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Japanese American Oral History Project

  • Japanese American Oral History Project
  • Collection
  • 1992-1998

A series of oral history interviews conducted between 1992 and 1998 with Japanese Americans in Oregon. Loen Dozono of the Japanese American Citizen's League (JACL) collaborated with OHS on this project. The interviews were conducted by JACL and OHS staff and volunteers. They aimed to interview Issei (first generation Japanese Americans), and ultimately also interviewed several Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans).

Portland Neighborhood History Project

  • Mss 2577-SR
  • Collection
  • 1976-1979

The Portland Neighborhood History Project was one of the first extensive oral history projects in Oregon. In the late 1970s, the Parks Department recruited volunteers to interview elders in their own neighborhoods in order to gather first hand accounts of the history and development of the various neighborhoods in Portland. The interviews were later donated to the Oregon Historical Society.

Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories

  • Mss 2988-SR
  • Collection
  • 2000 - 2013

The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) was established in Portland, Oregon, by Tom Cook in the early 1990s. Since then the organization has collected archival materials and oral histories from organizations and individuals active in lesbian and gay issues in the Portland area and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of these oral histories were gathered by Portland State University students, from the late 90s to present.

Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series

  • Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series
  • Collection

A series of oral history interviews and an essay by Anne Cummins. She interviewed individuals who worked as telephone operators in rural areas in the early part of the 20th century.

Oral history interview with Rudolph Luscher, by Susan Gaughan

  • SR 1038
  • Collection
  • 1984-08-16

Luscher discusses his family background and dairy farming in Clackamas County, Oregon, and the changes in milking technology and the dairy business over the 20th century. Bill Tegart was also present.

Luscher, Rudolph

Oral history interview with Tim Gauthier, by Jim Stassmaier

Gauthier discusses his personal and professional life, including his career in National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), with special attention to his role, in tandem with President Ed Barnes of I.B.E.W. 48 [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers], in establishing the Market Recovery Program (M.R.P.) in 1982. He also discusses the union response to the economic downturn of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Strassmaier, James

Oral History Interview with Al Monner, by Don Sterling

  • SR 1068
  • Collection
  • 1993-02-25 - 1993-03-04

Monner discusses his career as a photographer for the Oregon Journal and the Oregonian. He discusses how he got his start taking aerial photos for Brubaker. He also talks about mountain climbing, his relationship with the Gypsies in Portland and the American Indians of the Warm Springs Reservation.

Monner, Al (Alfred Anthony), 1909-1998

Oral history interview with James McDonald, by Marian Wood Kolisch

McDonald discusses his family background and early life in Scotland, his experiences during World War I in the Royal Air Force stationed in France, moving to Canada and working on farms in Alberta and Saskatchewan, moving to the United States, getting into the timber business, and becoming the British Consul in Portland just before World War II.

McDonald, James, 1899-1989

Oral history interview with Dorothy Thornton, by Nancy Hawver

  • SR 1076
  • Collection
  • 1991-09-10 - 1991-12-13

Thornton discusses her family background, her father's involvement with the Tillamook Creamery Association, her childhood and education, her art and art collecting, her husband, Robert Y. Thornton, a trip to Europe in the 1930s, the Depression, high school sports, Bob's political career, her involvement in the creation of the Tillamook County Library, raising a family, their activities during World War II, and her involvement in various art organizations.

Thornton, Dorothy, 1913-2005

Oral history interview with Donald McInnis, by Mary Gorsline

  • SR 1087
  • Collection
  • 1992-08-25 - 1992-11-10

McInnis discusses growing up in the Portland Metropolitan Area in the early part of the 20th century, his parents life moving around the Washington and Oregon States, and homesteading near Reedville, Oregon.

McInnis, Donald

Days With Chief Joseph

  • SR 1096
  • Collection
  • 1954-08-21

Erskine Wood discusses summer vacations spent in household of Chief Joseph.

Wood, Erskine

Oral history interview with Maribel Cadmus

This oral history interview with Maribel Cadmus was conducted by Vinita Howard from April 9 to May 7, 1992, at Cadmus' home in Salem, Oregon. In the interview, Cadmus discusses her family background and early life in The Dalles and Pendleton, Oregon; attending Oregon State University during World War II and meeting her husband, George Cadmus; and George Cadmus' studies in animal husbandry. She also discusses raising a family on a farm in Turner, Oregon; and beginning to work at the Oregon Legislature. Cadmus talks about Oregon politics and her experiences as secretary of the state Senate, including: the transition to working with computers; the daily duties of the secretary of the Senate; the various committees she clerked for, including the Highway Commission; lobbyists and senators she worked with, including Tony Yturri, Norman Howard, Jason Boe, Debbs Potts, Harry Boivin, and John Kitzhaber. She also discusses working with Cecil L. Edwards, senatorial procedure, and her involvement with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cadmus, Maribel, 1924-

Oral history interview with Bob Christ

This oral history interview with Bob Christ was conducted by Jack G. Collins on September 28, 1990, with introductory comments by William F. White. White introduces the recording with the title "The Mover for the Shakers." In the interview, Christ briefly describes his early life in Portland, Oregon; his education; and his early career as a lawyer. He then discusses how he began his career as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court of Oregon in Portland, including his initial conversation with George Juba; assembling his staff; and the duties of the job. Christ talks about the procedures of the District Court and about judges he worked with, particularly Gus Solomon. He also talks about the transition to the digital age and other changes to the court. He closes the interview with an anecdote about finding what he thought was a bomb in the court bathroom, and the story of the impeachment of Judge Harry Claiborne of Nevada.

Christ, Bob (Robert Marvin), 1927-2019

Oral history interview with William V. Deatherage

This oral history interview with William V. Deatherage was conducted by Donald W. Brodie in Deatherage's office in Medford, Oregon, on February 24, 2003. In this interview, Deatherage discusses his service in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1948, particularly regarding the USS New Jersey. He then talks about his law professors at the University of Oregon. He discusses deciding to practice law with Otto Frohnmayer in Medford and gives a brief history of the law firm that was later known as Frohnmayer, Deatherage, Jamieson, Moore, Armosino and McGovern. He discusses some of the cases he tried over his career, including a first-degree murder case; judges he argued before; and his campaign for the Medford School Board. He also talks about his involvement in the Oregon State Bar and other legal organizations. He discusses the changes in the legal profession over the 20th century, including the increase in arbitration in lieu of trial. He also talks about government funding problems at the time of the interview and their effect on Medford. Deatherage and Brodie reminisce about the law school at the University of Oregon. Deatherage closes the interview by discussing his love of golf and gardening.

Deatherage, William V. (William Vernon), 1927-2018

Oral history interview with Barbara Hanneman

This oral history interview with Barabara Hanneman was conducted by Vinita Howard at Hanneman's home in Turner, Oregon, from March 26 to April 1, 1991. In the interview, Hanneman discusses her family history and early life, including meeting her husband, Gene Hanneman, his career as a forester, and moving to Salem, Oregon. She also discusses the lives of her three children, as well as her grandchildren. She then talks about working in the offices of the Oregon Legislature, starting with the Board of Control before her children were born, then returning to work as a desk clerk for the Legislature in 1955. She describes working for Maurine Neuberger, Bob Holmes, Bob Duncan, Al Ullman, Bob Straub, and others. Hanneman discusses clerking for various committees, campaigning, and legislative procedures. She also talks briefly about other clerks at the Legislature, including Cecil Edwards. Hanneman then discusses working for the Neil Goldschmidt administration. She closes the interview by discussing changes in state government during her career.

Hanneman, Barbara Lewis, 1922-2017

Oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards

This oral history interview with Cecil Edwards was conducted by Irvin Luiten from May 18 to 26, 1988. In the interview, Edwards discusses his family history and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his education and early interest in government. He then talks about his experiences working for the Oregon Legislature beginning in 1933. He discusses the old Capitol building, which burned down in 1935; campaigns he worked on, and the role of lobbyists. He also talks about working as secretary for Governor Charles Sprague. Edwards then describes his service in the National Guard during World War II, particularly working with horses and dogs. He talks about returning to work in Oregon government after the war ended, including serving on the Racing Commission; being fired by Governor Mark Hatfield; lobbying for the Oregon Cattlemen's Association; and returning to the Legislature to work as a secretary. He discusses the numerous committees he was secretary for, including the agriculture committee, fish and game committee, and land-use board. Edwards next discusses his tenure as secretary of the Senate from 1965 to 1975, focusing on many of the legislators he worked with, including Clarence Barton, Debbs Potts, and Jason Boe. He also speaks at length about redistricting, as well as the duties of the secretary of the Senate and Senate rules.

Edwards, Cecil L.

Oral history interview with Debbs Potts

This oral history interview with Debbs Potts was conducted by James Strassmaier in a Super 8 Motel in Grants Pass, Oregon, and at an ExecuLodge in Salem, Oregon, from April 15, 1991, to May 28, 1991. In the interview, Potts discusses his family background and early life in Eastern Oregon, including his family's religious life, his education in one-room schools, and working various jobs as a young teenager. He also talks about the sawmill business, including owning and operating various sawmills. He then discusses his marriage to Bobbye Irene Michael, including their attempts to adopt children. Potts talks about his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, including his training and life on a ship. He also discusses his time as mayor of Grants Pass from 1958 to 1960.

Potts then discusses serving in the state Senate from 1961 to 1984. He talks about his involvement with the Democratic Party; several prominent Democrats, including Harry Boivin and Jason Boe; and his early committee assignments, particularly the Ways and Means Committee. He discusses his campaigns, legislative procedure, and interpersonal politics. He also talks about legislation that came up during his tenure, including on taxes, reapportionment, and education. He discusses working with other legislators, including Monte Montgomery, Ben Musa, Lynn Newbry, and Ed Fadeley. Potts talks about serving as president of the Senate from 1967 to 1970, including the process of getting elected to that position, having Cecil Edwards as his secretary, and the duties of the president. He also discusses working with different governors' administrations, the Senate presidency of Jason Boe, and partisan politics. Potts talks briefly about his faith and his adopted children. He closes the interview with a discussion on his activities after serving in the Legislature, including running the Oregon Lottery.

Potts, Debbs (Eugene Debbs), 1908-2003

Oral history interview with Harry D. Boivin

This oral history interview with Harry Boivin was conducted by Clark Hansen in Boivin's office in Medford, Oregon, from July 25, 1991, to June 6, 1992. In this interview, Boivin discusses his family history and early life in Klamath Falls, Oregon, as well as his education at Santa Clara University in California. He then discusses getting started in his law career, including working for the district attorney in Dorris, California, and then working with Claude McColloch in Klamath Falls.

Boivin then talks about serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1935 to 1942, including serving as speaker of the House in 1937. He discusses partisan politics and coalition building; the old Capitol building and conditions after it burned down in 1937; his support of the New Deal; and his time as speaker. He discusses some of the legislators he worked with in the House, including Grace Peck. He also talks briefly about his activities after leaving the House, including trying to enlist during World War II, as well as serving on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Board of Education.

Boivin goes on to discuss serving in the Oregon Senate from 1955 to 1972, including as Senate president from 1961 to 1966. Some of the issues he discusses include reapportionment, logging and forestry, taxation, and agriculture. He also talks about campaigning, committee assignments, and the duties of the Senate president. Boivin talks often about the Oregon Institute of Technology and his role in its formation. He also discusses his working relationship with the many governors that served during his political career. He discusses his fellow senators, including Monte Montgomery, Al Ullman, Wayne Morse, and Debbs Potts.

He closes the interview by discussing the changes in the Democratic and Republican parties, and politics in general, over the second half of the 20th century.

Boivin, Harry D. (Harry Dolan), 1904-1999

Oral history interview with Kristine Olson

This oral history interview with Kristine Olson was conducted by Kenneth R. Perry from October 24 to December 7, 2005. In this interview, Olson discusses her family background and early life in Queens, New York, including her early education, her childhood pets, and her experience moving to a more affluent neighborhood at age 13. She also talks about her experience growing up in a neighborhood that was equal parts Jewish and Catholic. She discusses her early involvement in Democratic politics, particularly her activities during the civil rights movement. Olson talks about her experience at Wellesley College in Boston, Massachusetts, including her involvement in several student political organizations, such as the Students for a Democratic Society, Wellesley Against Racism, and ETHOS. She also discusses her social life and acquaintanceship with Hillary Rodham Clinton. She briefly talks about attending Yale Law School. Olson then discusses living in the Cosey Beach Commune in the 1970s, meeting Jeff Rogers and their subsequent marriage, and beginning her law career as a clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Robert Zampano. She describes moving to Oregon in 1973 and clerking for U.S. District Court Judge James Burns.

Olson discusses working as an assistant U.S. attorney with Sid Lezak from 1974 to 1984. She talks about taking time off to have children and the flexibility the U.S. attorney's office afforded her. She describes her poor relationship with Lezak's successor, Charlie Turner, and how his reaction to her handling of the prosecution of Black Panther Kent Ford resulted in her departure from the U.S. attorney's office. She then describes her appointment as U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon in 1994, including opposition from Charlie Turner, her interview with Attorney General Janet Reno, and her confirmation hearing. She describes the differences between how she and Turner ran the U.S. attorney's office, particularly Turner's emphasis on drug and pornography laws as opposed to her emphasis on civil rights and environmental laws. She talks about her admiration for Sid Lezak and Janet Reno, her brief experience working with Attorney General John Ashcroft, and her reasons for leaving office in 2001. She discusses working as legal counsel for Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer from 2001 to 2003.

Olson talks about her retirement activities, including her involvement with numerous civic organizations. She also talks about her friendship with Grand Ronde Tribal Council member Kathryn Harrison and about writing Harrison's biography, "Standing Tall." She also discusses her second marriage to Les Swanson. Olson closes the interview by describing some of her most influential professors, including Tom Emerson at Yale and Ingrid Staller at Wellesley.

Olson, Kristine

Oral history interview with George D. Rives

This oral history interview with George D. Rives was conducted by William R. Long at Rives' home in Portland, Oregon, from October 7 to November 5, 2005. In this interview, Rives discusses his family background and early life in rural Kentucky, including his early education and life on a farm. He then talks about his experiences at Kentucky Wesleyan College and at Yale, including his part-time jobs; the culture shock he experienced when arriving in New Haven, Connecticut; and some of his professors. He speaks at length about practicing transportation law at Turney, Rives, and Turney in Washington, D.C., in the wake of the 1935 Motor Carrier Act. He describes his service as an officer in the Naval Air Transport Service during World War II. He then speaks at length about practicing transportation law at the Brobeck Firm in San Francisco, California, as well as representing manufacturing companies fighting utility rate increases. He then talks about working with Pacific Power and Light in the late 1950s, and how it led to his relocation to Portland, Oregon, to join the firm that would later be known as Stoel Rives. He discusses building the Stoel Rives firm and continuing to work with Pacific Power and Light. He also describes the firm's 1979 merger with the Davies Biggs law firm. He closes the interview by discussing his activities since his retirement in 1984, including a return to farm life and doing pro bono legal work.

Rives, George D. (George Douglas), 1915-2014

Oral history interview with John D. Burns

This oral history interview with John D. Burns was conducted by Clark Hansen at Burns' office in Portland, Oregon, from April 22, 1992, to February 28, 1993. In this interview, Burns discusses his family background and early life in Condon, Oregon, particularly life on a ranch. He then discusses attending Notre Dame University, including his involvement in athletics; and attending Georgetown University Law School, including how his political views solidified during this time. He also talks about working for Senator Dick Neuberger. Burns discusses returning to Oregon to work as a lawyer, then as deputy district attorney in Multnomah County, including working with George Van Hoomissen, and cases he tried. He discusses his time as a lawyer in a firm with Pat Dooley, working on insurance cases. He also talks about his involvement in the Democratic Party and politics. He speaks briefly about his marriage to Brooke Claridge and their four children.

Burns discusses his legislative career in the Oregon Senate from 1967 to 1975, including his campaigns. He discusses legislation he worked on, including revising the criminal code, taxes, environmental legislation, abortion, transportation, mental health, his committee assignments, and Senate procedure. He also talks about his fellow legislators, including Tony Yturri, Stafford Hansell, Lynn Newbry, and Debbs Potts. He discusses the coalition of conservative Democrats and Republicans that controlled the Senate for many decades. Burns then discusses his time as president of the Senate from 1971 to 1973, including the process of getting elected to the position, reducing the number of committees, and reapportionment. He talks about many of the landmark pieces of legislation that passed during his tenure, including the Bottle Bill and the raising of the voting age to 18. He also discusses his relationship with the press; the election of Jason Boe as Senate president in 1973; and the land-use bill SB 100.

After a year-long break, the interview resumes with a discussion of Oregon politics in 1993, including politicians that Burns considered rising stars, such as John Kitzhaber and Gordon Smith. He also discusses his work as a lobbyist and lawyer after leaving the Legislature. He then returns to the topic of legislation during his time in the Senate. He discusses the changes in the Legislature and the Democratic Party in the years since he left. He closes the interview by discussing his current activities and hopes for the future.

Burns, John D. (John David), 1936-

Oral history interview with Alfred H. Corbett

This oral history interview with Alfred H. Corbett was conducted by Clark Hansen at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from November 29, 1991, to April 24, 1992. In this interview, Corbett discusses his family background and early life in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Portland and in eastern Oregon. He also discusses the political career of his father, Henry Ladd Corbett, and life during the Depression. He then talks about his education, including studying business at Harvard and law at Yale. He discusses meeting his wife, Nancy deCanizares, and her family background and early life. He briefly discusses his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he fought in Italy from 1943 to 1945. Corbett talks about practicing law in Portland and about some of his clients, including the Southern Pacific Railroad. He also talks about his brief service on the Portland Housing Authority at the time of the Vanport Flood; his year in the Defense Electric Power Administration; his involvement with the Democratic Party; and returning to Oregon to run for the state Legislature.

Corbett discusses his legislative career in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1953 to 1956. He talks about his campaigns, partisan politics, and his committee appointments. He discusses legislation he worked on, including on child care funding, education, civil rights, and budgeting. He also speaks at length about serving on the Ways and Means Committee. He then discusses serving in the Oregon Senate from 1957 to 1964, particularly his continued work on the Ways and Means Committee. He discusses some of the legislation he worked on, including on health care.

Corbett then discusses working on the 1956 presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson and his own 1964 campaign for Oregon secretary of state. He discusses his work in the federal Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C., from 1965 to 1972, and then in the Legal Services Corporation until his retirement in 1978. He talks about some of the programs he was affiliated with in those positions, including educational, legal aid, and health care programs. Additionally, he discusses his dealings with U.S. Senator Wayne Morse and U.S. Rep. Edith Green. He also talks about clashing with the Nixon administration. He closes the interview by talking about his activities in retirement and his family life.

Corbett, Alfred H. (Alfred Hoyt), 1915-2000

Oral history interview with G. Bernhard Fedde

This oral history interview with G. Bernhard Fedde was conducted by Eliza E. Canty-Jones in Beaverton, Oregon, on September 16, 2006. At the time of the interview, Canty-Jones' name was Eliza Elkins Jones. Fedde's wife, Johanna Borrevik, was also present during the interview and often contributed to Canty-Jones' questioning. Tape 1, Side 1 of the recording is an introduction to the interview, which begins on Tape 1, Side 2.

In the interview, Fedde discusses his family background and early life in Brooklyn, New York, including his memories of the Depression. He describes studying history at Williams College in Massachusetts, including a year he studied abroad in Munich, Germany. He talks about his experience as a conscientious objector during World War II. He speaks at length about heading the American section of the Quaker relief efforts in Germany after the war. He also talks about the creation of the Marshall Plan. He then discusses practicing law in Oregon, defending conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War, and judges he argued before. He also talks about a few summers he spent studying in The Hague, Netherlands. He discusses his work with the Scandinavian community, teaching Scandinavian history at Portland State University, and meeting King Olav V of Norway in 1977. He also tells the story of meeting his wife, Johanna Borrevik. He closes the interview by sharing his thoughts about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Fedde, G. Bernhard (Gabriel Bernhard), 1909-2007

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