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Oral history interview with Norm Costa

Norm Costa has lived in the Portland metro area since 1958. He transitioned from an engineering career to running his own beauty salon in Lake Oswego for several years during the 1960's. More recently, Costa has worked for decades as a gay rights activist, mostly working with local health departments on HIV prevention efforts. This interview describes many aspects of the gay experience in Portland over the course of those years, including his experience with politics and activism, personal experiences, gay-oriented clubs and businesses over the years, and the spread of the HIV virus in the early 1980's.

Costa, Norm

Oral history interview with Frodo Okulam

Frodo talks about her life as a lesbian, in the late 1960s onward. She discusses her gender identity as a child, dealing with her sexuality as a teen, how she got her name and what the Lord of the Rings meant to her, starting the Portland Chapter of the Tolkien Society of America, and her spirituality as a Wiccan and member of the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church).

Okulam, Frodo

Manuscript of Wallowa River and Valley

An unfinished typescript with hand corrections of J. H. Horner’s work, Wallowa River and Valley. The manuscript details the history of the Wallowa Valley region in northeastern Oregon from approximately 1805 through 1950. The document includes extensive details on the origins of many place names in the region. The manuscript also includes a history of the Nez Percé people and their cultural traditions which Horner wrote in collaboration with Otis Halfmoon. Topics covered in the manuscript include Chief Joseph and the events of the Nez Percé war of 1877, settlement of the Wallowa Valley region, and local participation in World War I and World War II. John Harland Horner (1870-1953) was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Enterprise, Oregon, in 1911. He served as Wallowa County's deputy assessor from 1918 to 1924, before being elected county assessor in 1924. Horner also had a long-standing interest in the history of Wallowa County. For more than thirty years, he collected historical information and interviewed most of the area's early settlers and local Native Americans.

Horner, J. H., 1870-1953

Vanport Photographs

Photographs of the aftermath of the flood that destroyed Vanport, Or. on May 30, 1948. The images depict the damage to buildings, bridges, roadways, and other structures in both Vanport and Portland, Or. Includes postcards and snapshots, as well as photographs taken by the Camera Art Studio of Portland, Or.

Camera Art Studio (Portland, Or.)

Agriculture and animals

Photographs related to agriculture, horticulture, and animals from approximately 1920 - 1945. The bulk of the photographs depict people, animals, and scenes at fairs and livestock shows, probably the Multnomah County Fair in Gresham, Oregon, and the Pacific International Livestock Exposition in Portland, Oregon. Other images depict topics such as cats, dogs, wild birds, poultry, and Tusko the elephant; farms and farmland; flowers, flower shows, and gardens.

Oregon Journal (Firm)

Northwest School of Photography

Photographs taken by Jerry Jiro Yasutome and other unidentified students at the Northwest School of Photography in Portland, Oregon. They include photographs of the processing lab and students in classes as well as portraits taken by the students.

Yasutome, Jerry Jiro, 1919-1994

Tule Lake photographs

Photographs taken by Jerry Jiro Yasutome and other members of the Yasutome family documenting their time at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California. These images include portraits of the Yasutome family, including Jerry Yasutome’s son, James Mamoru Yasutome, and his parents, Sadao Kurata Yasutome and Ju Jiro Yasutome; group portraits of electrical workers and a Buddhist Sunday School; and photos of a fire at the center. Between 1942 and 1946 the Yasutome family was incarcerated by the United States government at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California. The Tule Lake Relocation Center was one of ten American concentration camps to which Japanese Americans were forcibly removed and incarcerated during World War II. The Yasutomes' son, James Mamoru Yasutome was born at Tule Lake in 1943.

Yasutome, Jerry Jiro, 1919-1994

Vanport Flood photographs

Photographs of the damage caused by the Vanport Flood in May 1948 taken by Jerry Jiro Yasutome and other unidentified students at the Northwest School of Photography in Portland, Oregon.

Yasutome, Jerry Jiro, 1919-1994

Columbia Steel Casting Company

This series contains photographs of steelworkers and equipment detailing the steel casting process used for making large steel components for Liberty Ships constructed in Portland (Or.) area shipyards during World War II.

Supplemental descriptive information contributed in 2019 by Chris Horn, Facilities Director for Columbia Steel.

Atkeson, Ray

Oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman

This oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Getman's offices at World Vision in Washington, D.C., from June 3-8, 1988. In this interview, Getman discusses his family background and early life in Luverne, Minnesota, particularly the development of his religious and political beliefs. He then discusses attending Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, and working with Young Life ministries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he heard Mark Hatfield speak for the first time. He talks about his longstanding admiration for Hatfield; his involvement with Young Life ministries in New England; and his work for Gerald R. Ford, including a story about being with the Ford family on the night of the 1976 presidential election. He then describes how he came to be on Hatfield's staff; discusses other staff members, particularly Doug Coe and Gerry Frank; and talks about how the staff and Hatfield interacted. Getman discusses his duties as legislative director, Hatfield's relationship with the Republican Party, and the senator's stance on several issues, including abortion. He speaks at length about Hatfield's personality, spirituality, and legislative agenda. He also talks about preacher Billy Graham, as well as the evangelical voting bloc. He discusses the Reagan administration's push for privatization and his own opinion on the limits of the private sector, particularly in regard to health care. He speaks about Hatfield's efforts to mitigate the damaging effects of privatization in his role as chair of the appropriations committee. He then talks about his work on legislation regarding Africa, particularly South Africa. He discusses the events surrounding Rajneeshpuram, and being in Africa on vacation during Hatfield's real estate scandal. He closes the interview by reflecting on the legacy and accomplishments of Hatfield's political career.

Getman, Thomas R.

Oral history interview with Bill Curtin, by Greta Smith

Curtin discusses his family background and early childhood, Catholicism, the KKK, Portland Police, Unions, Bill's time in the seminary, St. Charles Catholic Church & School, Immaculate Heart Catholic Church & School, Father Tobin, Father Griffin, Father Robert Krueger, Emmanuel Hospital expansion project, Urban Renewal, Model Cities, Albina Fair Share, Oregon Fair Share, Organizing for activism in Albina, Saul Alinsky, Night life in Albina, Shops, businesses, people in Albina, Dawson's Park, Police community relations in Albina, Drug and alcohol recovery programs in Albina (the Victory Club and the Miracles Club), and Leaving the priesthood.

Curtin, Bill

Oral history interview with Robert F. Smith

This oral history interview with Robert F. Smith was conducted by Clark Hansen at Smith's office in Medford, Oregon, from August 30 to September 1, 1995. In this interview, Smith discusses his family background and early life in Burns, Oregon. He talks about his interest in basketball while attending Willamette University. He also talks about running a ranch and multiple other businesses after graduation; his flying hobby; and his involvement with a number of civic organizations. He goes on to talk about being recruited to run for the Oregon Legislature by members of the Oregon Republican Party, and his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1960 to 1973. He discusses his campaigns, committees, fellow legislators, and legislation that he worked on. He talks about Tony Yturri, Monte Montgomery, Bill Holmstrom, Stan Ouderkirk, Clarence Barton, and Stafford Hansell. He discusses legislation on agriculture, taxes, labor, forestry and land use. He also talks about how his leadership style as speaker of the House from 1969 to 1973, and about his legislative agenda. He closes the interview by discussing the social life of legislators.

Smith, Robert F. (Robert Freeman), 1931-

Oral history interview with Edwin J. Peterson

This oral history interview with Edwin J. Peterson was conducted by Jeffrey C. Dobbins in Salem, Oregon, from August 21 to December 11, 2007. Throughout the interview, Peterson refers to photographs and letters. Copies of some, but not all, of these items are included in the related U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society collection, Coll 560.

In this interview, Peterson discusses his family background in Gilmanton, Wisconsin, including the local creamery managed by his father; his childhood activities; and his early education. He also talks about his memories of rural life during World War II. He discusses having asthma and moving to Oregon in 1944 in an effort to improve his health, as well as his high school experience in Eugene. He talks about studying music at the University of Oregon, including his social life, his summer activities, and his involvement with the Young Republicans. He describes his service as a personnel officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, particularly his experience in administration. He then discusses attending the University of Oregon law school, including the dean, Orlando Hollis; his social life; and his summer jobs. He talks about relocating to Portland to practice law at Tooze, Kerr, Peterson, Marshall & Shenker. He speaks at length about the practice of law, as well as some of the cases he tried, some of his fellow lawyers, and judges he argued before. He particularly focuses on trial preparation and procedures. He also talks about his involvement with the Oregon State Bar, and his friendship with Clay Myers.

Peterson discusses serving on the Oregon Supreme Court from 1979 to 1993. He talks about his appointment by Governor Vic Atiyeh. He describes his fellow judges on the Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. He also shows Dobbins his collection of photographs and speaks about them at length. He discusses the procedures of the Supreme Court, some of the cases he heard, and his re-election in 1980. He talks about serving as chief justice from 1983 to 1991, including implementing an integrated court system, the court's budget, and the court's staff. He reads entries from his journals detailing this part of his career. He also discusses the changes in technology, rules of professionalism, and diversity training. He closes the interview by talking about his activities since retiring in 1993, including teaching at the Willamette University law school and working as a mediator.

Peterson, Edwin J. (Edwin Junior), 1930-

Oral history interview with Otto J. Frohnmayer

This oral history interview with Otto J. Frohnmayer was conducted by Clark Hansen at Frohnmayer's office in Medford, Oregon, from November 28 to December 1, 1989. In this interview, Frohnmayer discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including facing anti-German sentiment during World War I, his education, and vacations to Seaside. He discusses working in hotels and attending the University of Oregon, including his social life and studying law. He then talks about his early law practice in Medford. He also talks about the effects of the Depression and World War II on the Medford area. He briefly describes some of the judges he argued before. He speaks at length about notable cases he worked on, as well as changes in laws over the 20th century. He then talks about his wife, MarAbel Fisher Braden, and their family life. He talks about the politics involved in judicial appointments; jury trials; and the profession of law. He closes the interview by talking about his plans for the future.

Frohnmayer, Otto J. (Otto John), 1905-2000

Oral history interview with Walter J. Cosgrave

This oral history interview with Walter J. Cosgrave was conducted by Timothy J. Coleman on November 26, 1993. In this interview, Cosgrave discusses his family background and early life in Calaveras County, California, including his education, childhood games, and the experience of being the son of the county sheriff. He the talks about moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and attending high school. He briefly discusses coming to Oregon and getting interested in the law.

Cosgrave, Walter J. (Walter John), 1910-1999

Oral history interview with Herbert M. Schwab

This oral history interview with Herbert M. Schwab was conducted by John C. Beatty on January 17, 1994. In this interview, Schwab discusses his early life in Portland, Oregon. He discusses his early jobs and attending Northwestern College of Law. He also talks about his service in the U.S. Army Reserves in India during World War II under General George E. Stratemeyer. He then talks about practicing law in Portland from 1947 to 1959. He briefly discusses his other activities during that time, including serving on the Portland School Board. He talks about serving on the Multnomah County Circuit Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. He briefly describes his fellow judges. He goes on to talk about his activities since his retirement in 1980, including serving on the Northwest Power Planning Council and as mayor of Cannon Beach. He closes the interview by talking about Governor Bob Straub, Monroe Sweetland, Dorothy McCullough Lee and Dick Neuberger.

Schwab, Herbert M., 1915-2005

Oral history interview with Edward Leavy

This oral history interview with Edward Leavy was conducted by Clark Hansen in Leavy's chambers at the U.S. District Courthouse (known as the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse) in Portland, Oregon, from March 2 to April 13, 2004. The portion of the interview conducted on March 30, 2004 (Tapes 10 through 12) appears to have been simultaneously recorded on audiocassette and video. In the audio recording, the parties make reference to the video recording, which is not included in this collection.

In this interview, Leavy discusses his family background and early life on a hops farm in Butteville, Oregon, including his memories of the Depression and his education. He talks about attending the University of Portland and studying at Notre Dame Law School, including his reasons for attending Catholic schools. He also speaks about how his faith informs his morality and judicial decisions, particularly regarding the Fifth Amendment. He discusses serving as a deputy district attorney for Lane County and some of the cases he prosecuted. He reflects at length upon the byzantine workings of the justice system, its strengths and weaknesses, and a judge's role within it.

Leavy discusses his election to the positions of Lane County District Court judge and Circuit Court judge, as well as the elections of other judges in Oregon. He talks about some of the cases he heard and some decisions of his that were reversed. He speaks at length about many of the judges he knew, including Ted Goodwin and Otto Skopil. He discusses the differences between state and federal courts. Leavy describes the magistrate system during the years he was a U.S. Magistrate for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He then speaks at length about mediating cases and reaching settlements. He discusses some controversial issues he's had to rule on, including drug use, the death penalty, and abortion. He also speaks briefly about his family life.

Leavy discusses serving as a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, beginning with his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He discusses some of the cases he heard, including on Rajneeshpuram. He describes the various duties of federal judges; the processes and procedures of the Court of Appeals; and how it differs from the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He talks about his experience as a senior judge on the Court of Appeals since 1997, including mediating for U.S. v. Wen Ho Lee. He then talks about serving on the Surveillance Court of Review from 2001 to 2008, including the history and duties of that court. He also talks about writing opinions, his staff and law clerks, and the workload on the Court of Appeals. He closes the interview by discussing his thoughts on the trend of civil penalties in lieu of criminal, and concerns about the right to privacy.

Leavy, Edward, 1929-