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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 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 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 Bill Hedlund

  • SR 1113
  • Collection
  • 1988-06-19

This oral history interview with Bill Hedlund was conducted by Richard McConnell on June 19, 1988. An unidentified woman was also present. In this interview, Hedlund discusses his experience in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1941 to 1942, and his experiences as a lobbyist. He discusses legislators and lobbyists he worked with, rules regarding lobbying activities, his involvement with the Democratic Party, and governors he served under while in the Legislature. He then looks at photographs and discusses them, his family history, and his early life in Portland. He discusses how he got interested in politics after he graduated from law school in 1935, and his jobs before running for the Legislature in 1940, including working for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

Hedlund, Bill (William Hancock), 1910-1994

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

  • SR 11131
  • Collection
  • 2000-03-11

This oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland was conducted by an unidentified woman on March 11, 2000. In this interview, Sweetland discusses moving to Milwaukie, Oregon, around 1949. He discusses his purchase of the Milwaukie Review newspaper, the houses he and his young family lived in, and life in the Island Station neighborhood. He talks about his children, their early education, their families, and their careers. He talks about his neighbors, including Milwaukie Mayor Joy Burges, as well as the changes in the neighborhood. He also speaks at length about growing lilacs and camellias. He talks about the livability of the Island Station neighborhood. Sweetland and the interviewer discuss the upcoming Milwaukie High School reunion. He goes on to talk about his wife, Lil Megrath, her involvement in progressive politics, and her government career. He also briefly discusses his family background. Sweetland then returns to discussing his children. He speaks at length about urban wildlife, particularly nutria, Canadian geese, and foxes, as well as Kellogg Creek in Milwaukie, particularly regarding its fish and clam populations.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

  • SR 11133
  • Collection
  • 2003-08-18

This oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland was conducted by John Moltman at Sweetland's home in Milwaukie, Oregon. The recording of Moltman's interview with Sweetland is incomplete. According to the audio, the interview was conducted in multiple sessions; this recording includes only one session, which was conducted on August 18, 2003. No other recordings from the interview were among those donated to the Oregon Historical Research Library in 2007.

In this interview, Sweetland discusses his involvement with the Student League for Industrial Democracy during the Depression and his parents' disapproval. He talks about meeting Lil Megrath and their subsequent marriage. He describes organizing Student L.I.D. conferences and establishing chapters across the country. He talks about advocating for civil rights and the opposition he faced, particularly in the South. He also talks about socialism and how it differs from communism, as well as the growing socialist movement among students and labor during the 1930s. He discusses his involvement with the Socialist Party, including his friendship with Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas, and the socialist underpinnings of the New Deal. He gives a brief history of the evolution of the Democratic and Republican parties over the 20th century, and of progressive political movements. He shares anecdotes about his activities with the Student L.I.D., including participating in sit-down strikes and being arrested.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

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 Ambrose A. Oderman

  • SR 11275
  • Collection
  • 2005-04-05 - 2005-04-25

In this interview, Oderman discusses his family background and early life in Foxholm, North Dakota. He describes his experience during the 1918 flu pandemic, including the death of his father. He discusses his mother's remarriage and his early education. He talks about moving to Monroe, Oregon, in 1926, as well as his high school experience there. He then discusses studying business at the University of Oregon during the Depression, including his plans to become an accountant. He also tells several stories about growing up on a farm. He discusses working for the Public Utility Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration as an accountant and auditor. He talks about his family and his social life during that time. He then discusses his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and living in Vanport, Oregon, after the end of the war. He discusses his service as western region audit director for the U.S. Interior Department. He closes the interview by discussing his retirement.

Oderman, Ambrose A. (Ambrose Adolph), 1912-2014

Oral history interview with Monroe and Lil Sweetland

  • SR 1129
  • Collection
  • 1976-08-17

This oral history interview with Monroe and Lil Sweetland was conducted by their daughter, Barbara Sweetland, on August 17, 1976. In this interview, the Sweetlands discusses their college experiences. Monroe Sweetland talks about attending Cornell University and Syracuse Law School in New York. Lil Sweetland discusses attending Smith College in Massachusetts. They both discuss meeting through their political activism while in New York; their reasons for being anti-war during the lead-up to World War II; and their involvement with the Socialist Party.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

Oral history interview with Don Clark

  • SR 1166
  • Collection
  • 1994 August 30 - 1998 March 27

Clark discusses family heritage, education, and career beginnings in the criminal justice system; experiences as Multnomah County sheriff; campaign for the Multnomah County Commission; modernization of county government in Oregon; Mt. Hood freeway and regional transportation planning, Burnside Consortium, Columbia Villa, single-payer health care, and numerous other subjects of policy and politics of city and county in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Clark, Donald Edward, 1933-

Oral history interview with Floyd H. Hart, Jr.

  • SR 1176
  • Collection
  • circa 1969

This oral history interview with Floyd H. Hart, Jr. was conducted by Bob Reese circa 1969 at the Capitol studio in Salem, Oregon. In this interview, Hart discusses his efforts for property tax relief legislation. He also discusses the need for a sales tax to help fund public schools. He goes on to talk about pending legislation regarding air and water pollution.

After about 10 minutes of dead air, this tape also includes the swearing-in ceremony of Lee Johnson to the office of Oregon attorney general in 1969, including a short speech Johnson made to the Oregon Legislature.

Hart, Floyd H., Jr. (Floyd Henry), 1931-2014

Oral history interview with Allan Hart

  • SR 1200
  • Collection
  • 1986-04-15 - 1986-07-22

This oral history interview with Allan Hart was conducted by James Strassmaier at Hart's office in the KOIN Center in Portland, Oregon, from April 15 to July 22, 1986. In this interview, Hart discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including his education at Moran School. He talks about his education at Stanford University and Yale Law School, including his social life, his friendship with Boyd McNaughton, working for the Stanford and Yale papers, and the relationship between Yale and Harvard. He then discusses returning to Portland, joining his father's law firm, and cases he argued. Hart talks about serving as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1936 to 1938 and cases he prosecuted, including liquor and narcotics cases. He also discusses the Lawyers Guild and the Oregon State Bar; his investigations into the Red Squad; the De Jong case; and his work on an antitrust case involving the American Medical Association. He then discusses his work as counsel for the Bonneville Power Administration from 1938 to 1941, including the beginnings of BPA, as well as dealing with private utilities and aluminum companies, particularly PGE and Alcoa. Hart also describes his experience during World War II as an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps in the Pacific Theater, and then during the occupation of Japan.

Hart discusses his return to law practice in 1946. He talks about taking on the Kenji Namba v. McCourt case as a way to overturn the Alien Land Law. He briefly discusses his involvement with the Oregon Democratic Party, as well as raising a family. He talks about establishing the Hart, Davidson, and Veazie firm in 1956, including working with Jebbie Davidson, as well as the subsequent changes the firm underwent, which ultimately led him to the law firm of Lindsay, Nahstoll, Hart, and Krause. He discusses his involvement with the American Civil Liberties Union and civil rights cases that he worked on. He discusses his involvement with education, including serving on the board of the Sylvan School District from 1952 to 1956, and facing issues of school funding; serving on the State Board of Higher Education; and serving on the board of Catlin Gabel School. Hart speaks at length about discriminatory practices at many Portland social clubs, as well as U.S. District Court Judge Gus Solomon's efforts against them. He then discusses his relationships with Solomon and U.S. Supreme Court Justices William O. Douglas and Abe Fortas. Hart talks about his stymied aspirations of being appointed as a judge; political infighting in the Democratic Party; and additional cases he worked on. He revisits the topic of the Bonneville Power Administration, describing the changes it underwent after World War II, as well as the WPPSS crisis of the 1980s. Hart closes the interview by discussing his retirement activities.

Hart, Allan (Charles Allan), 1909-2002

Oral history interview with Chester E. McCarty

  • SR 1222
  • Collection
  • 1985-11-12 - 1987-09-01

This interview with Chester E. McCarty was conducted by Bill Koen in Portland, Oregon, on November 12, 1985, and by Jim Strassmaier at McCarty's office in Portland from August 4 to September 1, 1987. In this interview, McCarty discusses his family background and early life in Stage Gulch and Portland, Oregon, including working on the family farm during summers, his memories of World War I, and his education in Portland. He talks about selling advertisement space for the Oregonian newspaper while attending the Northwestern College of Law, and about his marriage to Julia Caroline Gromoff. He speaks at length about serving in the National Guard, beginning at age 15, and in the U.S. Army field artillery branch.

He discusses serving as assistant attorney general of Oregon from 1930 to 1936, including representing the Game Commission and the state police. He also discusses working as a lawyer in private practice, where he focused on aviation law. He talks about being a commercial pilot on the side, and relates several anecdotes about emergency landings. He also discusses serving in the state Senate in 1942, including his friendship with Dorothy McCullough Lee, as well as resigning shortly after his election to serve in World War II.

He speaks at length about his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps training pilots, and later commanding troops in the Middle East. He also talks about the activities of his wife, Julia Caroline Gromoff, during World War II. He then talks about returning to civilian life after the war and continuing his law practice in Portland, where he acted as defense counsel in numerous courts-martial. He talks about some of the judges he argued before, including Gus Solomon and James Alger Fee. He also discusses continuing to fly planes, as well as his service on the Port of Portland Commission. He discusses accepting the command of the Oregon Army Reserves, getting activated for the Korean War, and his continued service in the Air Force until his retirement in 1966. He closes the interview by discussing serving with Glenn Jackson in North Africa during World War II.

McCarty, Chester E. (Chester Earl), 1905-1999

Oral history interview with Helen J. Frye

  • SR 1249
  • Collection
  • 1981-03-19 - 1981-03-19

This oral history interview with Helen J. Frye was conducted by Linda Dodds in Frye's chambers in Portland, Oregon, on March 19, 1981. In this interview, Frye discusses her family background and early life on a farm in Klamath County, Oregon. She talks about the difficult experience of a huge change in her family situation as a child, when she was reunited with her mother and brother after having been raised entirely by her grandparents. She then discusses attending the University of Oregon, including influential professors, and meeting and marrying William Frye. She talks about raising a family and how postpartum depression drove her to start her teaching career. She also discusses her involvement in politics, including William Frye's political campaigns. She then talks about attending the University of Oregon law school in 1963, including other women in her class, balancing family life, and starting to practice law.

She describes becoming a judge for the Lane County Circuit Court, including her appointment by Governor Tom McCall and her later campaign. She talks about how her gender affected the way defendants perceived her. She also discusses how this new position affected her marriage and her divorce in 1975. She talks briefly about serving as a judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She closes the interview by discussing her current family life in 1981 and her plans for the future.

Frye, Helen J. (Helen Jackson), 1930-

Oral history interview with Mercedes Deiz

  • SR 1256
  • Collection
  • 1981-02-05 - 1981-02-27

This oral history interview with Mercedes Deiz was conducted by Linda Dodds at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from February 5-27, 1981. At the time of the interview, Linda Dodds' surname was Brody.

In this interview, Deiz discusses her family background and early life in New York, New York, including life in a large family, her experience during the Depression, and her education. She then talks about attending Hunter College in New York, and her marriage to, and later divorce from, Billy Owens. She discusses the reason she came to Oregon in 1949, and reflects on some of her civil rights activism in New York. She talks about her first impressions of Portland, including its social life and the racism she encountered. She discusses her civil rights activism in Oregon, and her work on public accommodation legislation. Deiz talks about working for the IRS, where she met Carl Deiz, as well as their subsequent marriage. She also often discusses the difficulty of finding affordable day care for her son. She talks about working at the law library at the Bonneville Power Administration, as a legal secretary for Graham Walker, and about attending the Northwestern College of Law. She then talks about failing to pass the bar on her first try. She describes some of the cases she tried and serving as a hearing officer in worker compensation cases. She then relates the story of being appointed to the U.S. District Court of Oregon by Governor Tom McCall. She discusses her campaign to hold that seat a few months later, as well as her campaign for a new position on the Oregon Circuit Court in 1972. She describes the kinds of cases she has heard on that bench, and press coverage. She closes the interview by discussing her involvement in various professional organizations.

Deiz, Mercedes F. L. (Mercedes Frances Lopez), 1917-2005

Oral history interview with Richard Bryson

  • SR 1258
  • Collection
  • 1990-03-14 - 1990-04-11

This oral history interview with Richard Bryson was conducted by Les M. Swanson, Jr. at Bryson's office in Eugene, Oregon, on March 14, 1990, and April 11, 1990. In this interview, Bryson discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, Oregon, including the law career of his father, Edwin R. Bryson, and grandfather, John R. Bryson; his education; and his interest in golf. He talks about studying law at Stanford University and the University of Oregon, including his professors and social life. He talks about his service in counterintelligence in Europe during World War II; joining his father's law firm after the war; and judges he argued before, including G.F. Skipworth and James Alger Fee. He talks about his clients, interesting cases, and the different law firms he has been a part of.

Bryson, A. Richard (Arthur Richard), 1916-1999

Oral history interview with Charles A. Sprague

  • SR 155
  • Collection
  • 1962-07-18

This interview with Charles A. Sprague was conducted by Robert Bruce of the Capitol News Bureau in Sprague's office at the Oregon Statesman in Salem on July 18, 1962. It was broadcast on the radio as part of the Living History Series. In the interview, Sprague briefly discusses his family history and early life in the Midwest. He then talks about his career in journalism and ownership of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the Statesman, as well as big news stories during that time, including the labor movement. Sprague also discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and his term as governor of Oregon during World War II. He also talks about landmark legislation that was passed during his term, particularly the establishment of the state forest system, as well as his thoughts on amending the Oregon Constitution. He closes the interview with a discussion about contemporary American culture.

Sprague, Charles A. (Charles Arthur), 1887-1969

Oral History Interview with Art S. Bimrose Jr., by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 1752
  • Collection
  • 1989-04-26

This is an interview done in conjunction with a 1989 OHS exhibit of Bimrose's work. In the interview, he discusses his childhood and education, his early art career during the Depression, the process of creating cartoons, the cartoonist's intellectual autonomy, politics and his feelings on war.

Bimrose, Art, 1912-

Oral history interview with Barbara Mackenzie, by Jan Dilg and Katy Barber

  • SR 1936
  • Collection
  • 1999-09-27 – 2001-06-01

Barbara Mackenzie discusses her family history; childhood in eastern Oregon; growing up with brother, Ralph Tudor (later Secretary of the Interior); work at Celilo Falls during the 1950s relocation of Celilo Indians; work with the Red Cross; The Dalles Dam.

MacKenzie, Barbara

Oral history interviews with Charles Lewis Hayward, by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 2035
  • Collection
  • 1994-04-13/1994-05-04

A sequel to SR 9580, Hayward discusses his family background, early life and schooling, religion, sports, going to college with dreams of becoming a chemical engineer, experiences during World War I, his participation in the American Legion, life as a veteran, and a near encounter with Charles Lindbergh.

Hayward, Charles Lewis

Oral history interview with Amo DeBernardis, by Corbett Gottfried

  • SR 2079
  • Collection
  • 1993-04-09 - 1993-11-05

De Bernardis discusses his family background and early life as the son of Italian immigrants in Northeast Portland, his education and teachers that influenced him, changes in higher education after World War II, the creation of Portland Community College and his time as president.

De Bernardis, Amo

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