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Oregon (/ˈɔːrɪɡən/ (About this sound listen) OR-i-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 along Washington state, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary along Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 164,549 residents. Portland, with 632,309 residents, is the most populous and ranks as the 26th most populous city in the United States. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 23rd largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,389,228.

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Capitol Mall as seen from Oregon State Capitol
Credit: Aboutmovies

Capitol Mall as seen from the top of the Oregon State Capitol. The Oregon State Capitol is the building housing the state legislature and the offices of the governor, secretary of state, and treasurer of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located in the state capital, Salem.

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David P. Thompson
David Preston Thompson (November 8, 1834 – December 14, 1901) was a United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, a mayor of Portland, Oregon, served in the Oregon State Senate, and a business person involved with the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company. Thompson was born in Cadiz, Ohio, of Irish and Scottish descent. In 1853 at the age of 19 Thompson moved to Oregon Territory. There he helped build the a railroad around Willamette Falls near Oregon City, which was the first railroad in Oregon. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Thompson enlisted in the Army where he rose to the rank of captain in the First Oregon Cavalry. In 1868 David Thompson served in the state senate representing Clackamas County as a Republican. Then in 1874 he was appointed by the President as the governor of Idaho Territory, and served from 1875 to 1876. Thompson returned to the Oregon Legislature representing Multnomah County in 1878. From June 1879 until June 1882 he served consecutive terms as the Mayor of Portland, before returning to the legislature in 1889. In 1890, he lost the election for Oregon Governor as the Republican nominee, but in 1892 President Harrison appointed Thompson as United States minister to the Ottoman Empire where he served until resigning in 1893. David Thompson died December 14, 1901, in Portland. He donated a fountain to Portland located in downtown, and after his death his family donated a statue named The coming of the White Man that stands in Washington Park.

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Charles S. Drew


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Water flowing down the fountain at Keller Fountain Park
Keller Fountain Park is a city park in downtown Portland, Oregon. Originally named Forecourt Fountain or Auditorium Forecourt, the 0.92-acre (0.37 ha) park opened in 1970 across Third Avenue from what was then Civic Auditorium. In 1978, the park was renamed after Ira Keller, head of the Portland Development Commission (PDC) from 1958–1972. Civic Auditorium was renamed as Keller Auditorium in 2000, but is named in honor of Richard B. Keller. The central feature of the park is the concrete water fountain. Keller Fountain is often noted as a memorable feature of the public landscape in downtown Portland, and in 1999 was awarded a medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The fountain was designed by Angela Danadjieva using inspiration from waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge located east of Portland. While the park is named Keller Fountain Park, the fountain itself is named Ira Keller Fountain. The fountain's pools hold 75,000 US gallons (280,000 l; 62,000 imp gal) of water, while the waterfalls pump 13,000 US gallons (49,000 l; 11,000 imp gal) per minute over the cascade.

State facts

State symbols:

American beaver
Western meadowlark
Chinook salmon
Oregon grape
Oregon Swallowtail butterfly
Douglas fir



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Snake River near Oxbow, Oregon
Credit: Adumbvoget
The Snake River is a major tributary of the Columbia River in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The river's length is 1,040 miles (1,674 km), its watershed drains 108,000 square miles (280,000 km2), and the average discharge at its mouth is 56,900 cubic feet per second (1,610 m³/s). The river flows from its source in Yellowstone National Park through a series of mountain ranges, canyons, and plains.

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Earl Blumenauer
One of the most important things the United States did in the aftermath of World War II was to help returning veterans with housing. In 1945, in my home state of Oregon, we established the Veterans Home Loan Program, which for over 60 years has provided more than 300,000 loans. This has changed the lives of Oregon veterans and revitalized communities.
Earl Blumenauer, 2007

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Oregon State Capital rotunda
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Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


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