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Portal:Oregon

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Oregon (/ˈɒr(ɪ)ɡən/ (About this soundlisten) ORR-(ih)-gən) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The 42° north parallel delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

Oregon has been home to many Indigenous nations for thousands of years. The first European traders, explorers, and settlers began exploring what is now Oregon's Pacific coast in the early-mid 1500s. As early as 1565, the Spanish began sending vessels northeast from the Philippines, riding the Kuroshio Current in a sweeping circular route across the northern part of the Pacific. In 1592, Juan de Fuca undertook detailed mapping and studies of ocean currents in the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon coast as well as the strait now bearing his name. Spanish ships – 250 in as many years – would typically not land before reaching Cape Mendocino in California, but some landed or wrecked in what is now Oregon. Nehalem tales recount strangers and the discovery of items like chunks of beeswax and a lidded silver vase, likely connected to the 1707 wreck of the San Francisco Xavier.

In 1843, an autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country, and the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state of the U.S. on February 14, 1859. Today, with 4 million people over 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second-most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U.S. cities. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168.

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The Ashland Public Library built in 1912
Ashland is a city in Jackson County, in the U.S. state of Oregon. It lies along Interstate 5 slightly north of the California border and near the south end of the Bear Creek Valley, an arm of the Rogue Valley. As of July 1, 2013, the city's population was estimated to be 20,295. The city is the home of Southern Oregon University (SOU) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). These are important to Ashland's economy, which also depends on restaurants, galleries, and retail stores that cater to playgoers and other visitors. Lithia Park along Ashland Creek, historic buildings, and a paved intercity bike trail provide additional tourist attractions. Ashland, originally called Ashland Mills, was named after Ashland County, Ohio, the original home of founder Abel Helman, and secondarily for Ashland, Kentucky, where other founders had family connections. Ashland has a mayor-council government assisted by citizen committees. Historically, its liberal politics have differed, often sharply, with much of the rest of southwest Oregon.

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Elliott Smith at Seattle's 2000 Bumbershoot festival
Elliott Smith (1969–2003) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. His primary instrument was the guitar, but he was also proficient at piano, clarinet, bass, harmonica and drums. Smith had a distinctive vocal style characterized by his "whispery, spiderweb-thin delivery", and use of multi-tracking to create vocal harmonies. Smith was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised primarily in Texas, but spent the majority of his life in Portland, Oregon. After playing in the rock band Heatmiser for several years, Smith began a solo career in 1994 with releases on the independent record labels Cavity Search and Kill Rock Stars. He eventually signed a major label contract with DreamWorks Records in 1997, for which he recorded two albums. Smith rose to mainstream prominence when his song "Miss Misery", written for the film Good Will Hunting, was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category in 1998. Smith battled with depression, alcohol and drug addiction for years, and these topics would often appear in his lyrics. In 2003, at age 34, he died from two apparently self-inflicted stab wounds to the chest; the autopsy evidence was, however, inconclusive.

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Oregon Convention Center
Credit: User:Fcb981

Opened in 1990, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland's Lloyd District is Oregon's largest convention center. In the background lies Downtown Portland's skyline, featuring the Wells Fargo Center (between the spires), Oregon's tallest building. To the right of the right-hand spire is the pink US Bancorp Tower, the second-tallest building in the state.

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David Wu
Too many Oregonians know the heartbreak of a jobless economic recovery. To create new, high-paying jobs, we need investment in Main Street as well as Wall Street.
David Wu, 2004

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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5