Series SR 1135 - Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh

Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 001] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 002] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 003] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 004] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 005] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 006] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 007] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 008] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 009] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 010] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 011] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 012] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 013] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 014] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 015] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 016] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 017] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 018] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 019] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 020] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 021] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 022] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 023] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 024] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 025] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 026] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 027] Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh [Sound Recording 028]
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Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1135

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh

Date(s)

  • 1992-11-24 - 1998-06-11 (Creation)

Extent

.2 cubic feet; 64 audiocassettes (62 hr., 21 min., 10 sec.) + 1 photograph (color)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Victor "Vic" George Atiyeh was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1923. He met Delores Hewitt while a student at Washington High School. They later married in 1944 and had two children. He attended the University of Oregon, but dropped out after the death of his father in order to take over the family carpet business, Atiyeh Brothers. He was a Republican politician and represented Washington County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1959 to 1964, and in the Oregon Senate from 1965 to 1979. He was governor of Oregon from 1979 to 1987. He died in 2014.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh was conducted by Clark Hansen at Atiyeh's office in Portland, Oregon, from November 24, 1992, to September 10, 1993, and on June 11, 1998. In this interview, Atiyeh discusses his family background and early life in Portland, including his experience growing up as a Syrian American. He discusses his early education; talks about the family carpet business, Atiyeh Brothers; and his involvement in high school football. He describes his memories of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and his unsuccessful attempt to enlist in the military during World War II. He talks about the University of Oregon, including his social life and the development of his political beliefs. He also talks about his marriage to Delores Hewitt in 1944; dropping out of college to take over the family business; and his involvement in the Republican Party and other organizations.

Atiyeh discusses his service in Oregon state government and his political campaigns. He talks about serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1959 to 1964. He talks about his fellow legislators, including Stafford Hansell, Monte Montgomery, and Walter Pearson. He also talks about working with Governor Mark Hatfield. He discusses his committee assignments, legislation that came up during his service in the House, and working across party lines. Atiyeh then discusses serving in the Oregon Senate from 1965 to 1979, and describes the differences between the Senate and the House. He talks about his fellow senators, including Ted Hallock, Tony Yturri, and Don Willner. He discusses some of the legislation that came up during his service in the Senate, his committee assignments, and Senate procedures. He speaks at length about his involvement in taxation and environmental issues. Atiyeh also talks about national politics contemporary to 1992 and 1993; his voting record; and his relationship with the press.

Atiyeh discusses serving as Oregon governor from 1979 to 1987, including his campaigns. He talks about the transition, his staff, and administration appointments. He describes his philosophy of government, working with the Legislature, and the effect of the governorship on his family life. He discusses his administration's legislative agenda, including on energy and taxation; his use of the veto; and his relationships with other state governors. He discusses much of the legislation he signed as governor, his budgets, and many of the reforms he implemented. He also talks about Oregon's trade relationship with Japan, as well as a 1984 trip to the Middle East, particularly Syria. He describes the major issues of each legislative session during his government service.

Atiyeh discusses Oregon politics since he left elected office in 1987. He talks about Oregon governors Neil Goldschmidt and Barbara Roberts, as well as Oregon's congressional delegation. He discusses his involvement with the Boy Scouts, the Japan-America Society, and other organizations. The interview closes with a session conducted in 1998, in which Atiyeh discusses the Northwest Power Planning Council and his retirement activities, as well as a 1998 shooting at Thurston High School and his stance on gun control.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following license: Creative Commons, BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

A copy of the audio is included in the Victor Atiyeh digital exhibit at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon. https://exhibits.lib.pacificu.edu/exhibits/show/atiyeh

Related archival materials

Related collections at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library include: the Victor Atiyeh papers, Mss 1450; the Victor Atiyeh photographic collection, Org. Lot 812; and an additional oral history interview with Atiyeh, SR 2996-1.

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Victor Atiyeh, by Clark Hansen, SR 1135, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

General note

Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.

General note

Incomplete transcript (1556 pages) and handwritten index (117 pages) are available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area