Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Howard Morgan
- 1992-08-25 - 1992-10-07 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 11 audiocassettes (10 hr., 34 min., 48 sec.) + transcript (236 pages)
Name of creator
Howard Morgan was born in Tillamook, Oregon, in 1914. After his parents divorced when he was in the first grade, Morgan lived with his father in Portland, Oregon. He attended the University of Oregon and transferred to Reed College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1940. He also studied at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1940, he and Rosina Corbett were married; they later had four children. During World War II, he worked for the Office of Defense Transportation and the Naval Air Transport Service. After his discharge in 1945, Morgan and his family settled in Portland. He represented Clackamas and Multnomah counties in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1949, was chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon in 1955, and was Oregon Public Utility Commissioner from 1957 to 1959. He was also a member of the Federal Power Commission in 1961. After an unsuccessful run for the Oregon Senate in 1966, Morgan retired. He and Rosina Morgan lived in Spain before returning to the Pacific Northwest. Howard Morgan died in 2012.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Howard Morgan was conducted by Clark Hansen from August 25 to October 7, 1992. The interview was conducted in three sessions. Rosina Morgan was also present and contributed to the interview during the first session.
In the first session, conducted at Morgan's boat in Portland on August 25, 1992, Morgan discusses his family background, as well as the family background of his wife, Rosina Morgan. He talks about his early life in the Albina neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, including his recreational activities, his education, and jobs he worked during the Depression. He also speaks briefly about spending a few years living with his aunt in San Francisco, California. He briefly discusses his experiences at the University of Oregon and Reed College. He talks about the jobs he worked during his college years, his memories of Pearl Harbor, and his experiences at the University of Berkeley. He speaks at length about working for the Office of Defense Transportation in Washington, D.C., and then for the Naval Air Transport Service during World War II. He describes his role in supplying equipment to the Navy and discusses spending time in Natal, Brazil, and in the Pacific Theater. The Morgans discuss their courtship and marriage. Rosina Morgan talks about her education and raising a family while Howard Morgan was working for the Navy.
In the second session, conducted at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland on October 6, 1992, Morgan revisits the topic of working for the Naval Air Transport Service during World War II. He talks about instances of fraud and waste that he uncovered during that time. He talks about his activities after his discharge in 1945, including ranching and working for the American Veterans Committee. He also talks about his friendships with Monroe Sweetland and Dick Neuberger. Morgan then discusses his involvement with the Democratic Party of Oregon, particularly his efforts to make the Democratic Party competitive in Oregon. He talks about his service in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1949, including his election and his experience as a legislator in the minority party. He talks about lawmakers he worked with and legislation he worked on. He then discusses his service as chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, including recruiting people to run for office, increasing the influence of the party, and recruiting Wayne Morse. He speaks about the various political campaigns he was involved in and talks about the legislative careers of Democrats who were elected during his time as chair.
In the third and final session, conducted at the Oregon Historical Society on October 7, 1992, Morgan continues speaking about the various political campaigns he was involved in and the legislative careers of Democrats who were elected during his time as chair. He also talks about his admiration for Adlai Stevenson and working for Stevenson's 1956 presidential campaign, as well as his experience at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. He goes on to talk about Oregon Democratic politics and politicians after he left the position of party chair. He then talks about his accomplishments during his service as Public Utility Commissioner from 1957 to 1959, and describes his dealings with some private utility companies, particularly Pacific Power & Light and the Portland Traction Company. He describes his accomplishments as a member of the Federal Power Commission from 1961 to 1963, and talks about his experience living in Washington, D.C. He talks about his reasons for running for the Oregon Senate in 1966 as an anti-Vietnam War candidate. He closes the interview by discussing his retirement activities.
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Conditions governing access
Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
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Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Howard Morgan, by Clark Hansen, SR 1136, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Hansen, Clark (Contributor)
- Democratic Party (Or.) (Subject)
- Oregon. Legislative Assembly (Subject)
- United States. Naval Air Transport Service (Subject)
- United States. Office of Defense Transportation (Subject)
- Morgan, Rosina, 1914- (Subject)