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Democratic Party (Or.) Depressions--1929--United States
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Oral history interview with William L. Dickson

This oral history interview with William L. Dickson was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Dickson's apartment in San Diego, California, from September 25-26, 1991. In this interview, Dickson discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including contracting polio while in high school and his early interest in politics, including his admiration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a fellow polio survivor. He then discusses attending Northwestern Law School and many of his professors; clerking at the probate court in Portland; his family's religious faith; and getting started in a law practice in Portland. He talks about his experience as a debt collector during the Depression; his first run for the Oregon Legislature in 1930; and meeting his wife, Dorothy Adelaide Unk, in 1931.

Dickson goes on to discuss his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1933 to 1936, and in the Oregon Senate from 1937 to 1939, including his desire to help people burdened by debt; coordinating with his uncle, Ashby Dickson, to pass a constitutional amendment making judges nonpartisan positions; and legislation he worked on, particularly on the probate and guardianship code. He also talks about the role of lobbyists; the pay scale for legislators; and many of the legislators he served with, including Nan Wood Honeyman, Monroe Sweetland, and Frank Lonergan. He discusses his involvement with the Democratic Party; the impact of the Depression on his politics and career; and New Deal legislation.

Dickson then discusses his career after leaving the Legislature. He talks about working for the federal Department of Justice during World War II, particularly his work on cases involving land condemnation for military use, and arguing before Judge James Alger Fee. He then talks about serving as a judge on the Circuit Court of Multnomah County from 1954 to 1973. He discusses cases involving mental health and guardianship. He then talks about the lives and careers of his children. Dickson closes the interview with a discussion of national politics in the 1990s.

Dickson, William L. (William Lucas), 1907-2002

Oral history interview with Betty Roberts

This oral history interview of Betty Roberts was conducted by Clark Hansen from March 24, 1992, to September 19, 1994, at Roberts' home in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Roberts describes her early life and family background, including growing up in Texas during the Depression and her father's alcohol poisoning. She also discusses meeting her first husband, John Willard "Bill" Rice, as well as their marriage and starting a family in Oregon. Roberts discusses attending Portland State College and the strain it put on her marriage to Rice; discrimination she encountered as an older woman student; and pursuing a master's degree at the University of Oregon. She also talks about her divorce from Rice due to his objection to her working outside the home, the divorce's effect on her children, and her subsequent marriage to Frank L. Roberts. She also discusses her divorce from Frank Roberts in 1965.

Roberts discusses her career as an educator, including teaching at high schools in East Portland; serving on school boards; and her activity in the Oregon Education Association. She talks about meeting her third husband, Keith Skelton; civil liberties; her involvement in the Democratic Party; and practicing law. She then talks about her experiences in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968, including campaigning, sexist media coverage, and teaching high school and attending law school at Northwestern College of Law while in the Legislature. Roberts discusses legislation she worked on during her time in the House, primarily on education, including sick leave for teachers and universal kindergarten.

Roberts also discusses her 1968 campaign for the Oregon Senate against Tom Mahoney, as well as the 1968 presidential campaign, including the debate around the Vietnam War and her attendance at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, with U.S. Senator Wayne Morse. She then discusses her experience in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1977, including legislation on taxes, particularly sales taxes; women's rights; abortion; environmental issues; rape shield laws; and child custody. She discusses working with Debbs Potts, John D. Burns, and Gracie Peck, and and talks about running for governor against Bob Straub in 1974. She also discusses her run for the U.S. Senate against Bob Packwood the same year. She talks about the various forms of sexism she encountered while in the Senate, the formation of the Women's Caucus in 1973, and support for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Roberts talks about her time as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1977 to 1982, and about working alongside judges Herbert Schwabe and W. Michael Gillette. She describes being appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Governor Vic Atiyeh and the encouragement she received from Norma Paulus. She discusses several cases from the years 1982 to 1986, including cases regarding sex discrimination and misuse of taxpayer monies. She also talks about her law clerk, Maureen Leonard, and about working alongside judges Jacob Tanzer and Mercedes Deiz. Roberts relates her opinion on the efficacy and procedures of the judicial system in Oregon. She discusses her activities after resigning from the court, including her involvement with Oregon Women Lawyers and the Bob Packwood sexual harassment scandal.

Roberts, Betty, 1923-2011

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

This oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland was conducted by Andrew Bryans on March 16, 2002. 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 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, Monroe, 1910-2006

Oral history interview with James K. Weatherford, Jr.

This oral history interview with James K. Weatherford was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Weatherford's office in Albany, Oregon, from August 15 to September 5, 1991. In the interview, Weatherford discusses his family background and early life in Corvallis, Oregon. He talks about studying civil engineering at Oregon Agricultural College, including spending a summer in 1923 surveying for railroads in Alaska. He then talks about studying law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., including his cross-country drive in 1924, and then at the University of Oregon. He briefly discusses the political and legal career of his grandfather, James K. Weatherford, for whom he was named. He discusses his time in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1931 to 1934, including his campaigns and his involvement with the Democratic Party. He briefly talks about his wife, Margaret Cartwright, and her family background. He goes on to talk about legislation he worked on, his fellow legislators, and lobbyists. He discusses his constituency; government versus the private sector; his committee assignments; and the income tax legislation of 1931. He also talks about the labor movements of the 1930s; public power; law enforcement; and education. He shares his impressions of Oregon governors Julius Meier, John Hall, and Charles Sprague. He speaks at length about Prohibition, and legislation regarding alcohol after its repeal. He discusses his fellow legislators, including Dorothy McCullough Lee and Homer Angell. He also speaks about his own experience during the Depression. Weatherford talks about serving as Linn County district attorney from 1935 to 1937, particularly dealing with banks and foreclosing on homes and farms during the Depression. He closes the interview by talking about serving on the Albany and Union High School boards.

Weatherford, James K., Jr. (James Knox), 1901-1995

Oral history interview with Patrick E. Dooley

This oral history interview with Patrick E. Dooley was conducted by Clark Hansen at Dooley's home in Wilsonville, Oregon, from September 23 to October 26, 1992. Barbara Lynch Dooley was also present for the session conducted on October 26, 1992.

In this interview, Dooley discusses his family background and early life in the Albina neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, including his early education at Catholic schools and his experience during the Depression. He talks about moving to Washington for his sister's education and about working various jobs. He then discusses his service in the U.S. Army in North Africa and Italy during World War II. He also talks about his marriage to Barbara Lynch in 1942. He discusses his determination to go to law school after his discharge in 1945; attending Reed College while working full time; studying law at Northwestern College of Law; and taking the Oregon bar exam. He talks about practicing law in Portland with Leo Smith, including some of the judges he argued before and some of the cases he handled.

Dooley discusses his involvement with the Democratic Party and his service in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1953 to 1958. He describes his campaigns, his committee assignments, and legislation he worked on, particularly regarding taxes. He talks about Governor Paul Patterson's administration, as well as some of Dooley's fellow legislators. He also discusses partisanship in the Legislature and his role in the formation of party caucuses. He talks about his experience as speaker of the House from 1957 to 1958, including serving as acting governor, making committee assignments, and working with Governor Bob Holmes.

Dooley discusses serving as a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge from 1968 to 1983. He talks about court procedure, cases he heard, and his feelings about handing down sentences. He spends some time looking at a scrapbook and talking about the photographs and articles in it. He talks about judges and lawyers he worked with and admired; changes in the legal profession; and his philosophy of law. He closes the interview by reflecting on Oregon political history and his own accomplishments.

Dooley, Patrick Eugene, 1918-1999