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Oral history interview with Cindy Cumfer, by Erik Funkhouser and Tim Aguirre

Cindy Cumfer discusses her involvement with the lesbian and women's communities in Portland, Oregon; her work as a civil rights attorney, particularly in the area of lesbian adoption; the AIDS epidemic and how it bridge the divide between the gay and lesbian communities; and her involvement with the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Cumfer, Cynthia

Oral history interview with Renee LaChance, by Brontë Olson and Nicole Estey

This is interview of Renee LaChance was conducted by Brontё Olson and Nicole Estey for the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest as part of their senior capstone at Portland State University. LaChance worked with the queer newspaper The Cascade Voice, first selling advertising and writing and later as the editor for a period of time before founding Just Out newspaper with Jay Brown in 1983. The interview covers her involvement in the Gay Pride Festival, AIDS and ACT-UP, and Ballot Measures 9 and 13, as well as her experiences with running Just Out, her decision to sell, and her feelings about the path of the paper after its purchase by Marty Davis in 1998. It finishes with words of wisdom offered by LaChance for both the gay community and the general public on life and changing the future.

LaChance, Renee

Oral history interview with Reverend Susan Leo, by Jae Ann Atwood and Genevieve Blaettler

Leo speaks of her experiences as an out lesbian pastor in the United Church of Christ; her experiences in Nicaragua during the 1980s that led to her decision to attend a Presbyterian seminary; homophobia within the church; and social justice & activism. She also addresses the difficulty her mother had in accepting Leo's lesbianism.

Leo, Susan, 1951-

Oral history interviews with John P. Cooney, by Clark Hansen

Judge Cooney begins this interview by discussing his family history and his early years in Missouri. He explains the organization of professional baseball in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s and fondly recalls his time with the New York Giants. While he talks about law school and raising a family while achieving a career, the majority of this four-and-a-half hour interview focuses on Judge Cooney’s time with the District Court.

He discusses the unique role of the magistrate judge in Oregon, as well as the distinctions of Southern Oregon. Cooney explains the operation of the federal system, discusses the District Court’s jurisdiction in issues involving federal lands, and clarifies the kinds of cases tried by magistrate judges. He also talks about the roles of his two experienced law clerks, describing their duties and abilities and crediting them with an important place in court operations. In addition, Judge Cooney discusses relations between magistrates and Article III judges, the relationships between various agencies, and being a judge in a small town.

The impact of technological advances in the court’s operation is evident as Judge Cooney describes maintaining judicial collegiality in Southern Oregon through television appearances at the judges’ Monday lunches, teleconferences, and regular phone calls. The focus of the interview is on the types of cases tried, the court’s operations, and Judge Cooney’s experiences within that operation, rather than on specific cases. He describes the remodeling of the courtroom in Medford and the complexity and wonder of computers and monitors that provide new ways to present visual evidence. The interview closes with Judge Cooney’s perspective on family life, his travels with Eleanor-whom he also credits for his success-and his future retirement.

Cooney, John P.

Oral history interview with James A. Redden

This oral history interview with James A. Redden was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Redden's chambers at the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, on January 27, 2006. In this interview, Redden discusses cases during his time as Oregon attorney general and as a U.S. District Court judge, including some involving treaties with Native Americans and fishing rights on the Columbia River, as well as the effects of the dams on salmon runs and other fisheries. He also discusses the history and impact of the U.S. District Court Historical Society; the war on terror, particularly the Patriot Act; and drug-related cases.

Redden, James A.

Oral history interview with Owen Panner

This interview with Owen Panner was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Portland, Oregon, on December 19, 2005. In the interview, Panner discusses mandatory sentencing and the effect of politics on the judiciary. He also talks about his plan to move to the District Court in Medford, Oregon. In addition, he discusses the structure and procedures of the District Court; technology in the courts; his involvement with the U.S. District Court Historical Society; and life on his Medford ranch.

Panner, Owen Murphy, 1924-

Oral history interview with Alfred T. Goodwin

This interview with Alfred Goodwin was conducted by Michael O'Rourke at Goodwin's home in Sisters, Oregon, on August 26, 2006. In the interview, Goodwin discusses some of the topics that often come before the U.S. District Court, including immigration, fishing rights, and environmental law. He also discusses national legislation regarding terrorism; proposals to split the Ninth Circuit; technology in the court; and the War on Drugs. He closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family background.

Goodwin, Alfred T. (Alfred Theodore), 1923-

Oral history interview with Diarmuid O'Scannlain, by Michael O'Rourke

O'Scannlain discusses his family background and Irish heritage, his childhood in New York City, his education at St. John's Prep and Harvard, his involvement with the National Young Republicans and Trumpeters, his work as a lawyer in Portland, Oregon with the Dave Briggs firm (aka Stoel Rices) and Ragen, Roberts & O'Scannlain, his involvement in Republican politics and the Reagan administration, nuclear power, his appointment to the 9th Circuit Court, and some of the cases he oversaw while on that court.

O'Scannlain, Diarmuid F.

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.

World War II Oral History Series

  • WWII
  • Collection
  • 1994-1997

A series of oral histories conducted in conjunction with an OHS museum exhibit. These interviews are mostly with veterans of WWII, and some are with individuals active in the war effort at home.

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.

Oral history interview with Holly Hart, by Winter Drews and James Loos

Holly Hart is the owner of Old Wives Tales restaurant on East Burnside in Portland. She was born in Chicago in 1947 and grew up there before moving to Portland to attend Reed College in 1964, where she was highly active in protests against the Vietnamese War. Her identity as a lesbian became apparent around this time, and following graduation at Reed, she entered a period of intensive gay rights activism. Suffering burnout, she regressed from these activities before returning to them upon attending the law school at the University of California Berkeley from 1972 to 1975. Some time around 1978, Hart was on a panel commissioned by Oregon Governor Bob Straub to compile a report for the "Task Force on Sexual Preference". Upon the failure of the Mt. Moving Café, which Hart frequented during its brief run, she started Old Wives Tales, with an emphasis on multi-ethnic vegetarian cuisine.

Hart, Holly

Oral History Interview with Bette Lee

  • SR 11258
  • Collection
  • 2014-06-17 - 2014-12-29

Bette Lee discusses her activism and career in photographing protests, beginning in the San Fransisco Bay Area in the 1980s, and later in Portland, Oregon. She discusses several specific photographs, many of which can be found in the transcript. Protests and movements discussed include the Portland Alliance, Indie Media, World trade Organization, Iraq War, Occupy Wall Street, Livermore Action Group, etc.

Lee, Bette

Oral history interview with Irvin Luiten

This oral history interview with Irvin "Irv" Herman Luiten was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from March 16, 1988, to January 19, 1990, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Luiten discusses his family background and early life on wheat farms in Ritzville and Edwall, Washington, including his early education and the struggles his family faced during the Great Depression. He then describes studying journalism at Washington State University in the late 1930s, including the evolution of his political views and his interest in radio broadcasting. He discusses his early career as a journalist for the Colville Examiner from 1940 to 1941 and for the Northwest Farm News in 1941. Luiten also talks extensively about his service during World War II, including acting as defense counsel for his battalion and about soldier morale. He talks about his work with the Military Intelligence Service to teach escape and evasion tactics to airmen and setting up lines of escape in France.

Next, he describes his post-war life, including taking the editorship of the Northwest Farm News; marrying Ellen Boyde and raising a family; taking a job at Washington State University; and beginning his career with the Weyerhaeuser Company, doing public relations work as a writer for Weyerhaeuser News. He talks about aspects of Weyerhaeuser that made him loyal to the company, including the company's forest management practices and the management style of Phil Weyerhaeuser. Luiten also describes his experiences as a lobbyist for Weyerhaeuser from 1953 to 1978. He talks about the primary issues Weyerhauser was concerned with, including taxes, particularly timber taxes; pollution; land use; environmental law; and labor laws. Luiten also discusses his involvement with the Izaak Walton League of America and his conservation work; the Clemons Tree Farm; the workplace culture at Weyerhaeuser; and the company's relationship with the public. He goes on to talk about working with lobbyists for other Oregon timber interests, the different timber harvesting philosophies between Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific, and how those philosophies affected the economy of the state. He speaks at length on the importance of public relations work. He also discusses working with legislators such as Mark Hatfield, Dick Neuberger, Clarence Barton, Dick Eymann, and Vic Atiyeh. He closes the interview by talking about his life in retirement.

Luiten, Irvin H. (Irvin Herman), 1915-1997

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

This oral history interview with Monroe Mark Sweetland was conducted by Richard Harmon from November 16, 1984, to October 26, 1987, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In this interview, Sweetland discusses his family background and early life, including his childhood in rural Michigan; his early involvement in Democratic politics; and his experiences at Wittenberg University and Cornell University. He discusses his political activism during college, including his involvement with the Student League for Industrial Democracy and his political activism on behalf of Socialist candidates. Sweetland also discusses his political activities after his return to Oregon in 1935, including his work with the Oregon Commonwealth Federation and his decision to leave the Socialist Party and join the Democratic Party. Also discussed is his work with labor unions; the New Deal programs; and his work with the Oregon Democratic Party. He briefly talks about World War II and its effect on Oregon politics, particularly the effect the Hitler-Stalin pact had on American communists and the Oregon Commonwealth Federation; internment of Japanese-Americans; and his own pacifism. Sweetland goes on to talk about his involvement with the Democratic Party of Oregon after the war as national committeeman; the factions within the party; and mobilizing women and black voters. He also discusses his ownership of several Oregon newspapers (the Molalla Pioneer, the Newport News, and the Milwaukie Review) and about running them with the help of his wife, Lillie Sweetland. In addition, he describes his experiences as a legislator in the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate during the 1950s and early 1960s. Topics include: education; attempts to pass a sales tax; campaign finance; and Wayne Morse's switch to the Democratic Party. He also discusses working closely with Howard Morgan, the national chairman of the Democratic Party; U.S. Senator Dick Neuberger; and U.S. Representative Edith Green. Sweetland talks about his relationship with Mark Hatfield and running for secretary of state against him in 1956; the 1962 presidential election and his support of John F. Kennedy; and his campaign for secretary of state in 1964. Finally, he discusses his activities after leaving the Legislature, including his interest in Indonesia and continued advocacy for education as a lobbyist for the National Education Association.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

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