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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 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 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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Tillamook Bay at sunset
Credit: Aaron Zahrowski

Tillamook Bay along the Oregon Coast just after sunset, taken from U.S. 101. Headland in background is at the northern end, where the bay outlets to the Pacific Ocean just south of Bay City.

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Gus Van Sant Jr. in 2007
Gus Van Sant Jr. (born July 24, 1952) is an American Academy Award-nominated film director, photographer, musician, and author. Born in Kentucky, the family moved around with Van Sant living in a variety of cities, but he graduated from The Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon before attending the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. He started as a painter, but later changed his major to cinema. After school he went to Europe and then Los Angeles where in 1976 he got a job working for Ken Shapiro. His experiences in LA led to a 1981 film he filmed titled Alice in Hollywood which was never released. He would move to New York and work in advertising for a time, using the money he earned for film projects. Van Sant would return to Portland where he would work as an independent film maker and produce films such as Drugstore Cowboy. Later works include Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, and Finding Forrester. As an actor, Van Sant has appeared in a cameo on screen in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back playing himself. He has written the screenplays for most of his early movies, and has written one novel, Pink. As a musician, Van Sant has released two albums: Gus Van Sant and 18 Songs About Golf. The openly gay writer, director, and musician lives in Portland.

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A 1964 Sawyer's Rotomatic slide projector


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the Oregon brown truffle
Kalapuya brunnea is a species of truffle in the monotypic fungal genus Kalapuya. The truffle occurs only in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, in western Oregon and northern California. Known locally as the Oregon brown truffle, it was formerly thought to be an undescribed species of Leucangium until molecular analysis demonstrated that it was distinct from that genus. The species was first described scientifically in 2010, based on specimens collected in February 2009 from Benton County, Oregon. The truffle is reddish brown with a rough and warty outer skin, while the interior spore-producing gleba is initially whitish before developing greyish-brown mottling as it matures. Mature truffles have an odor resembling garlicky cheese, similar to mature Camembert. The species has been harvested for culinary purposes in Oregon.

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



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Mount Jefferson in Oregon
Credit: Aboutmovies
Mount Jefferson is an inactive stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, the Cascade Range and is the second-highest mountain in Oregon. Situated in the far northeastern corner of Linn County about 60 miles (96 km) east of Corvallis, Jefferson is in a rugged wilderness and is thus one of the hardest volcanoes to reach in the Cascades (logging road 1044 does come within 4 miles (6 km) of the summit, however).

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John Whiteaker
While our common country has been afflicted, and still suffers, from the greatest calamity a people can experience, our own State has been visited by scourges which, though relieved from the horrors of civil war, has resulted in the loss of immense quantities of property, the depriving of many of our citizens of their homes, or the means of support, and seriously crippling, for the present, the Agricultural interests of the State. Indeed, the high waters of December last did more than destroy property, and desolate homes; and many human lives were lost, while attempting to escape the floods, or generously assisting to relieve others from their perils.
John Whiteaker, 1862, Governor's Message

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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