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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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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.

Selected biography

Schreiber's Los Alamos laboratory identification badge photograph
Raemer Edgar Schreiber (November 11, 1910 – December 24, 1998) was an American physicist from McMinnville in the U.S. state of Oregon. He grew up in McMinnville where he attended high school before enrolling at Linfield College, also in McMinnville. Schreiber graduated from Linfield and then earned a masters degree at the University of Oregon before becoming a graduate assistant at then Oregon State College (now Oregon State University). Schreiber then earned a doctorate at Purdue University in 1941 before joining the Manhattan Project. He saw the first atomic bomb detonated in the Trinity nuclear test in July 1945, and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki. After the war, he served at Los Alamos as a group leader, and was involved in the design of the hydrogen bomb. In 1955, he became the head of its Nuclear Rocket Propulsion (N) Division, which developed the first nuclear-powered rockets. He served as deputy director of the laboratory from 1972 until his retirement in 1974.

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Hillsboro Fire Department's 1924 Stutz fire truck


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Oregon State Capitol, view from Capitol Mall
The Oregon State Capitol is the building housing the state legislature and the offices of the governor, secretary of state, and treasurer of Oregon. It is located in the state capital, Salem. The current building, constructed in 1935 and expanded in 1977, is the third to house the Oregon state government since the state administration moved to Salem in 1852. Two former capitol buildings were destroyed by fire, one in 1855 and the other in 1935. New York architects Trowbridge & Livingston conceived the current structure's Art Deco design, in association with Francis Keally. Much of the interior and exterior are made of marble. The Oregon State Capitol was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The Public Works Administration, part of the U.S. government, partially financed construction, which was completed during the Great Depression, in 1937. The building was erected at a cost of $2.5 million for the central portion of the building, which includes a dome of 166 feet (51 m).

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



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Wallowa Mountains
Credit: Fbolanos
The Wallowa Mountains in summer as seen from the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters/Wallowa Mountains Visitor Center in Enterprise. From left to right the peaks are: East Peak, Aneroid Mountain, Bonneville Mountain, Chief Joseph Mountain, Sacajawea Peak, Twin Peaks and Ruby Peak.

Selected quote

Gordon Smith
The Washington State football score isn’t useful when you are rooting for the Ducks or the Beavers. Our bill will correct the law so local news is local and reports of rain mean reports of rain in your own town. Our goal is to end the frustration faced by satellite subscribers.
Gordon Smith, 2007

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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