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Oral history interview with John Y. Murakami

This oral history interview with John Y. Murakami was conducted by George Katagiri from July 13-20, 1992, at Murakami's home in Portland, Oregon. The interview was recorded as part of the Japanese American Oral History Project, which was conducted by the Oregon Historical Society to preserve the stories of Japanese Americans in Oregon. This interview was conducted in three sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on July 13, 1992, Murakami discusses his family background and early life on a farm in Sherwood, Oregon, and in Portland, Oregon. He talks about the grocery store that his father, Shuichi Sam Murakami, owned; his experience during the Depression; and his education. He discusses jobs he worked after dropping out of high school and talks about playing in the Nisei Baseball League.

In the second interview session, conducted on July 14, 1992, Murakami continues discussing his experiences in the Nisei Baseball League, as well as his interest in other sports. He also talks about his social life as a teenager. He speaks about a few instances of prejudice that he experienced. He discusses his experience in the U.S. Army, serving in the European Theater during World War II. He also talks about the U.S. government's incarceration of his family at the Minidoka War Relocation Center, and about his marriage to Sumi Matsushita. He then discusses his life in Portland after his discharge from the Army in 1945, including working in construction and teaching building construction at Benson Polytechnic High School.

In the third and final interview session, conducted on July 20, 1992, Murakami talks about his children, their education, their families, and their careers. He then talks about his retirement activities, particularly his involvement in Japanese American community organizations. He also revisits the topic of his Army experience during World War II. He shares his opinion about the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted redress to Japanese Americans whom the government incarcerated during the war. He closes the interview by reflecting upon his life and accomplishments.

Murakami, John Y. (John Yoneo), 1919-2005

Oral history interview with Tatsuro Yada

This oral history interview with Tatsuro Yada was conducted by Taka Mizote on March 8, 1992. The interview was recorded as part of the Japanese American Oral History Project, which was conducted by the Oregon Historical Society to preserve the stories of Japanese Americans in Oregon.

In this interview, Yada discusses his family background and early life on a farm in Salem, Oregon. He talks about the Japanese community in Salem, his education, and attending Japanese school. He speaks about returning home to take over the family farm after graduating from Willamette University. He discusses his involvement in the Civil Defense Corps before the United States joined World War II; talks about his reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor; and describes the Japanese-owned businesses in the Salem area. He talks about his incarceration at Tule Lake Relocation Center during World War II. He describes living conditions in the camp, his role as a teacher, and the military service of his siblings. He talks about getting out of the camp less than a year later to work at a hotel in Nebraska, while his parents were incarcerated at the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho. He then talks about returning to the family farm after the government ended incarceration of Japanese Americans in 1945. He discusses his marriage to Masako Onishi, his Christian faith, and the Japanese American community in post-war Salem. He talks about his children, their families, and their careers. He discusses his retirement activities, including farming, as well as his hopes for the future. He closes the interview by discussing serving on the Salem-Keizer School Board.

Yada, Tatsuro, 1916-2003

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 Helen G. Rees

This oral history interview with Helen G. Rees was conducted by Anne Cummins at Rees' home in Fairview, Oregon, on December 13, 1995. The interview was conducted as part of the Rural Telephone Operators Oral History Series, which was a series of interviews about telephone operators in rural areas in the early 20th century, conducted by Anne Cummins in the early 1990s.

In this interview, Rees discusses her family background and early life in Sherman County. She also talks about the family background of William A. Rees and his early life in Shaniko. Rees then discusses her life in Shaniko after her marriage to William A. Rees. She speaks at length about the telephone system in Shaniko in the 1930s and early 1940s, describing how the system worked and the equipment used, and she talks about some of the telephone operators. She closes the interview by talking about the different ways the operators served the community beyond the job of answering and directing phone calls.

Rees, Helen Guyton, 1910-

Gertrude Glutsch Jensen speech on preservation of the Columbia River Gorge

This speech by Gertrude Glutsch Jensen was delivered around 1981 to a group of people gathered at her home in Portland, Oregon, under the auspices of Senator Mark Hatfield. The speech was also broadcast on KOIN radio. In the speech, Jensen talks about the history of Columbia River Gorge preservation efforts and discusses her own preservation work. She presents arguments in favor of proposed legislation to designate the Gorge as a national recreation area, and advocates immediate action by way of a presidential proclamation to designate the Gorge as a national monument. She also describes the current state of the Washington side of the Gorge. She closes the speech by talking about Chanticleer Point.

Jensen, Gertrude Glutsch, 1903-1986

Gertrude Glutsch Jensen speech on preservation of the Columbia River Gorge

This speech was delivered by Gertrude Glutsch Jensen on May 28, 1981, to an unknown audience. She repeats remarks made to the Portland Women's Forum at the Western Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon, on May 5, 1981. A person identified only as Mr. Short delivers introductory remarks. Jensen discusses the history of Columbia River Gorge conservation efforts by the Portland Women’s Forum and the Columbia Gorge Commission. She advocates immediate action by way of a presidential proclamation to designate the Gorge as a national monument; reads a letter she received from former Oregon Governor Oswald West regarding the Gorge; and talks about her friendship with conservationist Horace M. Albright. She presents arguments in favor of proposed legislation to designate the Gorge as a National Recreation Area. Jensen closes the speech by talking about the 1937 Columbia River Gorge Commission report, and Short makes closing remarks.

Jensen, Gertrude Glutsch, 1903-1986

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 LeRoy Haynes, Jr.

This oral history interview with the Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Jr., was conducted by Jan Dilg at Haynes' office in Portland, Oregon, from October 8 to December 5, 2018. Haynes was nominated by Oregonians to be interviewed as part of a program by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library to enhance and expand the range of voices in the library's collections. Interviewees are selected from the pool of nominees by a staff committee appointed by the historical society's executive director. The interview was conducted in three sessions.

In the first interview session, conducted on October 8, 2018, Haynes discusses his family background and early life in Beaumont, Texas, including his experiences with racism and segregation as a black person. He talks about the black community in Beaumont, his early education, and his early involvement with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He discusses his involvement in the civil rights movement, including his training for and participation in non-violent protests. He then talks about his involvement in the Black Power Movement and the Black Consciousness Movement. He discusses his role in the development of the Black Panther Party; talks about the history of the struggle for freedom for black people; and discusses his experience in college while organizing for civil rights. He talks about his journey in becoming a Methodist Episcopal pastor and briefly discusses his experience at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

In the second interview session, conducted on October 29, 2018, Haynes continues discussing his journey in becoming a Methodist Episcopal pastor and his experience at the Perkins School of Theology. He also talks about the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He discusses his career as a pastor in Texas; talks about navigating the conservative attitudes in Dallas to accomplish his goals; and describes his accomplishments. He goes on to speak about his involvement with the Albina Ministerial Alliance in Portland, Oregon. He discusses his work, in both Oregon and Texas, for programs regarding AIDS and HIV, as well as addiction. He then briefly talks about serving as president of the North Portland Bible College. He discusses his love of education and talks about earning his doctorate of ministry from Brite Theological Seminary and doing post-doctoral work at the Boston University. He describes being recruited to serve as pastor of Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Portland, and as presiding elder of the Alaska & Oregon/Washington Districts and in the Alaska-Pacific Region of the 9th Episcopal District. He shares his first impression of Portland and describes his congregation and the church building. He revisits the topic of his involvement in the Albina Ministerial Alliance and talks about his work toward police reform.

In the third interview session, conducted on December 5, 2018, Haynes discusses serving as president of the North Portland Bible College. He talks about his involvement with the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and his continued activism. He reflects on the challenges he faced as a civil rights activist, and how he applied the lessons he learned during that time to his community activism in Portland. He also talks about the different forms that racism takes, particularly describing the difference between his experiences in Texas and Oregon. He discusses his book, "God's Prophet in Non-Violence: The Theology and Philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," and talks about what he hopes readers take from it. He closes the interview by talking about his work with the Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of the interview, awards he's received, and his hopes for the future.

Haynes, LeRoy, Jr., 1949-

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