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Oral history interview with Ken Rinke
- 1995-08-10 - 1995-08-11 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet 3 audiocassettes (2 hr., 47 min., 21 sec.)
Name of creator
Kenneth Earl Rinke was born in Minnesota in 1913. He attended Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, but dropped out in 1935. That same year, he met Sybil B. Knudson on a blind date, and they were married in 1937; they had no children. He moved to Oregon in 1939, and Sybil followed in 1940. In 1941, he enlisted in the Oregon National Guard as an aerial photographer. He was injured while serving in Africa during World War II and was discharged in 1945. Upon returning to Oregon, he continued to work as a photographer. After a trip to Europe in 1948, he got involved with Democratic Party politics in the state. He was nominated as Multnomah County chairman of the Democratic Party by Edith Green in 1952. He died in 1997.
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Scope and content
This oral history interview with Ken Rinke was conducted by Betsey Ellsworth from August 10-11, 1995. In this interview, Rinke discusses his family background and early life in St. Paul, Minnesota. He discusses his early interest in politics, including his involvement with the Farm Labor Party. He then talks about coming to Oregon in 1939; working odd jobs, including as a photographer; and then enlisting in the Oregon National Guard as an aerial photographer in 1941. He talks briefly about his service during World War II in Africa, then discusses his return to Oregon and subsequent involvement in the Democratic Party. He discusses recruiting Democratic candidates, alongside Howard Morgan and Monroe Sweetland, to run for state offices, as well as working on Democratic political campaigns, particularly Edith Green's 1954 campaign against Tom McCall for the U.S. House of Representatives. He closes the interview by talking about Bob Packwood's 1968 campaign against Wayne Morse for the U.S. Senate.
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Copyright held by the estate of Ken Rinke. In Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
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Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Ken Rinke, by Betsey Ellsworth, SR 1179, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the Oregon Legislature Oral History Series.
Incomplete transcript (39 pages) and handwritten index (11 pages) are available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.
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Name access points
- Democratic Party (Or.) (Subject)
- Green, Edith, 1910-1987 (Subject)
- McCall, Tom, 1913-1983 (Subject)