The Oregon Portal

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Oregon (/ˈɒrɪɡən/ (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 parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before European 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 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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Portland Streetcar
Credit: Cacophony

The Portland Streetcar at the Portland State University stop. The Portland Streetcar is a streetcar system in Portland, Oregon, that serves areas surrounding downtown. When opened in 2001, it was one of the first new streetcar lines in the United States since World War II and the first to use modern vehicles.

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Linus Pauling at graduation from OSU
Linus Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American quantum chemist and biochemist. Pauling is regarded by many as the premier chemist of the twentieth century, especially for the versatility of his contributions. He pioneered the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry, and in 1954 was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work describing the nature of chemical bonds. Pauling received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962 for his campaign against above-ground nuclear testing. Later in life, he became an advocate for greatly increased consumption of vitamin C and other nutrients. Pauling was born in Oswego, Oregon. In the 1930s he began publishing papers on the nature of the chemical bond, leading to his famous textbook on the subject published in 1939. It is based primarily on his work in this area that he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. In 1958, Pauling and his wife presented the United Nations with a petition signed by more than 11,000 scientists calling for an end to nuclear-weapon testing. Public pressure subsequently led to a moratorium on above-ground nuclear weapons testing, followed by the Partial Test Ban Treaty, signed in 1963 by John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. On the day that the treaty went into force, the Nobel Prize Committee awarded Pauling the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The Oregon wine industry contributed a total of USD $1.4 billion to the Oregon economy. Of that figure, over USD $800 million is directly provided by wineries and vineyards via sales, wages, and spending. It is estimated that the industry contributed 8,479 wine-related jobs and USD $203 million in wages. Exports to other states in 2004 were USD $64.1 million. Out of all US wine growing regions, Oregon ranked third in number of wineries and fourth in production. Nearly 1.6 million cases of Oregon wine were sold in 2005. The retail value of these cases was $184.7 million, a 24% increase over the previous vintage. Wine has been produced in Oregon since the Oregon Territory was settled in the 1840s; however, winemaking has only been a significant industry in the state since the 1960s. Grapes were first planted in the Oregon Territory in 1847, with the first recorded winery being established in 1850 in Jacksonville. Throughout the 19th century, there was experimentation with various varietals by immigrants to the state, and in 1904, an Oregon winemaker won a prize at the St. Louis World's Fair. There are three main wine producing regions with a major presence in the state of Oregon. Two of them, the Willamette Valley AVA and the Southern Oregon AVA, are wholly contained within Oregon; a third, the Columbia Gorge AVA straddles the Columbia River and includes territory in both Oregon and Washington.

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St. Johns Bridge
Credit: Cacophony
The St. Johns Bridge is a steel suspension bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, USA, between the St. Johns neighborhood and the northwest industrial area around Linnton. It is the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and one of three public highway suspension bridges in Oregon.

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Joseph Lane
Having now finished the observations on this, probably, the last occasion I shall have of communicating with you, all me to express the hope, that whatever errors I may have committed, will be attributed to no want of zeal in the discharge of my official duties, and that they may find a correction in the intelligence and patriotism, of the gentleman who will succeed me. And in my retirement, whatever may be my lot, I shall not cease to invoke that Beneficent Being, to whose providence we are so signally indebted for the general prosperity of the Territory; for the continuance of his blessings upon Oregon—upon you—and upon your constituents, from whom I have received uniform kindness and support in the discharge of my duties.
Joseph Lane, 1850, Legislative Message

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