the theme music for this unit. Mason Williams used music to protect the North Fork of the Willamette River from proposed hydro-electric dams. Is Mason Williams a hero? Do you have enough information to make the determination?

Reflective Essay:Write a response to the essential questions: What does it mean to be a hero? -or- What is special about Oregon? Use and site appropriate Tom McCall quotes.


Using the service-learning model, students identify a need in their community to address. Students conduct research, propose solutions, and act upon them.

  • Identify the ordinary people in the community who are heroes. Interview them, create a document of their work for placement in the local library.
  • Work with local Watershed Councils on projects to clean rivers and streams.
  • Team with Soil and Water Conservation Districts to protect land and water resources.
  • Create poetry for a local trail that describes trail sites and animals. Create a brochure to be left at the trail head.
  • Create a Tom McCall play to teach others about his life and work. Film it for class blog.
  • Watch " The Story of Stuff" Annie Leonard. Create lessons for younger students or a group within the community.
  • Work with a community group to sponsor an environmental film festival.
  • Study local recycling efforts. Look around the school. What is going to waste? How can cafeteria food be recycled?
  • Sew and distribute reusable grocery bags out of recycled materials. (Old t-shirts)
  • Working with recycling centers, conduct recycling audits for community businesses. Present findings and recommendations to business owners, boards of non-profits.
  • Sponsor a SOLV Beach, River, Stream Clean-Up. Engage the greater community.
  • Write letters, testify to decision-makers about a community issue of importance.

Additional Resources




  • Activist
  • Land Use Planning
  • Public Rights/Private Rights
  • Service-Learning

Making Interdisciplinary Connections

This unit could be extended to teach:

  • Science/Chemistry: Causes of pollution, environmental degradation.
  • Science/Civics: Environment, role of government and individuals in protecting natural resources.