The Oregon Portal
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It borders the Pacific Ocean on the west, Washington on the north, Idaho on the east, and California and Nevada on the south. The Columbia and Snake Rivers form, respectively, much of its northern and eastern borders. Between two north-south mountain ranges in western Oregon—the Oregon Coast Range and the Cascade Mountain Range—lies the Willamette Valley, the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state.
Oregon has one of the most diverse landscapes of any state in the U.S. It is well known for its tall, dense forests; its accessible and scenic Pacific coastline; and its rugged, glaciated Cascade volcanoes. Other areas include semiarid scrublands, prairies, and deserts that cover approximately half the state in eastern and north-central Oregon.
Oregon's population in 2010 was about 3.8 million, a 12% increase over 2000. Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene through Salem and Corvallis to Portland, Oregon's largest city.
The origin of the name Oregon is unknown. One account, advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech, was endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 1700s, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so that there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".
Betty Cantrell Roberts
(1923–2011) was a politician and judge in the U.S. state of Oregon
. She was the 83rd Associate Justice
of the Oregon Supreme Court
, the highest state court in Oregon. She was the first woman on the Oregon Supreme Court, and had also been the first woman on the Oregon Court of Appeals
. Roberts served from 1982 to 1986 on the high court and from 1977 to 1982 on the Court of Appeals. Roberts was born in Texas
in 1923, growing-up in that state during the Great Depression
of the 1930s. After attending Texas Wesleyan College
for one year starting in 1941, she married and left school, eventually moving to Oregon
. In 1958, Roberts earned a bachelor of science degree from Portland State University
, followed by a masters degree at the University of Oregon
, and in 1966, a JD
from Lewis & Clark Law School
. In 1964, Roberts the Democrat won election to the Oregon House of Representatives, serving until 1968 when she was elected to the Oregon Senate
. During the 1975 legislature, Betty served in the Senate where both her step-daughter Mary Wendy Roberts and then-husband Frank L. Roberts
also served. She was married three times, including to Frank and later to Keith Skelton, whom she would also serve with in the Oregon Legislature. Roberts lost her bid to become Oregon's governor in 1974, losing in the primary election, and then lost a campaign to become a United States Senator in the fall election. Then in 1977, Oregon Governor Robert W. Straub
appointed Betty Roberts as the first woman to the Oregon Court of Appeals. In 1982, Governor Victor G. Atiyeh
appointed her as the first woman to the Oregon Supreme Court where she served until 1986. She was a private mediator and senior judge until her death due to pulmonary fibrosis
Did you know...
In this month
- December 1, 1969, TriMet replaces Rose City Transit as the provider of mass transit service in Portland.
- December 4, 1850, The Oregonian, now the oldest continuously published newspaper on the West Coast, is founded.
- December 8, 1876, A. Luelling becomes the first mayor of the city of Hillsboro, located in the Tualatin Valley.
- December 12, 1893, former Congressman George K. Shiel dies after a breaking his neck in a fall.
- December 14, 1871, Oregon Senator George Henry Williams begins tenure as United States Attorney General.
- December 21, 1936, Oregon's first female governor, Barbara Roberts, is born in Corvallis.
- December 28, 1978, United Airlines Flight 173 crashed in Portland killing ten onboard the DC-8 aircraft.
- December 29, 1855, a fire destroyed the Territorial Capitol building.
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The Lewis and Clark Expedition
(1804–1806), was headed by Meriwether Lewis
and William Clark
. It was the first American
overland expedition to the Pacific coast
and back. In 1804, the Louisiana Purchase
sparked interest in expansion to the west coast
. A few weeks after the purchase, President Thomas Jefferson
, an advocate of western expansion, had the Congress
appropriate $2,500 for an expedition. The American expedition to the Pacific northwest was intended to study the Indian tribes
, Western terrain
in the region
, as well as evaluate the potential interference of British
and French Canadian
hunters and trappers who were already well established in the area. Jefferson selected Captain Meriwether Lewis to lead the expedition, afterwards known as the Corps of Discovery. Lewis selected William Clark as his partner, with 31 others rounding out the group. After beginning the expedition in Spring 1804, they traveled up the Missouri River
and built Fort Mandan
in present day North Dakota
for the first winter. The Corps of Discovery then crossed the Rocky Mountains
and journeyed down the Columbia River
to the Oregon Coast
, arriving at the Pacific Ocean
in November 1805. The second winter was spent at Fort Clatsop
in present day Oregon
where they prepared for the journey home. Leaving Fort Clatsop in April 1806, they reached St. Louis on September 23, 1806, ending the expedition.
Things you can do
Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W