The Oregon Portal
Oregon ( 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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is a city in Jackson County
, in the U.S. state
. 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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(1969–2003) was an American singer-songwriter
. His primary instrument was the guitar
, but he was also proficient at piano
. 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
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
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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In this month
- October 1, 1938, the current Oregon State Capitol building is dedicated with speeches by dignitaries including Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- October 2, 1867, Willamette University opens Waller Hall, the oldest college building in the state still in use.
- October 4, 2002, the FBI arrests four of the Portland Seven on conspiracy charges for attempting to join Al-Qaeda.
- October 4, 1963, All-American at Oregon State and NBA All-Star A. C. Green is born in Portland.
- October 5, 1877, Chief Joseph surrenders to General Nelson Appleton Miles after leading the Nez Perce on a strategic retreat out of the Wallowa Valley.
- October 12, 1962, the Columbus Day Storm does extensive damage in Western Oregon.
- October 25, 1906, the vessel Peter Iredale shipwrecks on the Clatsop Spit where it still rests in what is now a state park.
- October 28, 1947, Governor Earl Snell, Oregon Secretary of State Robert S. Farrell, Jr., and State Senate President Marshall E. Cornett all die in a small plane crash in Southern Oregon.
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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W