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The Oregon Portal

Map of Oregon

Map of Oregon

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".

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Selected picture

Field in Polk County
Credit: M.O. Stevens

Polk County lies in a farming region of the Willamette Valley. Here a broadleaf tree stands out in a field on a spring day.

Selected biography

Hayward Field
Bill Hayward (1868–1947) was an American athletic coach in Oregon. Born in Michigan, he grew up in Canada where he was an all-around athlete. He excelled at sprinting, ice hockey, rowing, wrestling, boxing, and played lacrosse on one of the Ottawa Capitals' world championship teams of the 1890s. Hayward began coaching in 1898 as an assistant track coach at Princeton University. He then moved to the University of California before becoming the head track coach at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he coached A. C. Gilbert. In 1903, he took the head job at Albany College (now Lewis & Clark College) for one year before becoming the University of Oregon's first permanent track coach. Hayward would stay as coach for 44 years, and during this time he was a coach for six United States Olympics teams. At Oregon he coached four track world record holders, six American record holders and nine Olympians. In addition to his track coaching duties, he served as the athletic trainer for Oregon's football team, and coached the men's basketball team from 1903 to 1913 and again in 1917-1918, compiling an overall record of 34-29. The track team's home facility is named Hayward Field in his honor. Hayward was an inaugural inductee to both the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2005, he was induced into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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Western Meadowlark


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Committee Chairman Senator John Little McClellan
The United States Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management was a select committee created by the United States Senate on January 30, 1957, and dissolved on March 31, 1960. The select committee was directed to study the extent of criminal or other improper practices in the field of labor-management relations or in groups of employees or employers, and to suggest changes in the laws of the United States that would provide protection against such practices or activities. It conducted 253 active investigations, served 8,000 subpoenas for witnesses and documents, held 270 days of hearings, took testimony from 1,526 witnesses (343 of whom invoked the Fifth Amendment), and compiled almost 150,000 pages of testimony. At the peak of its activity in 1958, 104 persons worked for the committee. The select committee's work led directly to the enactment of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Public Law 86-257, also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act) on September 14, 1959. As part of its investigations into Mafia activities, the Teamsters, and organized labor in general, evidence was unearthed of a mob-sponsored plot in which Oregon Teamsters unions would seize control of the state legislature, state police, and state attorney general's office through bribery, extortion and blackmail. The committee was chaired by Senator John Little McClellan, a Democrat from Arkansas.

State facts

State symbols:

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



Selected panorama

Downtown Portland
Credit: Eric Baetscher
A view of Portland, Oregon from the east waterfront depicting the skyline of the downtown district. The Hawthorne Bridge is prominent on the left. Although Portland is Oregon's largest city, it is not the state capital; that designation falls to Salem.

Selected quote

Meriweather Lewis-Charles Willson Peale.jpg
This evening we had what I call an excellent supper it consisted of a marrowbone a piece and a brisket of boiled Elk that had the appearance of a little fat on it. this for Fort Clatsop is living in high stile.
Meriwether Lewis, leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on February 7, 1806 at Fort Clatsop

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Attractions: Metro Areas: Culture: Education: Geography: Government:
Oregon State Capital rotunda
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Natural history

Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


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