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".
(born Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV on April 6, 1965) is an American singer
. Active since 1985, Black is best known as the frontman
of the influential alternative rock
, where he performed under the stage name
Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under his current pseudonym. After releasing two albums with 4AD
, he left the label and formed a backing band
, Frank Black and the Catholics. Black reformed the Pixies in 2004 and continues to release solo records while touring and recording with the band. Black's vocal style has varied from a screaming, yowling delivery as lead vocalist of the Pixies to a more measured and melodical style in later Pixies' albums and solo career. His cryptic lyrics mostly explore unconventional subjects, such as surrealism
violence, along with dam collapses, science fiction
and surf culture
. His use of atypical meter signatures
, loud-quiet dynamics and distinct preference for live-to-two-track recording in his career as a solo artist give him a unique style in alternative rock
. As frontman of the Pixies, Black's songs (such as "Where Is My Mind?
" and "Debaser
") received praise and citations from contemporaries, including Radiohead
's Thom Yorke
's Kurt Cobain
. Cobain once said that "Smells Like Teen Spirit
" was his attempt at trying to "rip off the Pixies".
- August 5, 1942, businessman Simon Benson of the "Benson Bubblers" fame dies.
- August 7, 1958, Alberto Salazar, marathon runner and member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, is born in Cuba.
- August 9, 1977, Portland State University alumnus and one-time Portland Trail Blazers forward Ime Udoka is born in Portland.
- August 14, 1848, the Oregon Territory is created when President Polk signs a bill passed by Congress.
- August 15, 2003, judge Rives Kistler is appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court and becomes the first openly gay justice on the court.
- August 17, 1857, the Oregon Constitutional Convention begins meeting in Salem.
- August 27, 1966, the Astoria–Megler Bridge opens across the Columbia River, linking Astoria to Washington state.
- August 28, 1970, Vortex I, a state-sponsored rock music festival, begins in Clackamas County.
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Cannabis in Oregon
relates to a number of legislative, legal, and cultural events surrounding use of cannabis
(marijuana and hashish
was the first U.S. state to decriminalize
of small amounts of cannabis, and among the first to legalize its use for medical purposes
. An attempt to recriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis was turned down by Oregon voters in 1997. From 1999 through 2005, the ratio of Oregonians using cannabis outpaced the general United States
population by 32–45%. In 2003–2004, Oregon ranked among the top five states for cannabis usage of people 12 and older. Oregon is also one of the largest cannabis producing states, ranking fourth in indoor production
, and 10th overall in 2006. In surveys conducted in 1974 and 1975—one and two years after decriminalization—it was found that 2% of respondents said they didn't use marijuana or cannabis because they were unavailable, 4% for legal or law enforcement reasons, 53% reported lack of interest, and 23% cited health dangers. The remaining 19% were using or had used it at one time. In 1998, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act
was passed by citizens' initiative; Oregon remains one of only a few U.S. states to permit marijuana use for medical purposes.
Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W