Item SR1170_T08S2 - Oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt [Sound Recording 16]

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Oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt [Sound Recording 16]


  • 1995-03-08 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:30:39

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Kenneth Allen Jernstedt was born in Yamhill County, Oregon, in 1917. He attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. In 1941, he joined the U.S. Marines air corps and trained as a marine aviator, but before deployment, he was recruited into the American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, also known as the Flying Tigers. He married his first wife, Laura Elliot, in 1943, shortly after returning from the war. He returned to Oregon to raise his family in 1946 and purchased Hood River Bottling Works, which he ran for the next 25 years. Laura Jernstedt died in 1960, and he married in 1962, to Genevieve Weder Carl. He served as mayor of Hood River from 1959 to 1961, and again from 1980 to 1991. He was a Republican and represented Hood River in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1967 to 1968; Hood River and Wasco counties in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1984; and Sherman, Gilliam, Wasco, Jefferson, and Wheeler counties from 1985 to 1988. He died in 2003.

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Tape 8, Side 2. This oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt was conducted by Clark Hansen from February 23 to April 13, 1995, in Hood River, Oregon. In this interview, Jernstedt describes his family background and early life on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon, including growing up during the Depression and his education at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. He also discusses his service during World War II, including his pilot training in the U.S. Marines aviation corps; joining the First American Volunteer Group and flying with the Flying Tigers for the Chinese Air Force; and his experience fighting against Japanese forces in China. He also talks about working as a test pilot after the war and meeting Charles Lindbergh. He then discusses returning to Oregon in 1946; purchasing Hood River Bottling Works; and his experiences as mayor of Hood River. Jernstedt also discusses his experiences in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1967 to 1968, including his campaign, party politics, and Monte Montgomery as speaker of the House. He then talks about his experiences in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1984, including legislation on taxation, particularly a sales tax; revisions to the criminal code; his objections to the 1971 Bottle Bill; liquor laws; and campaign finance. Other topics include prison labor, field burning, the expansion of the Capitol building, wage increases, elections, and the state's investments in apartheid South Africa. Jernstedt also speaks at length about Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh and his coming to the central Oregon town of Antelope in Jernstedt's legislative district. He also discusses working in the Senate with Ted Hallock, John D. Burns, Vic Atiyeh, Jason Boe, and John Kitzhaber. He also briefly talks about U.S. Senate Majority Leader Newt Gingrich.

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Copyright held by the Oregon Historical Society. Licensed under Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA:

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  • eng

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42.1 MiB


November 18, 2019 9:33 AM

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