Spring 2012

Issue 113:1

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In this Issue:

Senator Wayne L. Morse’s Challenge to the Cold War Presidency

by Larry Ceplair

Historian Larry Ceplair argues that no other public figure dissented as strongly, eloquently, and lengthily against United States involvement in Vietnam as did Wayne L. Morse, the four-term United States Senator from Oregon (1945–1969). That campaign, however, was only one of several he fought to prevent the executive branch from taking the nation to war without congressional approval. Morse spoke against every resolution giving the president a blank-check, in the straits of Taiwan, the Middle East, and the Gulf of Tonkin. His words registered on the planners of the war, the antiwar movement, and some members of Congress. Legislation he had proposed to limit the war powers of the president eventually was passed by Congress. Nevertheless, Ceplair points out, presidential war continues as an unwritten amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Portland’s Gettysburg Cyclorama: A Story of Art, Entertainment, and Memory

by Jeffry Uecker

Portland, Oregon’s, Gettysburg Cyclorama opened the last week of December 1887. Measuring 30 feet high and 300 feet in circumference and housed in a large sixteen-sided building, the great cylindrical painting viewed from within helped mark Portland as a major American population and cultural hub. The first cyclorama permanently exhibited in the Pacific Northwest, the huge image of the bloody 1863 battle attracted thousands of visitors and highlighted the city’s Civil War observances. Closing to the general public in March of 1892 — a victim of shifting demographics and changing tastes — the enormous canvas continued to grace the large rotunda’s walls adorning numerous businesses until the building’s 1910 demolition. The story of the creation and short-lived popularity of Portland’s long-lost battle painting is a tale about the relationship between images and historical understanding — one that reveals how late-nineteenth-century Oregonians recalled the origins and legacy of the Civil War.

The Late-Life Career of Marian Wood Kolisch

by Jennifer Strayer

In 1972, Marian Wood Kolisch began a career in photography. She had been a creative individual her entire life but did not find her professional niche until age fifty-two. Kolisch studied with prominent photographers, including Ansel Adams and Arnold Newman. Like Newman, her specialty was environmental portraiture where the subject is photographed in his or her own environment. Using environmental portraiture and recorded interviews, Kolisch produced her best-known body of work: documentation of Oregon’s creative class. Included in this undertaking were Pietro Belluschi, Thomas Vaughan, John Yeon, Arlene Schnitzer, and LaVerne Krause. Through a series of interviews with Kolisch and an examination of her work-related notes and correspondence, Jennifer Strayer explores the contribution Kolisch made by preserving a segment of Oregon’s history and Kolisch’s feelings about her late-life accomplishment.

Historic Oregon Newspapers Online: Bringing Oregon’s “first rough draft of history” into a New Era of Public Accessibility

by Jason Stone

Developed by the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP), Historic Oregon Newspapers http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/) is a website that provides instant access to a wealth of our state’s journalism heritage, free of charge and open to anyone who is connected to the Internet. Jason Stone, who was ODNP Project Manager through the initial two-year implementation phase, recounts the evolution of the program, describes the process of historical newspaper digitization, and offers instructions and tips for best use of the online resource.

An Inheritance: A Gift to the Deschutes County Historical Society’s Tells the Story of a Life, a Family, and a Town

by Kelly Cannon-Miller

At her death in 2010, Marjorie B. Smith of Bend, Oregon, left her family’s historic building to the care of the Deschutes County Historical Society. As the only surviving commercial wooden-frame structure from the original Bend downtown district, the 102-year-old building and its contents reveal new information and artifacts relevant to the history of Bend as well as provide a challenge for a small historical society to manage. The bequest also created a unique relationship between two non-profits: the Deschutes County Historical Society and the Central Oregon Community College Foundation, who must decide when objects in the bequest are better served as artifacts in the society’s collection or sold to benefit scholarship funds established as part of the will.