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Everything you wanted to know about Oregon, history, economy people and more - History

Everything you wanted to know about Oregon, history, economy people and more - History



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Basic Information

Postal Abbreviation: OR
Natives: Oregonian

Population 2019:4,217,737
Legal Driving Age: 16
Age of Majority: 18
Median Age: 38.4

State Song: “Oregon, My Oregon”
Lyrics: J.A. Buchanan
Music: Henry B. Murtagh

Median Household Income:$59,393

Capital..... Salem
Entered Union..... Feb. 14, 1859 (33rd)

Present Constitution Adopted: 1859

Nickname: Beaver State
Sunset State

Motto:
“Alis volat Propriis”
(She flies with her own wings)

Origin of Name:
Possibly taken from the Spanish for “wild sage” or the French Canadian for “storm or hurricane” (refering to the stormy Columbia river).

USS Oregon

Railroad Stations

Oregon Economy

AGRICULTURE: cattle, hay, milk,
vegetables, wheat, wool.

MINING: diatomite, sand and gravel
and stone.

MANUFACTURING: electronic
equipment, food processing, lumber
and wood products, paper products.


Oregon Geography

Total Area: 97,093 sq. miles
Land area: 96,002 sq. miles
Water Area: 1,091 sq. miles
Geographic Center: Crook
25 mi. SSE of Prineville
Highest Point: Mount Hood
(11,239 ft.)
Lowest Point: Pacific Ocean
(sea level)
Highest Recorded Temp.: 119˚ F (8/10/1938)
Lowest Recorded Temp.: –54˚ F (2/10/1933)

The state is crossed by a number of mountain ranges. Along the coast there is the Coastal Range which has peaks as high as 4,000 feet. The Cascade Mountains are a continuation of the Sierra Nevadas. The highest point in the Cascades is Mount Hood (11,225 feet). Four smaller ranges cross between the two ranges. The Wilamette River Valley is formed by one of those ranges and was the sight of many of the earliest white settlement in the state. The eastern part of the state, which comprises two thirds of the state territory, is high plateau with little rainfall. The major river in the state is the Columbia River.

Cities

Portland, 653,115
Eugene, 171,245
Salem 173,442
Gresham, 110,158
Hillsboro,108,389
Beaverton,98,962
Bend, 97,950
Medford,82,347
Springfield, 62,979
Corvallis, 58,641

Oregon History

1792 British naval lieutenant William Broughton takes formal possession of the
Columbia River.
1805 Lewis and Clark reached Oregon.
1811 Fort Astoria was established on the mouth of the Columbia River.
1829 Oregon City was founded.
1843 Settlers arriving on the Oregon Trail settle in the Willamette River Valley. 1846 Oregon become a US territory.
1853 Gold was discovered in Oregon.
1859 Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33nd state.
1902 Crater Lake National Park was established.

Famous People


Mark Hatfield
Linus Pauling
Paul M. Simon

Oregon National Sites

1) Crater Lake National Park
The central point of the park is the lake itself. The lake occupies the center of Mount Mazama which is an ancient volcanic peak that collapsed. The lake is deep blue and is circled by lava walls between 500 and 2,000 feet high.

2) Fort Cltasop National Memorial
This was the location that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the other members of their party spent the winter of 1805-06

3) John Day Fossils Beds National Monument
This monument tells the story of 45 million years of prehistoric plant and animal life. The site cover 14,030 acres and includes the buildings of the Cant Ranch

4) McLoughlin House National Historic Site
The site was the home of Dr John McLoughlin sometimes known as the “father of Oregon”. He was one of the early settlers as a representative of the Britain’s Hudson’s Bay Company.

5) Oregon Caves National Monument
This National Monument is located in Southwestern Oregon. The temperature in the cave is between 38 to 47 degrees and the walk through it is like climbing a 25 story building.


The WIRED Guide to Robots

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.

Modern robots are not unlike toddlers: It’s hilarious to watch them fall over, but deep down we know that if we laugh too hard, they might develop a complex and grow up to start World War III. None of humanity’s creations inspires such a confusing mix of awe, admiration, and fear: We want robots to make our lives easier and safer, yet we can’t quite bring ourselves to trust them. We’re crafting them in our own image, yet we are terrified they’ll supplant us.

But that trepidation is no obstacle to the booming field of robotics. Robots have finally grown smart enough and physically capable enough to make their way out of factories and labs to walk and roll and even leap among us. The machines have arrived.

You may be worried a robot is going to steal your job, and we get that. This is capitalism, after all, and automation is inevitable. But you may be more likely to work alongside a robot in the near future than have one replace you. And even better news: You’re more likely to make friends with a robot than have one murder you. Hooray for the future!

The definition of “robot” has been confusing from the very beginning. The word first appeared in 1921, in Karel Capek’s play R.U.R., or Rossum's Universal Robots. “Robot” comes from the Czech for “forced labor.” These robots were robots more in spirit than form, though. They looked like humans, and instead of being made of metal, they were made of chemical batter. The robots were far more efficient than their human counterparts, and also way more murder-y—they ended up going on a killing spree.

R.U.R. would establish the trope of the Not-to-Be-Trusted Machine (e.g., Terminator, The Stepford Wives, Blade Runner, etc.) that continues to this day—which is not to say pop culture hasn’t embraced friendlier robots. Think Rosie from The Jetsons. (Ornery, sure, but certainly not homicidal.) And it doesn’t get much family-friendlier than Robin Williams as Bicentennial Man.

The real-world definition of “robot” is just as slippery as those fictional depictions. Ask 10 roboticists and you’ll get 10 answers—how autonomous does it need to be, for instance. But they do agree on some general guidelines: A robot is an intelligent, physically embodied machine. A robot can perform tasks autonomously to some degree. And a robot can sense and manipulate its environment.

A field of robotics that studies the relationship between people and machines. For example, a self-driving car could see a stop sign and hit the brakes at the last minute, but that would terrify pedestrians and passengers alike. By studying human-robot interaction, roboticists can shape a world in which people and machines get along without hurting each other.

The classical sci-fi robot. This is perhaps the most challenging form of robot to engineer, on account of it being both technically difficult and energetically costly to walk and balance on two legs. But humanoids may hold promise in rescue operations, where they’d be able to better navigate an environment designed for humans, like a nuclear reactor.

Typically, a combination of an electric motor and a gearbox. Actuators are what power most robots.

A field of robotics that foregoes traditional materials and motors in favor of generally softer materials and pumping air or oil to move its parts.

Lidar, or light detection and ranging, is a system that blasts a robot’s surroundings with lasers to build a 3-D map. This is pivotal both for self-driving cars and for service robots that need to work with humans without running them down.

The hypothetical point where the machines grow so advanced that humans are forced into a societal and existential crisis.

The idea that robots and AI won’t supplant humans, but complement them.

Think of a simple drone that you pilot around. That’s no robot. But give a drone the power to take off and land on its own and sense objects and suddenly it’s a lot more robot-ish. It’s the intelligence and sensing and autonomy that’s key.

But it wasn’t until the 1960s that a company built something that started meeting those guidelines. That’s when SRI International in Silicon Valley developed Shakey, the first truly mobile and perceptive robot. This tower on wheels was well-named—awkward, slow, twitchy. Equipped with a camera and bump sensors, Shakey could navigate a complex environment. It wasn’t a particularly confident-looking machine, but it was the beginning of the robotic revolution.

Around the time Shakey was trembling about, robot arms were beginning to transform manufacturing. The first among them was Unimate, which welded auto bodies. Today, its descendants rule car factories, performing tedious, dangerous tasks with far more precision and speed than any human could muster. Even though they’re stuck in place, they still very much fit our definition of a robot—they’re intelligent machines that sense and manipulate their environment.

Robots, though, remained largely confined to factories and labs, where they either rolled about or were stuck in place lifting objects. Then, in the mid-1980s Honda started up a humanoid robotics program. It developed P3, which could walk pretty darn good and also wave and shake hands, much to the delight of a roomful of suits. The work would culminate in Asimo, the famed biped, which once tried to take out President Obama with a well-kicked soccer ball. (OK, perhaps it was more innocent than that.)

Today, advanced robots are popping up everywhere. For that you can thank three technologies in particular: sensors, actuators, and AI.

So, sensors. Machines that roll on sidewalks to deliver falafel can only navigate our world thanks in large part to the 2004 Darpa Grand Challenge, in which teams of roboticists cobbled together self-driving cars to race through the desert. Their secret? Lidar, which shoots out lasers to build a 3-D map of the world. The ensuing private-sector race to develop self-driving cars has dramatically driven down the price of lidar, to the point that engineers can create perceptive robots on the (relative) cheap.

Lidar is often combined with something called machine vision—2-D or 3-D cameras that allow the robot to build an even better picture of its world. You know how Facebook automatically recognizes your mug and tags you in pictures? Same principle with robots. Fancy algorithms allow them to pick out certain landmarks or objects.

Sensors are what keep robots from smashing into things. They’re why a robot mule of sorts can keep an eye on you, following you and schlepping your stuff around machine vision also allows robots to scan cherry trees to determine where best to shake them , helping fill massive labor gaps in agriculture.

New technologies promise to let robots sense the world in ways that are far beyond humans’ capabilities. We’re talking about seeing around corners: At MIT, researchers have developed a system that watches the floor at the corner of, say, a hallway, and picks out subtle movements being reflected from the other side that the piddling human eye can’t see. Such technology could one day ensure that robots don’t crash into humans in labyrinthine buildings, and even allow self-driving cars to see occluded scenes.

Within each of these robots is the next secret ingredient: the actuator, which is a fancy word for the combo electric motor and gearbox that you’ll find in a robot’s joint. It’s this actuator that determines how strong a robot is and how smoothly or not smoothly it moves. Without actuators, robots would crumple like rag dolls. Even relatively simple robots like Roombas owe their existence to actuators. Self-driving cars, too, are loaded with the things.

Actuators are great for powering massive robot arms on a car assembly line, but a newish field, known as soft robotics, is devoted to creating actuators that operate on a whole new level. Unlike mule robots, soft robots are generally squishy, and use air or oil to get themselves moving. So for instance, one particular kind of robot muscle uses electrodes to squeeze a pouch of oil, expanding and contracting to tug on weights. Unlike with bulky traditional actuators, you could stack a bunch of these to magnify the strength: A robot named Kengoro, for instance, moves with 116 actuators that tug on cables, allowing the machine to do unsettlingly human maneuvers like pushups. It’s a far more natural-looking form of movement than what you’d get with traditional electric motors housed in the joints.

And then there’s Boston Dynamics, which created the Atlas humanoid robot for the Darpa Robotics Challenge in 2013. At first, university robotics research teams struggled to get the machine to tackle the basic tasks of the original 2013 challenge and the finals round in 2015, like turning valves and opening doors. But Boston Dynamics has since that time turned Atlas into a marvel that can do backflips, far outpacing other bipeds that still have a hard time walking. (Unlike the Terminator, though, it does not pack heat.) Boston Dynamics has also begun leasing a quadruped robot called Spot, which can recover in unsettling fashion when humans kick or tug on it. That kind of stability will be key if we want to build a world where we don’t spend all our time helping robots out of jams. And it’s all thanks to the humble actuator.

At the same time that robots like Atlas and Spot are getting more physically robust, they’re getting smarter, thanks to AI. Robotics seems to be reaching an inflection point, where processing power and artificial intelligence are combining to truly ensmarten the machines. And for the machines, just as in humans, the senses and intelligence are inseparable—if you pick up a fake apple and don’t realize it’s plastic before shoving it in your mouth, you’re not very smart.

This is a fascinating frontier in robotics (replicating the sense of touch, not eating fake apples). A company called SynTouch, for instance, has developed robotic fingertips that can detect a range of sensations, from temperature to coarseness. Another robot fingertip from Columbia University replicates touch with light, so in a sense it sees touch: It’s embedded with 32 photodiodes and 30 LEDs, overlaid with a skin of silicone. When that skin is deformed, the photodiodes detect how light from the LEDs changes to pinpoint where exactly you touched the fingertip, and how hard.


History & Culture

More than 1,800 miles in 10 days! From St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California the Pony Express could deliver a letter faster than ever before.
In operation for only 18 months between April 1860 and October 1861, the Pony Express nevertheless has become synonymous with the Old West. In the era before electronic communication, the Pony Express was the thread that tied East to West.

As a result of the 1849 Gold Rush, the 1847 Mormon exodus to Utah and the thousands who moved west on the Oregon Trail starting in the 1840s, the need for a fast mail service beyond the Rocky Mountains became obvious. This need was partially filled by outfits such as the Butterfield Overland Mail Service starting in 1857 and private carriers in following years.

But when postmaster general Joseph Holt scaled back overland mail service to California and the central region of the country in 1858, an even greater need for mail arose. The creation of the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express Company by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell became the answer. It was later known as the Pony Express.

Ad in the Sacramento Union, March 19, 1860

"Men Wanted"
The undersigned wishes to hire ten or a dozen men, familiar with the management of horses, as hostlers, or riders on the Overland Express Route via Salt Lake City. Wages $50 per month and found.

On June 16, 1860, about ten weeks after the Pony Express began operations, Congress authorized the a bill instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to subsidize the building of a transcontinental telegraph line to connect the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast.

The passage of the bill resulted in the incorporation of the Overland Telegraph Company of California and the Pacific Telegraph Company of Nebraska. While the lines were under construction the Pony Express operated as usual. Letters and newspapers were carried the entire length of the line from St. Joseph to Sacramento, but telegrams were carried only between the rapidly advancing wire ends.

On October 26, 1861, San Francisco was in direct contact with New York City. On that day the Pony Express was officially terminated, but it was not until November that the last letters completed their journey over the route.
Most of the original trail has been obliterated either by time or human activities. Along many segments, the trail's actual route and exact length are matters of conjecture. In the western states, the majority of the trail has been converted, over the years, to double track dirt roads. Short pristine segments, believed to be traces of the original trail, can be seen only in Utah and California. However, approximately 120 historic sites may eventually be available to the public, including 50 existing Pony Express stations or station ruins.


Background

Portions of what was to become the Oregon Trail were first used by trappers, fur traders, and missionaries (c. 1811–40) who traveled on foot and horseback. Until the trail’s development as a wagon route, however, people of European descent (whites) in eastern North America who wished to travel to California or Oregon generally went by ship around the southern tip of South America, an arduous and often harrowing sea journey that could take nearly a year to complete. Thus, before the turn of the 19th century few whites had ventured into the vast territory west of the Mississippi River that came to be included in the U.S. government’s 1802 Louisiana Purchase. One of those was the French Canadian trapper and explorer Toussaint Charbonneau. He and Shoshone wife Sacagawea were instrumental members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–06), the government’s first attempt to systematically explore, map, and report on its newly acquired lands and the Oregon country that lay beyond them.

In 1810 fur entrepreneur John Jacob Astor organized an expedition of frontiersmen to head westward and establish a trading post for his American Fur Company in Oregon. The men followed the Missouri River upstream from St. Louis to Arikara Indian villages in what is now South Dakota and then struck out on the difficult trek across the plains and mountains through Wyoming and Idaho to Oregon. There they, and another group that had sailed there by ship, established in 1812 Fort Astoria (now Astoria, Oregon) near the mouth of the Columbia River, the first American-owned settlement on the Pacific Ocean coast and what the company hoped would be the major post from which Astor would conduct trade with China.

Astor’s expedition, in dire need of supplies and help, sent members back east in 1812. During that journey Robert Stuart and his companions discovered the South Pass in southwestern Wyoming, a 20-mile (32-km) gap in the Rocky Mountains that offered the lowest (and easiest) crossing of the Continental Divide. (Lewis and Clark, unaware of the pass, had crossed the divide at a more treacherous spot farther to the north.) Astor’s venture foundered, however, when the British took over his post in 1813 during the War of 1812, and he sold his operation there to the North West Company (then a rival of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the dominant fur traders in the Northwest and Canada).

Despite Stuart’s detailed account of the Astor expedition, the South Pass remained largely ignored. In 1806 Zebulon Montgomery Pike, after exploring the Great Plains region, had famously called the West the Great American Desert, a judgment given even wider publicity by Stephen H. Long after he led an expedition to the southern Great Plains in 1819–20. For some years thereafter an American public that initially had been thrilled by the reports of Lewis and Clark became swayed against the West. Not until trappers Jedediah Smith and Thomas Fitzpatrick rediscovered the pass in 1824 did that critical route through the mountains became widely known.


Contents

Pre-history Edit

During the prehistoric period, the land that would become Portland was flooded after the collapse of glacial dams from Lake Missoula, in what would later become Montana. These massive floods occurred during the last ice age and filled the Willamette Valley with 300 to 400 feet (91 to 122 m) of water. [15]

Before American colonizers began arriving in the 1800s, the land was inhabited for many centuries by two bands of indigenous Chinook people – the Multnomah and the Clackamas. [16] The Chinook people occupying the land were first documented in 1805 by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. [17] Before its European settlement, the Portland Basin of the lower Columbia River and Willamette River valleys had been one of the most densely populated regions on the Pacific Coast. [17]

Establishment Edit

Large numbers of pioneer settlers began arriving in the Willamette Valley in the 1840s via the Oregon Trail, though life was originally centered in nearby Oregon City. A new settlement then emerged ten miles from the mouth of the Willamette River, [18] roughly halfway between Oregon City and Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver. This community was initially referred to as "Stumptown" and "The Clearing" because of the many trees cut down to allow for its growth. [19] In 1843 William Overton saw potential in the new settlement but lacked the funds to file an official land claim. For 25 cents, Overton agreed to share half of the 640-acre (2.6 km 2 ) site with Asa Lovejoy of Boston. [20]

In 1845 Overton sold his remaining half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine. Both Pettygrove and Lovejoy wished to rename "The Clearing" after their respective hometowns (Lovejoy's being Boston, and Pettygrove's, Portland). This controversy was settled with a coin toss that Pettygrove won in a series of two out of three tosses, thereby providing Portland with its namesake. [1] The coin used for this decision, now known as the Portland Penny, is on display in the headquarters of the Oregon Historical Society. At the time of its incorporation on February 8, 1851, Portland had over 800 inhabitants, [21] a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, and a newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. A major fire swept through downtown in August 1873, destroying twenty blocks on the west side of the Willamette along Yamhill and Morrison Streets, and causing $1.3 million in damage, [22] roughly equivalent to $28.1 million today. [23] By 1879, the population had grown to 17,500 and by 1890 it had grown to 46,385. [24] In 1888, the city built the first steel bridge built on the West Coast. [25] In 1889, Henry Pittock's wife Georgiana, established the Portland Rose Society. The movement to make Portland a "Rose City" started as the city was preparing for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition. [14]

Portland's access to the Pacific Ocean via the Willamette and Columbia rivers, as well as its easy access to the agricultural Tualatin Valley via the "Great Plank Road" (the route of current-day U.S. Route 26), provided the pioneer city with an advantage over other nearby ports, and it grew very quickly. [26] Portland remained the major port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century, until the 1890s, when Seattle's deepwater harbor was connected to the rest of the mainland by rail, affording an inland route without the treacherous navigation of the Columbia River. The city had its own Japantown, [27] for one, and the lumber industry also became a prominent economic presence, due to the area's large population of Douglas fir, western hemlock, red cedar, and big leaf maple trees. [17]

Portland developed a reputation early in its history as a hard-edged and gritty port town. [29] Some historians have described the city's early establishment as being a "scion of New England an ends-of-the-earth home for the exiled spawn of the eastern established elite." [30] In 1889, The Oregonian called Portland "the most filthy city in the Northern States", due to the unsanitary sewers and gutters, [31] and, at the turn of the 20th century, it was considered one of the most dangerous port cities in the world. [32] The city housed a large number of saloons, bordellos, gambling dens, and boardinghouses which were populated with miners after the California Gold Rush, as well as the multitude of sailors passing through the port. [29] By the early 20th century, the city had lost its reputation as a "sober frontier city" and garnered a reputation for being violent and dangerous. [29] [33]

20th-century development Edit

Between 1900 and 1930, the city's population tripled from nearly 100,000 to 301,815. [34] During World War II, it housed an "assembly center" from which up to 3,676 people of Japanese descent were dispatched to internment camps in the heartland. It was the first American city to have residents report thus, [35] and the Pacific International Livestock Exposition operated from May through September 10, 1942 processing people from the city, northern Oregon, and central Washington. [36] General John DeWitt called the city the first "Jap-free city on the West Coast." [35]

At the same time, Portland became a notorious hub for underground criminal activity and organized crime in the 1940s and 1950s. [37] In 1957, Life magazine published an article detailing the city's history of government corruption and crime, specifically its gambling rackets and illegal nightclubs. [37] The article, which focused on crime boss Jim Elkins, became the basis of a fictionalized film titled Portland Exposé (1957). In spite of the city's seedier undercurrent of criminal activity, Portland enjoyed an economic and industrial surge during World War II. Ship builder Henry J. Kaiser had been awarded contracts to build Liberty ships and aircraft carrier escorts, and chose sites in Portland and Vancouver, Washington, for work yards. [38] During this time, Portland's population rose by over 150,000, largely attributed to recruited laborers. [38]

During the 1960s, an influx of hippie subculture began to take root in the city in the wake of San Francisco's burgeoning countercultural scene. [11] The city's Crystal Ballroom became a hub for the city's psychedelic culture, while food cooperatives and listener-funded media and radio stations were established. [39] A large social activist presence evolved during this time as well, specifically concerning Native American rights, environmentalist causes, and gay rights. [39] By the 1970s, Portland had well established itself as a progressive city, and experienced an economic boom for the majority of the decade however, the slowing of the housing market in 1979 caused demand for the city and state timber industries to drop significantly. [40]

1990s to present Edit

In the 1990s, the technology industry began to emerge in Portland, specifically with the establishment of companies like Intel, which brought more than $10 billion in investments in 1995 alone. [41] After 2000, Portland experienced significant growth, with a population rise of over 90,000 between the years 2000 and 2014. [42] The city's increased presence within the cultural lexicon has established it as a popular city for young people, and it was second only to Louisville, Kentucky as one of the cities to attract and retain the highest number of college-educated people in the United States. [43] Between 2001 and 2012, Portland's gross domestic product per person grew fifty percent, more than any other city in the country. [43]

The city has acquired a diverse range of nicknames throughout its history, though it is most often called "Rose City" or "The City of Roses", [44] the latter of which has been its unofficial nickname since 1888 and its official nickname since 2003. [45] Another widely used nickname by local residents in everyday speech is "PDX", which is also the airport code for Portland International Airport. Other nicknames include Bridgetown, [46] Dumptown, [47] Stumptown, [48] Rip City, [49] Soccer City, [50] [51] [52] P-Town, [45] [53] Portlandia, and the more antiquated Little Beirut. [54]

Geology Edit

Portland lies on top of an extinct volcanic field known as the Boring Lava Field, named after the nearby bedroom community of Boring. [55] The Boring Lava Field has at least 32 cinder cones such as Mount Tabor, [56] and its center lies in southeast Portland. Mount St. Helens, a highly active volcano 50 miles (80 km) northeast of the city in Washington state, is easily visible on clear days and is close enough to have dusted the city with volcanic ash after its eruption on May 18, 1980. [57] The rocks of the Portland area range in age from late Eocene to more recent eras. [58]

Multiple shallow, active fault lines traverse the Portland metropolitan area. [59] Among them are the Portland Hills Fault on the city's west side, [60] and the East Bank Fault on the east side. [61] According to a 2017 survey, several of these faults were characterized as "probably more of a hazard" than the Cascadia subduction zone due to their proximities to population centers, with the potential of producing magnitude 7 earthquakes. [59] Notable earthquakes that have impacted the Portland area in recent history include the 6.8-magnitude Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that struck on March 25, 1993. [62] [63]

Per a 2014 report, over 7,000 locations within the Portland area are at high-risk for landslides and soil liquefaction in the event of a major earthquake, including much of the city's west side (such as Washington Park) and sections of Clackamas County. [64]

Topography Edit

Portland is 60 miles (97 km) east of the Pacific Ocean at the northern end of Oregon's most populated region, the Willamette Valley. Downtown Portland straddles the banks of the Willamette River, which flows north through the city center and separates the city's east and west neighborhoods. Less than 10 miles (16 km) from downtown, the Willamette River flows into the Columbia River, the fourth-largest river in the United States, which divides Oregon from Washington state. Portland is approximately 100 miles (160 km) upriver from the Pacific Ocean on the Columbia.

Though much of downtown Portland is relatively flat, the foothills of the Tualatin Mountains, more commonly referred to locally as the "West Hills", pierce through the northwest and southwest reaches of the city. Council Crest Park at 1,073 feet (327 m) is often quoted as the highest point in Portland however, the highest point in Portland is on a section of NW Skyline Blvd just north of Willamette Stone Heritage site. [65] The highest point east of the river is Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, which rises to 636 feet (194 m). Nearby Powell Butte and Rocky Butte rise to 614 feet (187 m) and 612 feet (187 m), respectively. To the west of the Tualatin Mountains lies the Oregon Coast Range, and to the east lies the actively volcanic Cascade Range. On clear days, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens dominate the horizon, while Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier can also be seen in the distance.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 145.09 square miles (375.78 km 2 ), of which 133.43 square miles (345.58 km 2 ) is land and 11.66 square miles (30.20 km 2 ) is water. [66] Although almost all of Portland is within Multnomah County, small portions of the city are within Clackamas and Washington Counties, with populations estimated at 785 and 1,455, respectively. [ citation needed ]

Climate Edit

Portland has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) falling just short of a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with cool and cloudy winters, and warm and dry summers. [67] This climate is characterized by having overcast, wet, and changing weather conditions in fall, winter, and spring, as Portland lies in the direct path of the stormy westerly flow, and mild and dry summers when the Pacific High reaches in northernmost point in mid-summer. [68] Of the three most populated cities within the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland) Portland has the warmest average temperature, the highest number of sunshine hours, and the fewest inches of rainfall and snowfall, although the city still is frequently overcast compared to other US cities at the same latitude. [69] Portland's USDA Plant Hardiness Zone is 9a. [70]

Winters are cool, cloudy, and rainy. The coldest month is December with an average daily high of 46.3 °F (7.9 °C), although overnight lows usually remain above freezing by a few degrees. Evening temperatures fall to or below freezing 32 nights per year on average, but very rarely to or below 18 °F (−8 °C). There are only 2.1 days per year where the daytime high temperature fails to rise above freezing. The lowest overnight temperature ever recorded was −3 °F (−19 °C), [70] on February 2, 1950, [71] while the coldest daytime high temperature ever recorded was 14 °F (−10 °C) on December 30, 1968. [71] The average window for freezing temperatures to potentially occur is between November 15 and March 19, allowing a growing season of 240 days. [71]

Annual snowfall in Portland is 4.3 inches (10.9 cm), which usually falls during the December-to-March time frame. [72] The city of Portland avoids snow more frequently than its suburbs, due in part to its low elevation and urban heat island effect. Neighborhoods outside of the downtown core, especially in slightly higher elevations near the West Hills and Mount Tabor, can experience a dusting of snow while downtown receives no accumulation at all. The city has experienced a few major snow and ice storms in its past with extreme totals having reached 44.5 in (113 cm) at the airport in 1949–50 and 60.9 in (155 cm) at downtown in 1892–93. [73] [74]

Summers in Portland are warm, dry, and sunny, though the sunny warm weather is short lived from mid June through early September. [75] The months of June, July, August and September account for a combined 4.19 inches (106 mm) of total rainfall – only 11% of the 36.87 in (936 mm) of the precipitation that falls throughout the year. The warmest month is August, with an average high temperature of 81.8 °F (27.7 °C). Because of its inland location 70 miles (110 km) from the coast, as well as the protective nature of the Oregon Coast Range to its west, Portland summers are less susceptible to the moderating influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean. Consequently, Portland experiences heat waves on rare occasion, with temperatures rising into the 90 °F (32 °C) for a few days. However, on average, temperatures reach or exceed 80 °F (27 °C) on only 61 days per year, of which 15 days will reach 90 °F (32 °C) and only 1.3 days will reach 100 °F (38 °C). The most 90-degree days ever recorded in one year is 31, which happened recently in 2018. [76] The highest temperature ever recorded was 107 °F (42 °C), [70] on July 30, 1965, as well as August 8 and 10, 1981. [71] The warmest recorded overnight low was 74 °F (23 °C) on July 28, 2009. [71] A temperature of 100 °F (38 °C) has been recorded in all five months from May through September.

Spring and fall can bring variable weather including high-pressure ridging that sends temperatures surging above 80 °F (27 °C) and cold fronts that plunge daytime temperatures into the 40s °F (4–9 °C). However, lengthy stretches of overcast days beginning in mid-fall and continuing into mid-spring are most common. Rain often falls as a light drizzle for several consecutive days at a time, contributing to 155 days on average with measurable (≥0.01 in or 0.25 mm) precipitation annually. Temperatures have reached 90 °F (32 °C) as early as April 30 and as late as October 5, while 80 °F (27 °C) has been reached as early as April 1 and as late as October 21. Severe weather, such as thunder and lightning, is uncommon and tornadoes are exceptionally rare, although not impossible. [77] [78]

Portland's cityscape derives much of its character from the many bridges that span the Willamette River downtown, several of which are historic landmarks, and Portland has been nicknamed "Bridgetown" for many decades as a result. [46] Three of downtown's most heavily used bridges are more than 100 years old and are designated historic landmarks: Hawthorne Bridge (1910), Steel Bridge (1912), and Broadway Bridge (1913). Portland's newest bridge in the downtown area, Tilikum Crossing, opened in 2015 and is the first new bridge to span the Willamette in Portland since the 1973 opening of the double-decker Fremont Bridge. [83]

Other bridges that span the Willamette River in the downtown area include the Burnside Bridge, the Ross Island Bridge (both built 1926), and the double-decker Marquam Bridge (built 1966). Other bridges outside the downtown area include the Sellwood Bridge (built 2016) to the south and the St. Johns Bridge, a Gothic revival suspension bridge built in 1931, to the north. The Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge and the Interstate Bridge provide access from Portland across the Columbia River into Washington state.

Neighborhoods Edit

The Willamette River, which flows north through downtown, serves as the natural boundary between east and west Portland. The denser and earlier-developed west side extends into the lap of the West Hills, while the flatter east side extends for roughly 180 blocks until it meets the suburb of Gresham. In 1891 the cities of Portland, Albina, and East Portland were consolidated, creating inconsistent patterns of street names and addresses. It was not unusual for a street name to be duplicated in disparate areas. The "Great Renumbering" on September 2, 1931, standardized street naming patterns and divided Portland into five "general districts." It also changed house numbers from 20 per block to 100 per block and adopted a single street name on a grid. For example, the 200 block north of Burnside is either NW Davis Street or NE Davis Street throughout the entire city. [84]

The five previous addressing sections of Portland, which were colloquially known as quadrants despite there being five, [85] [86] have developed distinctive identities, with mild cultural differences and friendly rivalries between their residents, especially between those who live east of the Willamette River versus west of the river. [87] Portland's addressing sections are North, Northwest, Northeast, South, Southeast, and Southwest (which includes downtown Portland). The Willamette River divides the city into east and west while Burnside Street, which traverses the entire city lengthwise, divides the north and south. North Portland consists of the peninsula formed by the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, with N Williams Ave serving as its eastern boundary. All addresses and streets within the city are prefixed by N, NW, NE, SW or SE with the exception of Burnside Street, which is prefixed with W or E. Starting on May 1, 2020, former Southwest prefix addresses with house numbers on east–west streets leading with zero dropped the zero and the street prefix on all streets (including north–south streets) converted from Southwest to South. For example, the current address of 246 S. California St. was changed from 0246 SW California St. and the current address of 4310 S. Macadam Ave. was converted from 4310 SW Macadam Ave. effective on May 1, 2020.

The new South Portland addressing section was approved by the Portland City Council on June 6, 2018 [88] and is bounded by SW Naito Parkway SW View Point Terrace and Tryon Creek State Natural Area to the west, SW Clay Street to the north and the Clackamas County line to the south. It includes the Lair Hill, Johns Landing and South Waterfront districts and Lewis & Clark College as well as the Riverdale area of unincorporated Multnomah County south of the Portland city limits. [2] In 2018, the city's Bureau of Transportation finalized a plan to transition this part of Portland into South Portland, beginning on May 1, 2020, to reduce confusion by 9-1-1 dispatchers and delivery services. [89] With the addition of South Portland, all six addressing sectors (N, NE, NW, S, SE and SW) are now officially known as sextants. [90]

The Pearl District in Northwest Portland, which was largely occupied by warehouses, light industry and railroad classification yards in the early to mid-20th century, now houses upscale art galleries, restaurants, and retail stores, and is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city. [91] Areas further west of the Pearl District include neighborhoods known as Uptown and Nob Hill, as well as the Alphabet District and NW 23rd Ave., a major shopping street lined with clothing boutiques and other upscale retail, mixed with cafes and restaurants. [92]

North Portland is largely residential and industrial. It contains Kelley Point Park, the northernmost point of the city. It also contains the St. Johns neighborhood, which is historically one of the most ethnically diverse and poorest neighborhoods in the city. [93]

Old Town Chinatown is next to the Pearl District in Northwest Portland. In 2017, the crime rate was several times above the city average. This neighborhood has been called Portland's skid row. [94] Southwest Portland is largely residential. Downtown district, made up of commercial businesses, museums, skyscrapers, and public landmarks represents a small area within the southwest address section. Portland's South Waterfront area has been developing into a dense neighborhood of shops, condominiums, and apartments starting in the mid-2000s. Development in this area is ongoing. [95] The area is served by the Portland Streetcar, the MAX Orange Line and four TriMet bus lines. This former industrial area sat as a brownfield prior to development in the mid-2000s. [96]

Southeast Portland is largely residential, and consists of several neighborhoods, including Hawthorne District, Belmont, Brooklyn, and Mount Tabor. Reed College, a private liberal arts college that was founded in 1908, is located within the confines of Southeast Portland as is Mount Tabor, a volcanic landform.

Historical population
Census Pop.
18602,874
18708,293 188.6%
188017,577 111.9%
189046,385 163.9%
190090,426 94.9%
1910207,214 129.2%
1920258,288 24.6%
1930301,815 16.9%
1940305,394 1.2%
1950373,628 22.3%
1960372,676 −0.3%
1970382,619 2.7%
1980366,383 −4.2%
1990437,319 19.4%
2000529,121 21.0%
2010583,776 10.3%
2019 (est.)654,741 [6] 12.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [97]
Demographic profile 2010 [98] 1990 [99] 1970 [99] 1940 [99]
White 76.1% 84.6% 92.2% 98.1%
Non-Hispanic Whites 72.2% 82.9% 90.7% [100]
Black or African American 6.3% 7.7% 5.6% 0.6%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 9.4% 3.2% 1.7% [100]
Asian 7.1% 5.3% 1.3% 1.2%

Racial Makeup of Portland (2019) [102]

Racial Makeup of Portland excluding Hispanics from Racial Categories (2019) [102]
NH=Non-Hispanic

Racial Makeup of Hispanics in Portland (2019) [102]

The 2010 census reported the city as 76.1% White (444,254 people), 7.1% Asian (41,448), 6.3% Black or African American (36,778), 1.0% Native American (5,838), 0.5% Pacific Islander (2,919), 4.7% belonging to two or more racial groups (24,437) and 5.0% from other races (28,987). [98] 9.4% were Hispanic or Latino, of any race (54,840). Whites not of Hispanic origin made up 72.2% of the total population. [98]

In 1940, Portland's African-American population was approximately 2,000 and largely consisted of railroad employees and their families. [103] During the war-time Liberty Ship construction boom, the need for workers drew many blacks to the city. The new influx of blacks settled in specific neighborhoods, such as the Albina district and Vanport. The May 1948 flood which destroyed Vanport eliminated the only integrated neighborhood, and an influx of blacks into the northeast quadrant of the city continued. [103] Portland's longshoremen racial mix was described as being "lily-white" in the 1960s when the local International Longshore and Warehouse Union declined to represent grain handlers since some were black. [104]

At 6.3%, Portland's African American population is three times the state average. Over two-thirds of Oregon's African-American residents live in Portland. [103] As of the 2000 census, three of its high schools (Cleveland, Lincoln and Wilson) were over 70% White, reflecting the overall population, while Jefferson High School was 87% non-White. The remaining six schools have a higher number of non-Whites, including Blacks and Asians. Hispanic students average from 3.3% at Wilson to 31% at Roosevelt. [105]

Portland residents identifying solely as Asian Americans account for 7.1% of the population an additional 1.8% is partially of Asian heritage. Vietnamese Americans make up 2.2% of Portland's population, and make up the largest Asian ethnic group in the city, followed by Chinese (1.7%), Filipinos (0.6%), Japanese (0.5%), Koreans (0.4%), Laotians (0.4%), Hmong (0.2%), and Cambodians (0.1%). [106] A small population of Iu Mien live in Portland. Portland has two Chinatowns, with New Chinatown along SE 82nd Avenue with Chinese supermarkets, Hong Kong style noodle houses, dim sum, and Vietnamese phở restaurants. [107]

With about 12,000 Vietnamese residing in the city proper, Portland has one of the largest Vietnamese populations in America per capita. [108] According to statistics, there are over 4,500 Pacific Islanders in Portland, making up 0.7% of the city's population. [109] There is a Tongan community in Portland, who arrived in the area in the 1970s, and Tongans and Pacific Islanders as a whole are one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the Portland area. [110]

Portland's population has been and remains predominantly White. In 1940, Whites were over 98% of the city's population. [111] In 2009, Portland had the fifth-highest percentage of White residents among the 40 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. A 2007 survey of the 40 largest cities in the U.S. concluded Portland's urban core has the highest percentage of White residents. [112] Some scholars have noted the Pacific Northwest as a whole is "one of the last Caucasian bastions of the United States". [113] While Portland's diversity was historically comparable to metro Seattle and Salt Lake City, those areas grew more diverse in the late 1990s and 2000s. Portland not only remains White, but migration to Portland is disproportionately White. [112] [114]

The Oregon Territory banned African American settlement in 1849. In the 19th century, certain laws allowed the immigration of Chinese laborers but prohibited them from owning property or bringing their families. [112] [115] [116] The early 1920s saw the rapid growth of the Ku Klux Klan, which became very influential in Oregon politics, culminating in the election of Walter M. Pierce as governor. [115] [116] [117]

The largest influxes of minority populations occurred during World War II, as the African American population grew by a factor of 10 for wartime work. [112] After World War II, the Vanport flood in 1948 displaced many African Americans. As they resettled, redlining directed the displaced workers from the wartime settlement to neighboring Albina. [113] [116] [118] There and elsewhere in Portland, they experienced police hostility, lack of employment, and mortgage discrimination, leading to half the black population leaving after the war. [112]

In the 1980s and 1990s, radical skinhead groups flourished in Portland. [116] In 1988, Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian immigrant, was killed by three skinheads. The response to his murder involved a community-driven series of rallies, campaigns, nonprofits and events designed to address Portland's racial history, leading to a city considered significantly more tolerant than in 1988 at Seraw's death. [119]

Households Edit

As of the 2010 census, there were 583,776 people living in the city, organized into 235,508 households. The population density was 4,375.2 people per square mile. There were 265,439 housing units at an average density of 1989.4 per square mile (1,236.3/km 2 ). Population growth in Portland increased 10.3% between 2000 and 2010. [120] Population growth in the Portland metropolitan area has outpaced the national average during the last decade, and this is expected to continue over the next 50 years. [121]

Out of 223,737 households, 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.3 and the average family size was 3. The age distribution was 21.1% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,146, and the median income for a family was $50,271. Males had a reported median income of $35,279 versus $29,344 reported for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,643. 13.1% of the population and 8.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 15.7% of those under the age of 18 and 10.4% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. Figures delineating the income levels based on race are not available at this time. According to the Modern Language Association, in 2010 80.9% (539,885) percent of Multnomah County residents ages 5 and over spoke English as their primary language at home. [122] 8.1% of the population spoke Spanish (54,036), with Vietnamese speakers making up 1.9%, and Russian 1.5%. [122]

Social Edit

The Portland metropolitan area has historically had a significant LGBT population throughout the late 20th and 21st century. [123] [124] In 2015, the city metro had the second highest percentage of LGBT residents in the United States with 5.4% of residents identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, second only to San Francisco. [125] In 2006, it was reported to have the seventh highest LGBT population in the country, with 8.8% of residents identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and the metro ranking fourth in the nation at 6.1%. [126] The city held its first pride festival in 1975 on the Portland State University campus. [127]

As recently as 2012, Portland has been cited as the least religious city in the United States, [128] with over 42% of residents identifying as religiously "unaffiliated", [129] according to the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute's American Values Atlas. [130]

Homelessness Edit

A 2019 survey by the city's budget office showed that homelessness is perceived as the top challenge facing Portland, and was cited as a reason people move and do not participate in park programs. [131] Calls to 911 concerning "unwanted persons" have significantly increased between 2013 and 2018, and the police are increasingly dealing with homeless and mentally ill. [132] It is taking a toll on sense of safety among visitors and residents and business owners are adversely impacted. [133] Even though homeless services and shelter beds have increased, as of 2020 homelessness is considered an intractable problem in Portland. [134]

Portland's location is beneficial for several industries. Relatively low energy cost, accessible resources, north–south and east–west Interstates, international air terminals, large marine shipping facilities, and both west coast intercontinental railroads are all economic advantages. [135]

The city's marine terminals alone handle over 13 million tons of cargo per year, and the port is home to one of the largest commercial dry docks in the country. [136] [137] The Port of Portland is the third-largest export tonnage port on the west coast of the U.S., and being about 80 miles (130 km) upriver, it is the largest fresh-water port. [135]

The steel industry's history in Portland predates World War II. By the 1950s, the steel industry became the city's number one industry for employment. The steel industry thrives in the region, with Schnitzer Steel Industries, a prominent steel company, shipping a record 1.15 billion tons of scrap metal to Asia during 2003. Other heavy industry companies include ESCO Corporation and Oregon Steel Mills. [138] [139]

Technology is a major component of the city's economy, with more than 1,200 technology companies existing within the metro. [135] This high density of technology companies has led to the nickname Silicon Forest being used to describe the Portland area, a reference to the abundance of trees in the region and to the Silicon Valley region in Northern California. [140] The area also hosts facilities for software companies and online startup companies, some supported by local seed funding organizations and business incubators. [141] Computer components manufacturer Intel is the Portland area's largest employer, providing jobs for more than 15,000 people, with several campuses to the west of central Portland in the city of Hillsboro. [135]

The Portland metro area has become a business cluster for athletic/outdoor gear and footwear manufacturers. [142] The area is home to the global, North American or U.S. headquarters of Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, LaCrosse Footwear, Dr. Martens, Li-Ning, [143] Keen, [144] and Hi-Tec Sports. [145] While headquartered elsewhere, Merrell, Amer Sports and Under Armour have design studios and local offices in the Portland area. Portland-based Precision Castparts is one of two Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Oregon, the other being Nike. Other notable Portland-based companies include film animation studio Laika commercial vehicle manufacturer Daimler Trucks North America advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy bankers Umpqua Holdings and retailers Fred Meyer, New Seasons Market, KinderCare Learning Centers and Storables.

Breweries are another major industry in Portland, which is home to 139 breweries/microbreweries, the 7th most in the nation, as of December 2018. [146] Additionally, the city boasts a robust coffee culture that now rivals Seattle and hosts over 20 coffee roasters. [147]

Housing Edit

In 2016, home prices in Portland grew faster than in any other city in the United States. [148] Apartment rental costs in Portland reported in November 2019 was $1,337 for two bedroom and $1,133 for one bedroom. [149]

In 2017, developers projected an additional 6,500 apartments to be built in the Portland Metro Area over the next year. [150] However, as of December 2019, the number of homes available for rent or purchase in Portland continues to shrink. Over the past year, housing prices in Portland have risen 2.5%. Housing prices in Portland continue to rise, the median price rising from $391,400 in November 2018 to $415,000 in November 2019. [151] There has been a rise of people from out of state moving to Portland, which impacts housing availability. Because of the demand for affordable housing and influx of new residents, more Portlanders in their 20s and 30s are still living in their parents' homes. [152]

Music, film, and performing arts Edit

Portland is home to a range of classical performing arts institutions, including the Portland Opera, the Oregon Symphony, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic the latter, established in 1924, was the first youth orchestra established in the United States. [153] The city is also home to several theaters and performing arts institutions, including the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Miracle Theatre, and Tears of Joy Theatre.

In 2013, the Guardian named the city's music scene as one of the "most vibrant" in the United States. [154] Portland is home to famous bands such as the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders, both famous for their association with the song "Louie Louie" (1963). [155] Other widely known musical groups include the Dandy Warhols, Quarterflash, Everclear, Pink Martini, Sleater-Kinney, Blitzen Trapper, the Decemberists, and the late Elliott Smith. More recently, Portugal. the Man, Modest Mouse, and the Shins have made their home in Portland as well. In the 1980s, the city was home to a burgeoning punk scene, which included bands such as the Wipers and Dead Moon. [156] The city's now-demolished Satyricon nightclub was a punk venue notorious for being the place where Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain first encountered future wife and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love in 1990. [157] Love was then a resident of Portland and started several bands there with Kat Bjelland, later of Babes in Toyland. [158] [159] Multi-Grammy award-winning jazz artist Esperanza Spalding is from Portland and performed with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at a young age. [160]

A wide range of films have been shot in Portland, from various independent features to major big-budget productions. Director Gus Van Sant has notably set and shot many of his films in the city. [161] The city has also been featured in various television programs, notably the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia. The series, which ran for eight seasons from 2011 to 2018, [162] was shot on location in Portland, and satirized the city as a hub of liberal politics, organic food, alternative lifestyles, and anti-establishment attitudes. [163] MTV's long-time running reality show The Real World was also shot in Portland for the show's 29th season: The Real World: Portland premiered on MTV in 2013. [164] Other television series shot in the city include Leverage, The Librarians, [165] Under Suspicion, Grimm, and Nowhere Man. [166]

An unusual feature of Portland entertainment is the large number of movie theaters serving beer, often with second-run or revival films. [167] Notable examples of these "brew and view" theaters include the Bagdad Theater and Pub, a former vaudeville theater built in 1927 by Universal Studios [168] Cinema 21 and the Laurelhurst Theater, in operation since 1923. Portland hosts the world's longest-running H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival [169] at the Hollywood Theatre. [170]

Museums and recreation Edit

Portland is home to numerous museums and educational institutions, ranging from art museums to institutions devoted to science and wildlife. Among the science-oriented institutions are the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), which consists of five main halls and other ticketed attractions, such as the USS Blueback submarine, [171] the ultra-large-screen Empirical Theater (which replaced an OMNIMAX theater in 2013), [172] and the Kendall Planetarium. [173] The World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, located in the city's Washington Park area, offers educational exhibits on forests and forest-related subjects. Also located in Washington Park are the Hoyt Arboretum, the International Rose Test Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Oregon Zoo. [174]

The Portland Art Museum owns the city's largest art collection and presents a variety of touring exhibitions each year and, with the recent addition of the Modern and Contemporary Art wing, it became one of the United States' 25 largest museums. Other museums include the Portland Children's Museum, a museum specifically geared for early childhood development and the Oregon Historical Society Museum, founded in 1898, which has a variety of books, film, pictures, artifacts, and maps dating back throughout Oregon's history. It houses permanent and temporary exhibits about Oregon history, and hosts traveling exhibits about the history of the United States. [175]

Oaks Amusement Park, in the Sellwood district of Southeast Portland, is the city's only amusement park and is also one of the country's longest-running amusement parks. It has operated since 1905 and was known as the "Coney Island of the Northwest" upon its opening. [176]

Cuisine and breweries Edit

Portland has been named the best city in the world for street food by several publications and news outlets, including the U.S. News & World Report and CNN. [177] [178] Food carts are extremely popular within the city, with over 600 licensed carts, making Portland one of the most robust street food scenes in North America. [179] [180] In 2014, the Washington Post called Portland the fourth best city for food in the United States. [181] Portland is also known as a leader in specialty coffee. [182] [183] [184] The city is home to Stumptown Coffee Roasters as well as dozens of other micro-roasteries and cafes. [185]

It is frequently claimed that Portland has the most breweries and independent microbreweries of any city in the world, [186] [187] [188] [189] [190] with 58 active breweries within city limits [191] and 70+ within the surrounding metro area. [191] However, data compiled by the Brewers Association ranks Portland seventh in the United States as of 2018. [192] The McMenamin brothers have over thirty brewpubs, distilleries, and wineries scattered throughout the metropolitan area, several in renovated cinemas and other historically significant buildings otherwise destined for demolition. Other notable Portland brewers include Widmer Brothers, BridgePort, Portland Brewing, Hair of the Dog, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

Portland hosts a number of festivals throughout the year that celebrate beer and brewing, including the Oregon Brewers Festival, held in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Held each summer during the last full weekend of July, it is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in North America, with over 70,000 attendees in 2008. [193] Other major beer festivals throughout the calendar year include the Spring Beer and Wine Festival in April, the North American Organic Brewers Festival in June, the Portland International Beerfest in July, [194] and the Holiday Ale Festival in December.

Sustainability Edit

Popular Science awarded Portland the title of the Greenest City in America in 2008, [195] and Grist magazine listed it in 2007 as the second greenest city in the world. [196] Ten years later, WalletHub rated the city as the 10th greenest. [197] The city became a pioneer of state-directed metropolitan planning, a program which was instituted statewide in 1969 to compact the urban growth boundaries of the city. [198] Portland was the first city to enact a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. [199]

Portland is home to three major league sports franchises: the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA, the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer, and the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women's Soccer League. In 2015, the Timbers won the MLS Cup, which was the first male professional sports championship for a team from Portland since the Trail Blazers won the NBA championship in 1977. [200] Despite being the 19th most populated metro area in the United States, Portland contains only one franchise from the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB, making it America's second most populated metro area with that distinction, behind San Antonio. The city has been often rumored to receive an additional franchise, although efforts to acquire a team have failed due to stadium funding issues. [201] An organization known as the Portland Diamond Project (PDP) [202] has worked with the MLB and local government, and there are plans to have an MLB stadium constructed in the industrial district of Portland. [203] The PDP has not yet received the funding for this project.

Portland sports fans are characterized by their passionate support. The Trail Blazers sold out every home game between 1977 and 1995, a span of 814 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in American sports history. [204] The Timbers joined MLS in 2011 and have sold out every home match since joining the league, a streak that has now reached 70+ matches. [205] The Timbers season ticket waiting list has reached 10,000+, the longest waiting list in MLS. [206] In 2015, they became the first team in the Northwest to win the MLS Cup. Player Diego Valeri marked a new record for fastest goal in MLS Cup history at 27 seconds into the game. [207]

Two rival universities exist within Portland city limits: the University of Portland Pilots and the Portland State University Vikings, both of whom field teams in popular spectator sports including soccer, baseball, and basketball. Portland State also has a football team. Additionally, the University of Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State University Beavers both receive substantial attention and support from many Portland residents, despite their campuses being 110 and 84 miles from the city, respectively. [208]

Running is a popular activity in Portland, and every year the city hosts the Portland Marathon as well as parts of the Hood to Coast Relay, the world's largest long-distance relay race (by number of participants). Portland serves as the center to an elite running group, the Nike Oregon Project, and is the residence of several elite runners including British 2012 Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion Mo Farah, American record holder at 10,000m Galen Rupp, and 2008 American Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000m Shalane Flanagan. [ citation needed ]

Historic Erv Lind Stadium is located in Normandale Park. [209] It has been home to professional and college softball.

Portland also hosts numerous cycling events and has become an elite bicycle racing destination. [ citation needed ] The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association supports hundreds of official bicycling events every year. Weekly events at Alpenrose Velodrome and Portland International Raceway allow for racing nearly every night of the week from March through September. Cyclocross races, such as the Cross Crusade, can attract over 1,000 riders and spectators. [210]

On December 4, 2019, the Vancouver Riptide of the American Ultimate Disc League announced that they ceased team operations in Vancouver in 2017 and are moving down to Portland Oregon for the 2020 AUDL season.

Portland area sports teams
Club Sport League Championships Venue Founded Attendance
Portland Thorns FC Women's soccer National Women's Soccer League 2 (2013, 2017) Providence Park 2012 16,945
Portland Timbers Soccer Major League Soccer 1 (2015) Providence Park 2009 21,144
Portland Timbers 2 Soccer USL Championship 0 Hillsboro Stadium 2014 1,740
Portland Timbers U23s Soccer USL League Two 1 (2010) Providence Park 2008
Portland Trail Blazers Basketball National Basketball Association 1 (1976–77) Moda Center 1970 19,317
Portland Winterhawks Ice hockey Western Hockey League 2 (1982–83, 1997–98) Moda Center 1976 6,080

Parks and greenspace planning date back to John Charles Olmsted's 1903 Report to the Portland Park Board. In 1995, voters in the Portland metropolitan region passed a regional bond measure to acquire valuable natural areas for fish, wildlife, and people. [211] Ten years later, more than 8,100 acres (33 km 2 ) of ecologically valuable natural areas had been purchased and permanently protected from development. [212]

Portland is one of only four cities in the U.S. with extinct volcanoes within its boundaries (along with Pilot Butte in Bend, Oregon, Jackson Volcano in Jackson, Mississippi, and Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii). Mount Tabor Park is known for its scenic views and historic reservoirs. [213]

Forest Park is the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United States, covering more than 5,000 acres (2,023 ha). [214] Portland is also home to Mill Ends Park, the world's smallest park (a two-foot-diameter circle, the park's area is only about 0.3 m 2 ). Washington Park is just west of downtown and is home to the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden. Portland is also home to Lan Su Chinese Garden (formerly the Portland Classical Chinese Garden), an authentic representation of a Suzhou-style walled garden. Portland's east side has several formal public gardens: the historic Peninsula Park Rose Garden, the rose gardens of Ladd's Addition, the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, the Leach Botanical Garden, and The Grotto.

Portland's downtown features two groups of contiguous city blocks dedicated for park space: the North and South Park Blocks. [215] [216] The 37-acre (15 ha) Tom McCall Waterfront Park was built in 1974 along the length of the downtown waterfront after Harbor Drive was removed it now hosts large events throughout the year. [217] The nearby historically significant Burnside Skatepark and five indoor skateparks give Portland a reputation as possibly "the most skateboard-friendly town in America." [218]

Tryon Creek State Natural Area is one of three Oregon State Parks in Portland and the most popular its creek has a run of steelhead. The other two State Parks are Willamette Stone State Heritage Site, in the West Hills, and the Government Island State Recreation Area in the Columbia River near Portland International Airport.

Portland's city park system has been proclaimed one of the best in America. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, the Trust for Public Land reported Portland had the seventh-best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities. [219] In February 2015, the City Council approved a total ban on smoking in all city parks and natural areas and the ban has been in force since July 1, 2015. The ban includes cigarettes, vaping, as well as marijuana. [220]

The city of Portland is governed by the Portland City Council, which includes a mayor, four commissioners, and an auditor. Each is elected citywide to serve a four-year term. Each commissioner oversees one or more bureaus responsible for the day-to-day operation of the city. The mayor serves as chairman of the council and is principally responsible for allocating department assignments to his fellow commissioners. The auditor provides checks and balances in the commission form of government and accountability for the use of public resources. In addition, the auditor provides access to information and reports on various matters of city government. Portland is the only large city left in the United States with the commission form of government. [221]

The city's Community & Civic Life (formerly Office of Neighborhood Involvement) [223] serves as a conduit between city government and Portland's 95 officially recognized neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is represented by a volunteer-based neighborhood association which serves as a liaison between residents of the neighborhood and the city government. The city provides funding to neighborhood associations through seven district coalitions, each of which is a geographical grouping of several neighborhood associations. Most (but not all) neighborhood associations belong to one of these district coalitions.

Portland and its surrounding metropolitan area are served by Metro, the United States' only directly elected metropolitan planning organization. Metro's charter gives it responsibility for land use and transportation planning, solid waste management, and map development. Metro also owns and operates the Oregon Convention Center, Oregon Zoo, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center.

The Multnomah County government provides many services to the Portland area, as do Washington and Clackamas counties to the west and south.

Law enforcement is provided by the Portland Police Bureau. Fire and emergency services are provided by Portland Fire & Rescue.

Politics Edit

Portland is a territorial charter city, and strongly favors the Democratic Party. All city offices are non-partisan. [224] However, a Republican has not been elected as mayor since Fred L. Peterson in 1952, and has not served as mayor even on an interim basis since Connie McCready held the post from 1979 to 1980.

Portland's delegation to the Oregon Legislative Assembly is entirely Democratic. In the current 76th Oregon Legislative Assembly, which first convened in 2011, four state Senators represent Portland in the state Senate: Diane Rosenbaum (District 21), Chip Shields (District 22), Jackie Dingfelder (District 23), and Rod Monroe (District 24). Portland sends six Representatives to the state House of Representatives: Rob Nosse (District 42), Tawna Sanchez (District 43), Tina Kotek (District 44), Barbara Smith Warner (District 45), Alissa Keny-Guyer (District 46), and Diego Hernandez (District 47).

Portland is split among three U.S. congressional districts. Most of the city is in the 3rd District, represented by Earl Blumenauer, who served on the city council from 1986 until his election to Congress in 1996. Most of the city west of the Willamette River is part of the 1st District, represented by Suzanne Bonamici. A small portion of southwestern Portland is in the 5th District, represented by Kurt Schrader. All three are Democrats a Republican has not represented a significant portion of Portland in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1975. Both of Oregon's senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, are from Portland and are also both Democrats.

In the 2008 presidential election, Democratic candidate Barack Obama easily carried Portland, winning 245,464 votes from city residents to 50,614 for his Republican rival, John McCain. In the 2012 presidential election, Democratic candidate Barack Obama again easily carried Portland, winning 256,925 votes from Multnomah county residents to 70,958 for his Republican rival, Mitt Romney. [225]

Sam Adams, the former mayor of Portland, became the city's first openly gay mayor in 2009. [226] In 2004, 59.7 percent of Multnomah County voters cast ballots against Oregon Ballot Measure 36, which amended the Oregon Constitution to prohibit recognition of same-sex marriages. The measure passed with 56.6% of the statewide vote. Multnomah County is one of two counties where a majority voted against the initiative the other is Benton County, which includes Corvallis, home of Oregon State University. [227] On April 28, 2005, Portland became the only city in the nation to withdraw from a Joint Terrorism Task Force. [228] [229] As of February 19, 2015, the Portland city council approved permanently staffing the JTTF with two of its city's police officers. [230]

Voter registration and party enrollment As of December 2015 [update] [231]
Party Number of voters Percentage
Democratic 197,133 54.0%
Republican 40,374 11.1%
Unaffiliated 95,561 26.2%
Libertarian 2,752 0.8%
Other 31,804 8.7%
Total 364,872 100%

Planning and development Edit

The city consulted with urban planners as far back as 1904, resulting in the development of Washington Park and the 40-Mile Loop greenway, which interconnects many of the city's parks. [232] Portland is often cited as an example of a city with strong land use planning controls. [233] This is largely the result of statewide land conservation policies adopted in 1973 under Governor Tom McCall, in particular the requirement for an urban growth boundary (UGB) for every city and metropolitan area. The opposite extreme, a city with few or no controls, is typically illustrated by Houston. [234] [235] [236] [237]

Portland's urban growth boundary, adopted in 1979, separates urban areas (where high-density development is encouraged and focused) from traditional farm land (where restrictions on non-agricultural development are very strict). [238] This was atypical in an era when automobile use led many areas to neglect their core cities in favor of development along interstate highways, in suburbs, and satellite cities. The original state rules included a provision for expanding urban growth boundaries, but critics felt this wasn't being accomplished. In 1995, the State passed a law requiring cities to expand UGBs to provide enough undeveloped land for a 20-year supply of future housing at projected growth levels. [239]

Oregon's 1973 "urban growth boundary" law limits the boundaries for large-scale development in each metropolitan area in Oregon. [240] This limits access to utilities such as sewage, water and telecommunications, as well as coverage by fire, police and schools. [240] Originally this law mandated the city must maintain enough land within the boundary to provide an estimated 20 years of growth however, in 2007 the legislature changed the law to require the maintenance of an estimated 50 years of growth within the boundary, as well as the protection of accompanying farm and rural lands. [121] The growth boundary, along with efforts of the Portland Development Commission to create economic development zones, has led to the development of a large portion of downtown, a large number of mid- and high-rise developments, and an overall increase in housing and business density. [241]

Prosper Portland (formerly Portland Development Commission) is a semi-public agency that plays a major role in downtown development city voters created it in 1958 to serve as the city's urban renewal agency. It provides housing and economic development programs within the city and works behind the scenes with major local developers to create large projects. In the early 1960s, the Portland Development Commission led the razing of a large Italian-Jewish neighborhood downtown, bounded roughly by I-405, the Willamette River, 4th Avenue and Market street. [242] Mayor Neil Goldschmidt took office in 1972 as a proponent of bringing housing and the associated vitality back to the downtown area, which was seen as emptying out after 5 pm. The effort has had dramatic effects in the 30 years since, with many thousands of new housing units clustered in three areas: north of Portland State University (between I-405, SW Broadway, and SW Taylor St.) the RiverPlace development along the waterfront under the Marquam (I-5) bridge and most notably in the Pearl District (between I-405, Burnside St., NW Northrup St., and NW 9th Ave.).

Historically, environmental consciousness has weighed significantly in the city's planning and development efforts. [245] Portland was one of the first cities in the United States to promote and integrate alternative forms of transportation, such as the MAX Light Rail and extensive bike paths. [245] The Urban Greenspaces Institute, housed in Portland State University Geography Department's Center for Mapping Research, promotes better integration of the built and natural environments. The institute works on urban park, trail, and natural areas planning issues, both at the local and regional levels. [246] In October 2009, the Portland City Council unanimously adopted a climate action plan that will cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. [247] The city's longstanding efforts were recognized in a 2010 Reuters report, which named Portland the second-most environmentally conscious or "green" city in the world after Reykjavík, Iceland. [245]

As of 2012, Portland was the largest city in the United States that did not add fluoride to its public water supply, [248] and fluoridation has historically been a subject of controversy in the city. [249] Portland voters have four times voted against fluoridation, in 1956, 1962, 1980 (repealing a 1978 vote in favor), and 2013. [250] In 2012 the city council, responding to advocacy from public health organizations and others, voted unanimously to begin fluoridation by 2014. Fluoridation opponents forced a public vote on the issue, [251] and on May 21, 2013, city voters again rejected fluoridation. [252]

Free speech Edit

Strong free speech protections of the Oregon Constitution upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court in State v. Henry, [253] specifically found that full nudity and lap dances in strip clubs are protected speech. [254] Portland has the highest number of strip clubs per-capita in a city in the United States, and Oregon ranks as the highest state for per-capita strip clubs. [255]

In November 2008, a Multnomah County judge dismissed charges against a nude bicyclist arrested on June 26, 2008. The judge stated that the city's annual World Naked Bike Ride – held each year in June since 2004 – has created a "well-established tradition" in Portland where cyclists may ride naked as a form of protest against cars and fossil fuel dependence. [256] The defendant was not riding in the official World Naked Bike Ride at the time of his arrest as it had occurred 12 days earlier that year, on June 14. [257]

From November 10 to 12, 2016, protests in Portland turned into a riot, when a group of anarchists broke off from a larger group of peaceful protesters who were opposed to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. [258]

Crime Edit

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report in 2009, Portland ranked 53rd in violent crime out of the top 75 U.S. cities with a population greater than 250,000. [259] The murder rate in Portland in 2013 averaged 2.3 murders per 100,000 people per year, which was lower than the national average. In October 2009, Forbes magazine rated Portland as the third safest city in America. [260] [261] In 2011, 72% of arrested male subjects tested positive for illegal drugs and the city was dubbed the "deadliest drug market in the Pacific Northwest" due to drug related deaths. [262] In 2010, ABC's Nightline reported that Portland is one of the largest hubs for child sex trafficking. [263]

In the Portland Metropolitan statistical area which includes Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill Counties, OR and Clark and Skamania Counties, WA for 2017, the murder rate was 2.6, violent crime was 283.2 per 100,000 people per year. In 2017, the population within the city of Portland was 649,408 and there were 24 murders and 3,349 violent crimes. [264]

Below is a sortable table containing violent crime data from each Portland neighborhood during the calendar year of 2014.

Violent Crime by Neighborhood in Portland (2014) [265]
Totals Per 100,000 residents
Neighborhood Population Aggravated Assault Homicide Rape Robbery Aggravated Assault Homicide Rape Robbery
Alameda 5,214 1 0 1 1 19.2 0.0 19.2 19.2
Arbor Lodge 6,153 8 0 0 14 130.0 0.0 0.0 227.5
Ardenwald-Johnson Creek 4,748 0 1 0 0 0.0 21.1 0.0 0.0
Argay 6,006 19 0 2 12 316.4 0.0 33.3 199.8
Arlington Heights 718 1 0 0 1 139.3 0.0 0.0 139.3
Arnold Creek 3,125 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Ashcreek 5,719 4 1 0 0 69.9 17.5 0.0 0.0
Beaumont-Wilshire 5,346 1 0 0 0 18.7 0.0 0.0 0.0
Boise 3,311 11 0 1 4 332.2 0.0 30.2 120.8
Brentwood-Darlington 12,994 30 0 5 12 230.9 0.0 38.5 92.4
Bridgeton 725 1 0 0 0 137.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
Bridlemile 5,481 2 0 0 1 36.5 0.0 0.0 18.2
Brooklyn 3,485 6 0 0 4 172.2 0.0 0.0 114.8
Buckman 8,472 46 0 4 19 543.0 0.0 47.2 224.3
Cathedral Park 3,349 8 0 1 1 238.9 0.0 29.9 29.9
Centennial 23,662 94 2 7 28 397.3 8.5 29.6 118.3
Collins View 3,036 1 0 0 0 32.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
Concordia 9,550 8 0 1 6 83.8 0.0 10.5 62.8
Creston-Kenilworth 8,227 0 0 0 1 0.0 0.0 0.0 12.2
Crestwood 1,047 12 0 0 7 1146.1 0.0 0.0 668.6
Cully 13,209 47 2 9 25 355.8 15.1 68.1 189.3
Downtown 12,801 95 1 10 75 742.1 7.8 78.1 585.9
East Columbia 1,748 13 0 0 13 743.7 0.0 0.0 743.7
Eastmoreland 5,007 0 0 1 0 0.0 0.0 20.0 0.0
Eliot 3,611 19 0 3 9 526.2 0.0 83.1 249.2
Far Southwest 1,320 1 0 1 0 75.8 0.0 75.8 0.0
Forest Park 4,129 1 0 0 0 24.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Foster-Powell 7,335 19 0 2 8 259.0 0.0 27.3 109.1
Glenfair 3,417 18 0 3 14 526.8 0.0 87.8 409.7
Goose Hollow 6,507 14 0 1 9 215.2 0.0 15.4 138.3
Grant Park 3,937 5 0 1 0 127.0 0.0 25.4 0.0
Hayden Island 2,270 8 0 0 10 352.4 0.0 0.0 440.5
Hayhurst 5,382 4 0 1 0 74.3 0.0 18.6 0.0
Hazelwood 23,462 116 3 13 50 494.4 12.8 55.4 213.1
Healy Heights 187 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Hillsdale 7,540 1 1 1 0 13.3 13.3 13.3 0.0
Hillside 2,200 1 0 0 0 45.5 0.0 0.0 0.0
Hollywood 1,578 10 0 1 8 633.7 0.0 63.4 507.0
Homestead 2,009 3 0 3 0 149.3 0.0 149.3 0.0
Hosford-Abernethy 7,336 7 0 0 6 95.4 0.0 0.0 81.8
Humboldt 5,110 29 1 0 5 567.5 19.6 0.0 97.8
Irvington 8,501 10 0 3 3 117.6 0.0 35.3 35.3
Kenton 7,272 24 0 0 18 330.0 0.0 0.0 247.5
Kerns 5,340 9 0 2 6 168.5 0.0 37.5 112.4
King 6,149 19 0 1 12 309.0 0.0 16.3 195.2
Laurelhurst 4,633 3 0 0 2 64.8 0.0 0.0 43.2
Lents 20,465 73 2 7 41 356.7 9.8 34.2 200.3
Linnton 941 1 0 3 0 106.3 0.0 318.8 0.0
Lloyd District 1,142 21 1 6 42 1838.9 87.6 525.4 3677.8
Madison South 7,130 21 0 2 11 294.5 0.0 28.1 154.3
Maplewood 2,557 0 0 0 1 0.0 0.0 0.0 39.1
Markham 2,248 1 0 0 0 44.5 0.0 0.0 0.0
Marshall Park 1,248 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Mill Park 8,650 31 0 3 10 358.4 0.0 34.7 115.6
Montavilla 16,287 49 0 2 30 300.9 0.0 12.3 184.2
Mount Scott-Arleta 7,397 18 0 4 7 243.3 0.0 54.1 94.6
Mount Tabor 10,162 4 0 0 2 39.4 0.0 0.0 19.7
Multnomah 7,409 1 0 2 2 13.5 0.0 27.0 27.0
North Tabor 5,163 8 1 1 4 154.9 19.4 19.4 77.5
Northwest District 13,399 25 0 3 19 186.6 0.0 22.4 141.8
Northwest Heights 4,806 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Old Town-Chinatown 3,922 106 1 6 47 2702.7 25.5 153.0 1198.4
Overlook 6,093 16 0 5 12 262.6 0.0 82.1 196.9
Parkrose 6,363 52 1 4 6 817.2 15.7 62.9 94.3
Parkrose Heights 6,119 12 0 0 10 196.1 0.0 0.0 163.4
Pearl 5,997 19 0 4 19 316.8 0.0 66.7 316.8
Piedmont 7,025 14 0 2 3 199.3 0.0 28.5 42.7
Pleasant Valley 12,743 9 0 2 0 70.6 0.0 15.7 0.0
Portsmouth 9,789 37 3 6 13 378.0 30.6 61.3 132.8
Powellhurst-Gilbert 30,639 124 2 8 48 404.7 6.5 26.1 156.7
Reed 4,399 5 0 0 0 113.7 0.0 0.0 0.0
Richmond 11,607 13 1 3 7 112.0 8.6 25.8 60.3
Rose City Park 8,982 6 0 0 8 66.8 0.0 0.0 89.1
Roseway 6,323 14 1 0 3 221.4 15.8 0.0 47.4
Russell 3,175 3 0 1 2 94.5 0.0 31.5 63.0
Sabin 4,149 9 0 1 3 216.9 0.0 24.1 72.3
Sellwood-Moreland 11,621 5 0 2 2 43.0 0.0 17.2 17.2
South Burlingame 1,747 4 0 0 0 229.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
South Portland 6,631 4 0 1 4 60.3 0.0 15.1 60.3
South Tabor 5,995 9 0 2 2 150.1 0.0 33.4 33.4
Southwest Hills 8,389 2 0 0 0 23.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
St. Johns 12,207 51 0 5 18 417.8 0.0 41.0 147.5
Sullivan's Gulch 3,139 7 0 1 6 223.0 0.0 31.9 191.1
Sumner 2,137 14 0 1 4 655.1 0.0 46.8 187.2
Sunderland 718 2 0 1 1 278.6 0.0 139.3 139.3
Sunnyside 7,354 9 0 0 5 122.4 0.0 0.0 68.0
Sylvan-Highlands 1,317 1 0 0 2 75.9 0.0 0.0 151.9
University Park 6,035 9 0 0 7 149.1 0.0 0.0 116.0
Vernon 2,585 6 0 0 7 232.1 0.0 0.0 270.8
West Portland Park 3,921 6 0 0 1 153.0 0.0 0.0 25.5
Wilkes 8,775 15 0 4 7 170.9 0.0 45.6 79.8
Woodland Park 176 0 0 1 1 0.0 0.0 568.2 568.2
Woodlawn 4,933 17 0 1 8 344.6 0.0 20.3 162.2
Woodstock 8,942 11 2 1 11 123.0 22.4 11.2 123.0

2020 George Floyd protests Edit

Starting May 28, 2020, and extending into spring 2021, [266] daily protests occurred regarding the murder of George Floyd by police and perceived racial injustice. There were instances of looting, vandalism, and police actions causing injuries as well as a fatality. [267] [268] [269] [270] Local businesses reported losses totaling millions of dollars as the result of vandalism and looting, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. [271] Some protests involved confrontations with law enforcement involving injury to protesters and police. In July federal officers were deployed to safeguard federal property, whose presence and tactics were criticized by Oregon officials who demanded they leave, while lawsuits were filed against local and federal law enforcement alleging wrongful actions by them. [272] [273] [274] [275]

On May 25, 2021, police in Portland declared a riot as a protest commemorating the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death resulted in property damage, leading to a handful of arrests. [276] [277]

Primary and secondary education Edit

Nine public school districts and many private schools serve Portland. Portland Public Schools is the largest school district, operating 85 public schools. [278] David Douglas High School, in the Powellhurst neighborhood, has the largest enrollment of any public high school in the city. [279] Other high schools include Benson, Cleveland, Franklin, Grant, Jefferson, Madison, Parkrose, Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson, and several suburban high schools which serve the city's outer areas. Established in 1869, Lincoln High School (formerly Portland High School) is the city's oldest public education institution, and is one of two of the oldest high schools west of the Mississippi River (after San Francisco's Lowell High School). [280]

Former public schools in the city included Washington High School, which operated from 1906 until 1981, as well as Adams and Jackson, which also closed the same year.

The city and surrounding metropolitan area are also home to a large number of Roman Catholic-affiliated private schools, including St. Mary's Academy, an all-girls school De La Salle North Catholic High School the co-educational Jesuit High School La Salle High School and Central Catholic High School, the only archdiocesan high school in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland.

Higher education Edit

Portland State University has the second-largest enrollment rate of any university in the state (after Oregon State University), with a student body of nearly 30,000. [281] It has been named among the top fifteen percentile of American regional universities by The Princeton Review for undergraduate education, [282] and has been internationally recognized for its degrees in Master of Business Administration and urban planning. [283] The city is also home to the Oregon Health & Science University, as well as Portland Community College.

Notable private universities include the University of Portland, a Roman Catholic university affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross Reed College, a liberal arts college, and Lewis & Clark College.

Other institutions of higher learning within the city are:

The Oregonian is the only daily general-interest newspaper serving Portland. It also circulates throughout the state and in Clark County, Washington.

Smaller local newspapers, distributed free of charge in newspaper boxes and at venues around the city, include the Portland Tribune (general-interest paper published on Tuesdays and Thursdays), Willamette Week (general-interest alternative weekly published on Wednesdays), and The Portland Mercury (another alt-weekly, targeted at younger urban readers and published every other Thursdays). The Portland area also has newspapers that are published for specific communities, including The Asian Reporter (a weekly covering Asian news, both international and local) and The Skanner (a weekly African-American newspaper covering both local and national news). The Portland Business Journal covers business-related news on a weekly basis, as does The Daily Journal of Commerce, its main competitor. Portland Monthly is a monthly news and culture magazine. The Bee, over 105 years old, is another neighborhood newspaper serving the inner southeast neighborhoods. [ citation needed ]

Healthcare Edit

Legacy Health, a non-profit healthcare system in Portland, operates multiple facilities in the city and surrounding suburbs. [284] These include Legacy Emanuel, founded in 1912, in Northeast Portland and Legacy Good Samaritan, founded in 1875, and in Northwest Portland. [284] Randall's Children's Hospital operates at the Legacy Emanuel Campus. Good Samaritan has centers for breast health, cancer, and stroke, and is home to the Legacy Devers Eye Institute, the Legacy Obesity and Diabetes Institute, the Legacy Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, the Legacy Rehabilitation Clinic of Oregon, and the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing. [285]

The Catholic-affiliated Providence Health & Services operates Providence Portland Medical Center in the North Tabor neighborhood of the city. Oregon Health & Science University is a university hospital formed in 1974. The Veterans Affairs Medical Center operates next to the Oregon Health & Science University main campus. Adventist Medical Center also serves the city. Shriners Hospital for Children is a small children's hospital established in 1923.

Transportation Edit

The Portland metropolitan area has transportation services common to major U.S. cities, though Oregon's emphasis on proactive land-use planning and transit-oriented development within the urban growth boundary means commuters have multiple well-developed options. In 2014, Travel + Leisure magazine rated Portland as the No. 1 most pedestrian and transit-friendly city in the United States. [286] A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Portland 12th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities. [287]

In 2008, 12.6% of all commutes in Portland were on public transit. [288] TriMet operates most of the region's buses and the MAX (short for Metropolitan Area Express) light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs. The 1986-opened MAX system has expanded to five lines, with the latest being the Orange Line to Milwaukie, in service as of September 2015. [289] WES Commuter Rail opened in February 2009 in Portland's western suburbs, linking Beaverton and Wilsonville.

The city-owned Portland Streetcar serves two routes in the Central City – downtown and adjacent districts. The first line, which opened in 2001 and was extended in 2005–07, operates from the South Waterfront District through Portland State University and north through the West End of downtown, to shopping areas and dense residential districts north and northwest of downtown. The second line that opened in 2012 added 3.3 miles (5.3 km) of tracks on the east side of the Willamette River and across the Broadway Bridge to a connection with the original line. [290] The east-side line completed a loop to the tracks on the west side of the river upon completion of the new Tilikum Crossing in 2015, [291] and, in anticipation of that, had been named the Central Loop line in 2012. However, it was renamed the Loop Service, with an A Loop (clockwise) and B Loop (counterclockwise), when it became a complete loop with the opening of the Tilikum Crossing bridge.

Fifth and Sixth avenues within downtown comprise the Portland Transit Mall, two streets devoted primarily to bus and light rail traffic with limited automobile access. Opened in 1977 for buses, the transit mall was renovated and rebuilt in 2007–09, with light rail added. Starting in 1975 and lasting nearly four decades, all transit service within downtown Portland was free, the area being known by TriMet as Fareless Square, but a need for minor budget cuts and funding needed for expansion prompted the agency to limit free rides to rail service only in 2010, [292] and subsequently to discontinue the fare-free zone entirely in 2012. [293]

TriMet provides real-time tracking of buses and trains with its TransitTracker, and makes the data available to software developers so they can create customized tools of their own. [294] [295]

I-5 connects Portland with the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, and California to the south and with Washington to the north. I-405 forms a loop with I-5 around the central downtown area of the city and I-205 is a loop freeway route on the east side which connects to the Portland International Airport. U.S. 26 supports commuting within the metro area and continues to the Pacific Ocean westward and Mount Hood and Central Oregon eastward. U.S. 30 has a main, bypass, and business route through the city extending to Astoria to the west through Gresham, Oregon, and the eastern exurbs, and connects to I-84, traveling towards Boise, Idaho. Portland ranked 13th in traffic congestion of all American cities. By 2018, it ranked 10th [296] [297]

Portland's main airport is Portland International Airport, about 20 minutes by car (40 minutes by MAX) northeast of downtown. Portland's airport has been named the best US airport for seven consecutive years (2013–2019). [298] Portland is also home to Oregon's only public use heliport, the Portland Downtown Heliport. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Portland at Union Station on three routes. Long-haul train routes include the Coast Starlight (with service from Los Angeles to Seattle) and the Empire Builder (with service to Chicago). The Amtrak Cascades state-supported trains operate between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Oregon, and serve Portland several times daily. The city is also served by Greyhound Lines intercity bus service, which also operates BoltBus, an express bus service. The city's first airport was the Swan Island Municipal Airport, which was closed in the 1940s.

Portland is the only city in the United States that owns operating mainline steam locomotives, donated to the city in 1958 by the railroads that ran them. [299] Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700 and the world-famous Southern Pacific 4449 can be seen several times a year pulling a special excursion train, either locally or on an extended trip. The "Holiday Express", pulled over the tracks of the Oregon Pacific Railroad on weekends in December, has become a Portland tradition over its several years running. [300] These trains and others are operated by volunteers of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, an amalgamation of rail preservation groups which collaborated on the finance and construction of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, a permanent and publicly accessible home for the locomotives, which opened in 2012 adjacent to OMSI. [301]

In Portland, cycling is a significant mode of transportation. As the city has been particularly supportive of urban bicycling it now ranks highly among the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. [302] Bicycles accounted for 6.3% of commuting in 2017. [303] For its achievements in promoting cycling as an everyday means of transportation, Portland has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists and other cycling organizations for its network of on-street bicycling facilities and other bicycle-friendly services, being one of only three U.S. cities to have earned a Platinum-level rating. [304] A new bicycle-sharing system, Biketown, launched on July 19, 2016, [305] with 100 stations in the city's central and eastside neighborhoods. [306] The bikes were provided by Social Bicycles, and the system is operated by Motivate.

Car sharing through Zipcar, Getaround, and Uhaul Car Share is available to residents of the city and some inner suburbs. Portland has a commuter aerial cableway, the Portland Aerial Tram, which connects the South Waterfront district on the Willamette River to the Oregon Health & Science University campus on Marquam Hill above.


San Francisco Transit History: Website Explains Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Muni (PHOTOS)

In the nearly century and a half since San Francisco's first cable car completed its inaugural run down Clay Street, the city's public transit system has become as embedded in San Francisco's very fabric as sourdough bread, the Golden Gate Bridge or the omnipresent blanket of fog.

Even so, most San Franciscans' knowledge of what famed San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen termed the "Muniserable Railway" is limited to the understanding that if you're attempting to board a downtown-bound 21 bus on a rainy weekend morning in Hayes Valley you're gonna' have a bad time.

To rectify this situation, and give Friscophiles their daily dose of SF history porn, a trio of local designers have created San Francisco Transit History--an interactive website that details every major development in the history of the city's public transportation network with a bevy of photos.

From the late 1800s, when over 600 cable cars roamed the streets of San Francisco, to the fateful day in 1917 when the city first offered bus service to all the passengers left stranded during a workers' strike at the privately owned United Railroads of San Francisco, the site details all of the slow-moving twists and turns that led to SF's public transportation system becoming what it is today.

On a related note, check out these cool photos of Muni throughout the years:


Everything you wanted to know about the 1066 Norman invasion and the battle of Hastings – but were afraid to ask

Why did William the Conqueror win the battle of Hastings? Why is the battle called that, when it was fought somewhere else? And how did Harold II really die? In a recent podcast interview with Marc Morris, we went back to basics on the Norman conquest…

This competition is now closed

Published: April 9, 2020 at 12:25 pm

What are the most common questions about the Norman conquest? We sat down with leading medieval historian Marc Morris, who has written books on the Norman conquest and William I, to find out more about this pivotal event and its impact on Britain. Tackling questions submitted by our readers, and the top queries posed to the internet, Marc explored everything you ever wanted to know about the 1066 Norman invasion and the famed battle of Hastings…

Q: Who won the battle of Hastings and why?

A: This is an easy question, because we’re still fairly confident about the answer. We’re still reasonably satisfied that the battle of Hastings in 1066 was won by William, Duke of Normandy – later known as the Conqueror.

Why did he win? The contemporary answer would have been because God favoured him when you went to battle in the Middle Ages, you were putting your dispute to the judgement of God. Men don’t decide battles God decides the outcome. So God decided, according to contemporary minds, that William’s claim to the throne of England was the greater one.

In terms of how we would analyse it now, one reason is superior generalship William held his battle line together while Harold’s line started to break up. One of the principal reasons, of course, is luck. What ultimately decides the battle is that William survived, and Harold died on the battlefield – and with lots of projectile missiles flying around, that could have gone either way. It’s a combination of good generalship, luck and having God decide that your claim is superior.

Q: Who were the Normans and where did they come from? And are Normans and Vikings the same?

The term ‘Norman’ has the same root as the word ‘Norseman’ or ‘Northman’. So, in a sense, they were Vikings. Normandy is the area of Neustria in Francia, the part of Francia which was settled by invaders from Scandinavia from the late ninth/early tenth centuries. But like questions about the Vikings in England, who similarly settled in north-eastern and eastern parts of England, the question boils down to how many came and what impact did they have on the indigenous peoples? Clearly, when the ‘Normans’ arrived in Normandy, they didn’t eradicate or expel all the native population they settled and married into that population. We can’t recover the numbers of people that did that, there simply isn’t the data.

Yes, the Normans­ – particularly the elite of Normandy – did glory, to some extent, in their Viking past. But they also very quickly took on Frankish and Christian traits. For example, the first ruler (and later duke) of the Normans is Rolf or Rollo, who has a good traditional Scandinavian Viking name. But he calls his son William, William calls his son Richard, Richard calls his son Richard, etc. William, Richard, Robert these are all Frankish and Christian names.They adopt Christianity and begin founding monasteries by the end of the 10th century.They also start building castles and fighting on horseback, they’re adapting to all these Frankish customs. They are ancestrally Viking, but they are quite different, especially by the time we get to 1066.

Other writers in Francia would denigrate them by saying, ‘Normans, they’re just little better than scrubbed-up Vikings’ there was still a sense among rival Frankish principalities that these were the descendants of barbarians. But the Normans themselves considered themselves very cutting-edge and sophisticated, because they’d taken on all this Frankish culture in the meantime. So,there’s quite a difference between Normans and Norsemen by the time you get to 1066.

Q: Why did the Normans invade England? Had Edward the Confessor made a commitment to William, or was William merely being opportunistic when deciding to invade?

The short answer is that, in 1066, the succession of England was disputed. King Edward the Confessor, although he reigned for more than 24 years, famously didn’t produce any children, any sons, so he had a succession problem. This is how he seemed to want to solve it – and I say ‘seemed’ because none of the evidence for this is completely incontrovertible. In 1051, he falls out with his very powerful father-in-law and brothers-in-law, the Godwinsons (or Earl Godwin and his sons, if you prefer) and expels them. Edward was married to Godwin’s daughter, Edith, and the Godwin plan had assumed that Edith would produce children with Edward and there would be lots of little Godwins running around. By a process of marrying into the ancient royal family of Wessex, England, that would have solved the succession. But Edward doesn’t have anything to do with that. Historians will say that perhaps they were just, as a couple, infertile. But a tract commissioned by Edith herself (The Life of King Edward) said that they hadn’t produced any children because Edward hadn’t slept with her.

Edward’s preferred solution in 1051 was to invite William [of Normandy] to come to England.The evidence for the visit is very solid, because it’s mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Although no English sources directly discuss Edward having promised the throne to William, there is a version of the Chronicle – the ‘D version’ – that says William came to England in the winter of 1051/2 and talked with Edward about the things they needed to talk about. And Edward received him as a vassal and then he went home again.

There’s definitely contact in that crucial period where the Godwins are expelled, so to answer the question, I think the Norman and the English sources together – and the behaviour of Edward and the Godwins – strongly suggests that Edward did make a promise of the throne to William in 1051/2.

Q: If there had been a promise, why did the king’s council ratify Harold Godwinson’s succession when Edward died?

A: When the Godwins came back in 1052, there was a Godwin revanche [revenge] and they reduced Edward to a rubber stamp at that point – for the last 14 years of his reign, he was little more than a cypher for the Godwins. I think that explains why the Witan – the king’s council – decided to go a different way in 1066, because the Godwins’ power after 1052 had grown inexorably.

When Earl Godwin died in 1053, the Godwins had one earldom, the earldom of Wessex, which Harold inherited. But by the end of the 1060s, they have four earldoms: all four Godwin brothers (who aren’t either dead or in prison) have an earldom each, and they have this vast, powerful or controlling affinity of friends and supporters. The Archbishop of Canterbury is a supporter the Archbishop of York by 1060 is a Godwinson man. Who is going to say ‘no’ to the Godwins, when Edward finally shuffles off in 1066, and suggest that the throne goes to a Norman duke? The crown is something the Godwins have been tilting at for 10, 15 years or more, 20 years perhaps. I think that’s why the people around the king in 1066 are not interested in honouring some promise that Edward made when he was free of Godwin control they’re interested in having the man they want to rule the kingdom.

Q: Why is the battle fought by William and Harold called the ‘battle of Hastings’?

A: Well, it’s straightforward. William lands at Pevensey [on the south-east coast of England] on the 27 or 28 September 1066. He only spends a day or so there he moves immediately east to Hastings where he makes his camp. This is where the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle locates the Normans, at Hastings.

When Harold [Godwinson] marches down to confront him, Harold’s plan, it seems, is to attack the Normans’ camp, to catch them unawares as he had caught other invaders. (The Norwegian king, Harald Hardrada, had been caught off guard by Harold at the battle of Stamford Bridge in September 1066).

But in the case of William, the Norman duke discovers that Harold is on the march and leaves his camp early in the morning of 14 October 1066 and intercepts Harold as he’s approaching – so they ended up fighting at some previously nondescript spot. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle simply says they met at ‘the site of the old apple tree’. But ever since the battle was fought there, of course, it’s been known as Battle, ‘bellum’ in Latin. So,the site of the modern town of Battle is where the battle was fought.

Q: Why did Harold Godwinson choose to make a stand so soon after the battle of Stamford Bridge?

A: I don’t know if he had any choice. Harold was in a very difficult position in 1066. He knows about the looming Norman invasion because William makes no secret of it from the start of 1066: by February/March, William has obtained permission from the Pope and is assembling an armada of ships and recruiting men throughout the summer. All this is happening in plain sight on the other side of the channel.

What doesn’t seem to cross Harold’s radar at all is the fact that the Norwegians are planning to do the same. And the Norwegians, being more of a seaborne power in any case, seem to assemble very quickly. Harold has all his manpower, all his ships, concentrated on the south coast. He dismisses them in early September 1066 because, as the Chronicle says, he couldn’t hold them together anymore. And then, within days of having dismissed this huge force, he’s told that the Norwegians have invaded and are menacing York. He has to rush up to Yorkshire to confront them and, as is well known, does spectacularly well. Harold surprises them, and the king of Norway, Harald Hardrada, who was one of the most fearsome warriors of his age, is killed by Harold’s forces. Tostig Godwinson, Harold’s younger brother, falls in the course of the battle.

But within a few days of the battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066, he learns that the Normans have landed. So however long that news takes to travel from Sussex to Yorkshire, which is about 300 miles – say, three or four days with a swiftest running horse – he realises he has to go down south and do exactly the same again.

Why did he do that? Why didn’t he send someone else? The answer is that you just can’t do that if you’re a king in the Middle Ages. The whole point of Harold as a strong candidate for the kingship in January 1066 is that he’s not a 12-year-old boy with a stronger blood claim he’s a man in his forties with proven experience, not only in government but in warfare. He’s the man who conquered Wales, so he’s seen to be a strong pair of hands. You can’t send someone else to fight the Normans.

Kings who do that, it tends to affect their reputation very badly. Fifty years before 1066, there was the death of Æthelred the Unready, a king who shirked battle 150 years after 1066 you have King John who is adept at running away when danger rears its ugly head. You have to lead from the front. It’s inconceivable that Harold would have sent his brothers, Leofwine or Gyrth, to fight the battle. He had to engage William personally, and that’s why the timing and the pace of events is dictated by William’s landing.

Q: How long did the battle of Hastings last?

Specifically, in terms of hours, we don’t know. But one of the chroniclers writes that it’s from the third hour of the day. It’s not from sunrise, we know it’s not because the Normans have to reach the battlefield. They have to march six and a half miles from Hastings to Battle. That’s going to take them two or three hours. So, it can’t start much before nine o’clock in the morning if they leave at sunrise in October.

But we are told by contemporary chroniclers, both William of Poitiers and the ‘Song of the Battle of Hastings’ (the Carmen), that the battle goes on until day was turning into night. We know dusk to be about four or five o’clock in October, so it goes on for eight or nine hours.

Of course, once Harold died,someone didn’t just blow a whistle and they all exchanged shirts and shook hands. The battle continued. It became a rout which we’re told lasted through the night. If you liked, you could say it lasted 24 hours. But if the battle is seen to have been decided when Harold died, then – to pinch a phrase from Monty Python – it was over by about teatime.

Q: How did King Harold die?

A: The very short answer is we don’t know, or we don’t know for certain.

Then there’s a much longer more complicated answer, which we’ll try and make as short as possible. It’s well known that Harold died with an arrow in the eye, because that’s how he’s depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry. But then once you start to unpick that – as people have been doing for at least 60–70 years now – you can ask whether he is actually the figure under the word ‘Harold’, which seems to show a figure with an arrow in his eye. Or is he another figure a few feet further along the tapestry who is being run down by a Norman on horseback?

If you accept that he is likely to be the figure under the word ‘Harold’, then there’s people who will say: ‘Hang on, is that really an arrow in his eye’? Because if you look at the stitching, or the holes on the back of the tapestry, it seems it might be a spear that has been reinterpreted as an arrow by 19th-century restorers. So, you can lodge all these caveats for the Bayeux Tapestry’s representation.

What sort of undermines my faith in the tapestry is that essentially it is an artistic source that borrows heavily from other artistic sources. We’re as convinced as we can be that it was made in Canterbury, because at least a dozen of the scenes are borrowed from illustrated manuscripts that were held in either Christchurch or St Augustine’s, Canterbury.

With the death of Harold, the scenes surrounding it look very similar to a story in the Apocrypha of the Bible, of the death of King Zedekiah. He’s a king who rebels against his overlord, and his punishment is to have his eyes put out – he’s blinded. If, as seems likely, the tapestry artists were using an example of an illustrated example of the death of King Zedekiah, then it may just be that Harold getting his eye put out was borrowed from this artistic source.

The real stumbling block is that no other contemporary source mentions an arrow in the eye. Later sources do: 12th-century historian Henry of Huntingdon talks about him getting an arrow in the eye or an arrow in the face. It becomes the standard description, but there aren’t any contemporary sources that tell us how he died.

William of Poitiers, who provides a very detailed account of the battle, just says ‘the report Harold is dead flew around the battlefield’ but doesn’t go to any detail. The source that William of Poitiers uses is one I mentioned earlier the Carmen, which we now think is made before the spring of 1068, so it’s the most contemporary source of all. The song talks about Harold getting killed by a Norman death squad half a dozen or so men, led by William, approach Harold and single him out and hack him down.

Here, you’re weighing an embroidery against a poem. There’s a lot of artistic licence there. There were tens of thousands of arrows loosed that day, so maybe he got an arrow in the eye. But our most closely contemporary narrative source says that he was done in by a dedicated death squad. And the only other thing I could think to strengthen that as a more likely scenario is that William of Poitiers, who is William the Conqueror’s own chaplain, doesn’t repeat that story.

We know that Poitiers had a copy of the Carmen in front of him, because he parrots the bits he likes, and directly challenges other bits that he doesn’t like – he says,‘some people will tell you this, but this wasn’t true’. When he gets to the death of Harold, rather than refuting [the killing by a death squad], he just skips over it. You could see that as a silent endorsement of the fact that the Carmen‘s story was accurate that William of Poitiers didn’t want to go into any of those details, because it made William less than chivalrous.

Q: If you have to explain the impact of the Norman Conquest in one word, what would it be?

A: Unrivalled. There is no more important event and consequently no more important book for you to download for £1.99 than The Norman Conquest!

If you’d like to know even more about the Normans – including the brutality of William the Conqueror what happened to the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy after the battle and the history behind Norman haircuts – you can listen to the full podcast discussion with Marc Morris here.

Marc Morris is a historian who specialises in the Middle Ages. His publications include William I: England’s Conqueror (Penguin Books, 2016) King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta (Penguin Books, 2016) and The Norman Conquest (Windmill Books, 2013). You can follow him on Twitter @Longshanks1307.


Key Facts & Information

REASONS FOR THE WESTWARD MOVEMENT

  • Pioneers began making the 2,000-mile journey to take advantage of the United States government’s offer to homestead the land. The trail started in Independence, Missouri and went past Chimney Rock, Nebraska.
  • Some went to the frontier in order to prospect for gold, others to hunt and trade fur pelts. Many were looking for adventure or just the possibility of improving their lives.
  • Like many American and European immigrants, such a movement was for political freedom and economic opportunities.

LIFE OF PIONEERS

  • People left their families and friends, and many knew it would a long time, if ever, before they saw them again. The trip was a long, hard, and dangerous one. The trail was wooded and rocky. Raging rivers had to be crossed.
  • All of this was done with horses, oxen or mules pulling all of their earthly belongings and supplies in a covered wagon. The Native Americans were also a threat. They were angry these new settlers were moving onto tribal lands.
  • In the 1840s, the most famous trail that was used by the pioneers was the Oregon Trail. England and America were racing to settle Oregon because the two countries had decided the first one to settle it would own it.
  • From Nebraska, Pioneers crossed the southwest tip of Wyoming and into the southern part of Idaho. The trail ended up in the northwest corner of Oregon. The entire trip took them six months. The other famous trail was the Natchez Trace. Pioneers used this trail to travel to the frontiers of Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. The Natchez Trace ran from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi.
  • Before leaving their homes, the pioneers had to acquire money for their trip. They either had to save the money, borrow it, or sell whatever land and possessions they had. Some worked their way across the country.
  • The safest way for the pioneers to travel was with a wagon train. They would pack their most treasured belongings, furniture, and what they needed for the journey into a covered wagon. The wealthiest people brought two wagons with them, which allowed one to act as a moving van and the other as a camper.
  • Wagonmasters led the train, cowboys rode along and helped the wagons as they crossed tough terrain and rivers. Scouts rode ahead to see what challenges they would be facing.
  • Many did not make it to their final destination. Disease caused a big problem, as well as accidents and raids by Native Americans. All along the trails that these wagons traveled, grave markers could be found to show where those who lost their lives had been buried.
  • The weather offered many challenges too. The pioneers moving west planned their journeys, so they were not traveling in winter. The snow and cold were challenging for the pioneers to deal with.
    The pioneers would take with them as many supplies as possible. They took cornmeal, bacon, eggs, potatoes, rice, beans, yeast, dried fruit, crackers, dried meat, and a large barrel of water that was tied to the side of the wagon. If the pioneers could take a cow, they would. The cow was used for milk and meat if they ran out of food.
  • By the time many of the pioneers reached their final destination, they had many stories to tell. Very few made it all the way without losing or leaving personal belongings along the trail. One of the first things the Pioneers did when they got to their new homes was purchase land. An acre of land cost about $2.00. Today that seems like a fantastic deal, but to these pioneers, it was a lot of money.
  • Once they moved onto their lands, they had to clear the land to plant their crops. Many didn’t have time to build their homes, so they lived in a lean-to, tents, or their wagons. The pioneers tried to purchase land by a river or stream because the water was so important to their daily life. If they weren’t near water, they had to dig a well. If a group of pioneers lived close to one another, they would often build a small fort to protect themselves from attacks by Native Americans and outlaws.

Pioneers Worksheets

This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about pioneers across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Pioneer worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the pioneers who were the first people to settle in the frontiers of North America. Many of the pioneers were farmers. Others moved west, wanting to establish a business. There were doctors, blacksmiths, ministers, shop owners, lawyers, veterinarians, and many others. They went to Oregon, Texas, and other areas of the frontier for the land. This land was available for homesteading, and much of it was free or very cheap. The farmland was rich and fertile.

Complete List Of Included Worksheets

  • Pioneers Facts
  • Trail Mapping
  • Pioneer Packs
  • Wagon Train
  • The Native Americans
  • Pioneer 101
  • Pioneer in Letters
  • Pioneer Vocab
  • Famous American Pioneers
  • Cause and Effect
  • Migration: Then and Today

Link/cite this page

If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.

Use With Any Curriculum

These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.


Everything you wanted to know about the CAA and NRC | India Today Insight

December 23, 2019 UPDATED: December 23, 2019 15:04 IST

It is perhaps a first in independent India's political history. The protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 has spread to almost every corner of the country, yet the reasons for the protest vary with the geography. Some are protesting because the CAA allegedly violates the secular identity of the country while others fear that it will endanger their linguistic and cultural identity. Yet others believe that while the CAA itself is innocuous, combined with the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), an exercise that has run into controversy in Assam, it will become a tool to exclude the Muslim population of the country. That the Union government has been hit hard by this allegation is evident from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has publicly contradicted home minister Amit Shah's assertion that a nationwide NRC will be prepared by 2024.

So why has the country against the NRC, which has made even the Modi government do a volte face? How is it connected to the CAA? If implemented, what will be their implications for the aam aadmi, irrespective of religion or geography?

What is the CAA?

According to the CAA, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Parsi migrants who have entered India illegally-that is, without a visa-on or before December 31, 2014 from the Muslim-majority countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and have stayed in the country for five years, are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.

Why is the provision extended only to people of six religions, and not Muslims, and why does it apply only to people coming from these three countries?
The Union government claims that people of these six faiths have faced persecution in these three Islamic countries, Muslims haven't. It is, therefore, India's moral obligation to provide them shelter.

So, is the provision open only to those who have been persecuted in the three countries?

No, the CAA itself does not mention the word 'persecution' anywhere, contrary to the BJP's assertion that the act covers only persecuted people. And since persecution is not the criterion, it does discriminate against illegal Muslim immigrants from these three countries.

If the act is not only about people facing persecution, why are migrants from other countries -- such as Hindus from Sri Lanka -- not eligible to apply for citizenship under this act? Or Muslim (Rohingya) migrants from Myanmar?

The government says this is a time-bound provision to provide relief to immigrants who have suffered in Islamic countries because India got divided on religious lines. India has, from time to time, provided citizenship to immigrants of all religions from different countries. Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus, too, were given citizenship in the 1970s and 1980s. The Union government has openly said that the Rohingyas are a threat to national security. Even an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia has deported Rohingya migrants. The BJP's logic is that Hindu migrants have only India to fall back on while Muslim migrants have several Islamic countries to seek shelter in.

Is it not unconstitutional and against India's secular ethos to discriminate on religious lines?

Sixty-five writ petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the legal validity of the CAA. The apex court has asked the Union government to respond by the second week of January. Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap says there are arguments both in favour of and against the act. "Article 14 says that all persons are entitled to equality, but there have been several Supreme Court judgments which say that reasonable classification can be applied to this principle of equality. Even all fundamental rights are subject to reasonable classification. Anyone can challenge the act in the apex court and the future of the act will depend on whether the Supreme Court accepts the classification made within this act as reasonable enough," he says.

MORE FROM INSIGHT | While Bengal was Burning

Why do we need this new provision? Don't we have enough provisions to offer citizenship to outsiders -- Adnan Sami, for example?

Yes, we do have, but they are applicable only to those who have entered India legally, that is, with a valid visa. Sami was in India legally. Illegal immigrants-who cross the border without any paperwork-can't apply for citizenship and, when caught, face prosecution. India is among the few countries in the world that has neither a national refugee protection framework nor an immigration policy. It is also not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, or its 1967 Protocol. India has also not ratified the 1954 UN Convention on Statelessness or the 1961 UN Convention on Reduction of Statelessness. It is under no obligation, therefore, to provide rights set out in the conventions to refugees. It takes decisions on granting long-term visas to refugees essentially on an ad hoc basis. It does have some laws that govern refugees, including the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport Act, 1967.

In India, while refugees from neighbouring countries (barring Myanmar) can seek protection directly from the government and are issued documentation by the Foreigner Regional Registration Officers (FRROs), non-neighbouring countries and Myanmar come under the UNHCR mandate that assesses each individual asylum claim and issues an ID card to those recognised as refugees after seeking biometric data for registration, followed by a comprehensive interview by a UNHCR officer. The whole process takes anywhere between six months and a year. The government currently allows refugees, including Rohingya, with UNHCR IDs to apply for a "long-term visa", which the government issues on a case by case basis. However, this doesn't make them Indian citizens.

Why is Assam protesting against the CAA?

Though this legislation covers refugees from three countries, the indigenous people of Assam fear it will primarily benefit illegal Bengali Hindu migrants from Bangladesh who have settled in large numbers across the state. The Assamese fear that if citizenship is granted to Bangla-speaking Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh, they will outnumber Assamese-speaking people in the state. They cite the example of Tripura, where Bengali-speaking Hindu migrants from Bangladesh now dominate political power, pushing the original tribal population to the margins. Unlike in the rest of India, where people are questioning the exclusion of Muslims, the Assamese don't want immigrants of any religion, whether Hindu or Muslim.

How is the CAA connected to the NRC?

The two have no connection. The NRC is a count of legitimate Indian citizens. Barring the state of Assam, this exercise has never been done anywhere in the country. Union home minister Amit Shah has said he will frame a nationwide NRC by 2024 to detect illegal migrants. On December 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government had never said anything about an NRC except in Assam.

Will the proposed NRC be like the one prepared in Assam?

No. The Assam NRC has a different historical context. The first NRC in Assam was prepared in 1951, owing to widespread allegations of massive, unabated illegal immigration from Bangladesh. The first NRC was published by recording the particulars of all the persons enumerated in that year's census. The 1951 NRC found that nearly 1.5 million illegal immigrants-one-sixth of Assam's population-lived in the state. However, there is no account of what happened to those illegal immigrants. Three decades later, at the end of a six-year-long agitation in Assam against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, the Union government and student leaders signed the Assam Accord in 1985. As part of the accord, the 1951 NRC would be updated. That's why people residing in Assam were asked to provide documents showing their connection to those whose names appeared in the 1951 NRC. Because the Assam Accord accepted any illegal migrant entering the state before March 25, 1971, as a legal Indian, documents showing connection to anyone whose name featured in the voter lists between 1951 and 1971 were also accepted as proof of citizenship.

What will be the basis of the proposed nationwide NRC?

The Union home ministry had framed the rules for a nationwide NRC in 2003, following an amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955. These rules categorically state that the central government shall, for the purpose of the NRC, carry out a house-to-house enumeration for collection of specified particulars relating to each family and individual residing in a local area, including the citizenship status. So, unlike what many are claiming, people will not be asked to submit documents related to their grandparents. Just like people present their identity cards or any other document for registering their names in the voter list or getting an Aadhaar card, similar documents will need to be provided for the NRC.
Any document related to date and place of birth will suffice as proof of citizenship. However, the decision on what documents will be acceptable is still pending. They are likely to include voter ID cards, passports, the Aadhaar card, driving licences, insurance papers, birth certificates, school-leaving certificates, documents relating to land or home or other government-issued documents. If a person is illiterate and does not have the relevant documents, the authorities will allow them to bring a witness. Other evidence and community verification will also be allowed.

Is the NRC an exercise to exclude Muslims?

No. Even in Assam, of the 1.9 million people excluded from the NRC, 1.3 million are Hindu and from indigenous tribes, as unofficial sources confirm. That also explains why the BJP has rejected the NRC in Assam. A scrutiny of the 2003 guidelines for a nationwide NRC reveals that there is no provision that can exclude a legal Muslim citizen from the NRC.

But the CAA does exclude Muslims.

The CAA excludes Muslim immigrants who have entered India illegally, not legal Indian Muslim citizens.

However, since the CAA will provide citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three countries, only Muslim immigrants will be left out when the NRC is rolled out. Is it not a clever way for the RSS-BJP to realise their dream of a Hindu Rashtra?

Partly true. The CAA will provide citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from three countries and who have entered India before December 31, 2014. An honest NRC should exclude illegal migrants of all religions. That, however, will depend on the intent of the government and a framework that is flawless, a huge challenge for Amit Shah. There is nothing wrong per se with the exercise of detecting illegal migrants-irrespective of their religion-but to discriminate on the basis of religion is against India's secular ethos, especially when the CAA does not specify that it will cover people who have faced religious persecution.

Do we really need an NRC?

On paper, there is nothing wrong with counting the legal citizenry of the country. But if it becomes a basis for discrimination or put to other uses, then it is certainly problematic. Besides, it will be an enormous exercise given the size of our population and other complexities. This was evident in Assam, where even genuine Indian citizens got excluded and many illegal migrants allegedly, got included. Before the government embarks on this exercise, it also needs to put in place a policy on stateless people. India does not have one yet, and keeping illegal migrants in detention centres is something the country can ill afford.


The Berlin Wall: everything you need to know

It is just over 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany’s concrete solution to the mass haemorrhaging of its citizens to the west across the open border of West Berlin at the height of the Cold War. For 28 years following the fateful border closure on Sunday 13 August 1961, the edifice which inspired the novels of John le Carré and Len Deighton had become a fixture in the Cold War landscape, threatening death to any daring to cross it.

Why was the Berlin Wall built?

In the 1950s, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) – that part of Germany which had been the Soviet Occupation Zone in the post-WW2 division of Germany – was threatening to bleed dry, as one in six people fled, usually in search of work under West Germany’s ’economic miracle’ (but in some cases fleeing political or religious persecution). The GDR desperately wanted to halt this so-called ‘brain-drain’, so in August 1961 the East German communists were given the go-ahead by Moscow to close the border and build a physical barrier. The fact that the west did not officially recognise the so-called ‘GDR’, coupled with the risks of escalation, meant that the decision could only come from the Kremlin.

The Berlin Wall turned the usual function of walls – to keep people out – on its head this wall was solely to keep its citizens in.

What was life like in East Berlin before the Wall? What events led to the Wall being built?

In 1952 East Germany had sealed its mainland border to West Germany, along the river Elbe and in the mountains of the Harz, with barbed wire and fire zones (where all vegetation was cut back within 100m of the border to allow guards an unencumbered field of fire). But there was an unpluggable leak in the centre of the GDR, in the four-power city of Berlin, whose three western sectors were still protected by the US, Britain and France under post-war agreements which Moscow was unwilling to flout.

The Soviets had already tried to force the Western powers out during the Blockade of 1948–49 but were foiled by the famous Anglo-American airlift. The communists closed the sector boundary temporarily after the abortive insurrection in East Germany in June 1953, but within weeks it was open again.

So, throughout the 1950s East Germans could simply walk across from East to West Berlin. Underground trains still rumbled below. Once across East Germans, who might otherwise have feared being stopped at the overland border, could fly over it from Tempelhof in the US sector out to the Federal Republic.

Day-trippers could come and visit the neon delights of West Berlin, buying the latest records and maybe even a pair of jeans, before disappearing back east. By 1961 there were also around 60,000 so-called Grenzgänger, Cold War commuters who lived in one half of the city and worked in the other, many of them women members of the ‘scrubbing-brush brigade’, working the grey economy for a few hard deutschmarks. Some young East Germans had even learnt to play the border, for instance young men targeted for military service, who ‘contaminated’ themselves with a short stay in the west.

West Berlin was also the base for dozens of Western espionage agencies, exploiting its position behind the Iron Curtain. The CIA and Britain’s SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) appeared in the mid-1950s to have pulled off one of the Cold War’s biggest signals intelligence coups with their eavesdropping tunnel under the sector boundary to tap Soviet cable traffic, until it was revealed that the KGB, the Soviet Union’s intelligence agency, had known all along through their MI6 super-mole, George Blake.

Western intelligence also interviewed thousands of defectors arriving at the Marienfelde transit camp. Little did they know that one of their own German associates, Götz Schlicht, was a Stasi double-agent – no wonder Berlin became known as the city of spies and counter-spies! When the leader of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev threatened the four-power status of the city with his famous Ultimatum in 1958 – which gave the western powers six months to vacate the city before turning it over to the East Germans as part of their rightful capital – the west, and the US in particular, dug in their heels once again. By 1961 the new US president, John F Kennedy, was even threatening nuclear retaliation if West Berlin were touched.

The GDR had therefore run out of ‘territorial’ options to stop the brain-drain by 1961. The Volkspolizei could not pull every suspected defector off trains headed for Berlin the Stasi could not investigate every tip-off and it was clear that West Berlin would not be negotiated off the geopolitical map. A more simple but drastic solution was needed. At a press conference in June East German leader Walter Ulbricht famously reassured journalists that “no-one has the intention to build a wall”. Whether this was a Freudian slip (no correspondent had asked about a wall!) or a Machiavellian ploy to encourage a stampede for the exit, it had the desired effect. To halt the exodus that was filling western transit camps to capacity, the East German communists were finally permitted by Moscow to close the border in August 1961 and build a physical barrier.

What was the Berlin Wall made from?

In a top-secret operation, observing radio silence, East German police and militia established a human cordon all along the margins of West Berlin. East German troops formed a second echelon and Soviet army units a third. Assured by their Stasi forward observers in West Berlin that the western military presence would not react, the border forces went from erecting provisional wire-mesh fences to a more solid breeze-block wall, topped with barbed wire.

Western commentators, including West Berlin’s mayor Willy Brandt, immediately drew parallels with Nazi concentration camps. The early wooden guard towers looked all-too like something from the recent past. Indeed, Willi Seifert, commander of the GDR’s interior troops tasked with erecting the barrier, had himself been a concentration camp inmate under the Nazis.

The GDR portrayed it as a border that saved the peace, even filming spy dramas such as For Eyes Only (1963) which tried to convince eastern viewers that NATO had been planning a pre-emptive strike on East Germany. Few were convinced. When US President Kennedy visited the Wall that year he was visibly shocked, changing parts of his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech at the last minute to underline the west’s bleak view of the ‘Wall of shame’.

How long was the Berlin Wall?

All told, the border installations around West Berlin zig-zagged for 163 kilometres, or just over 100 miles. Around 100km of this was covered by an actual wall, mainly at the inner-city interface, with another 50 or more kilometres made up of heavy wire mesh around West Berlin’s green border with the Brandenburg countryside. Mines were sown in the ground or strung along certain sections of fencing, not removed until the 1980s.

The remainder of the border was made up of existing cemetery walls or house facades, including the sinister bricked-up windows along the Bernauer Straße. In the mid-1960s the structure was modernised, and received an anti-grip tube along its top, before becoming the final ‘Border Wall 75’ in the mid-1970s, when a series of L-shaped, pre-fabricated monoliths regularised its appearance. At 3.6 metres tall, it had been scientifically demonstrated by a troop of East German army athletes to be unscalable and unvaultable without artificial assistance.

Listen to Hester Vaizey explore how the fall of the Berlin Wall affected East Germans:

How many people were killed trying to cross the Wall?

The Berlin Wall claimed the lives of at least 140 people. The first was 58-year old Ida Siekmann, who died on 22 August 1961 after jumping from a third-storey window in the famous Bernauer Straße, whose house-fronts constituted the border. Two days later, 24-year old Günter Litfin was machine-gunned in the waters of the inner-city docks now overlooked by Berlin’s main railway station.

The most public incident occurred on 17 August 1962 when two teenage East Berlin boys sprinted across no-man’s land near a border crossing-point nicknamed Checkpoint Charlie. One made it over, but 18-year old Peter Fechter was shot in the back and collapsed. Western photographers leaned over, calling on guards to rescue the unfortunate teen, but he was left to bleed out at the foot of the Wall, the guards apparently afraid of retaliatory fire from the west.

Yet not all escapes were such clear-cut tragedies. One would-be escaper had been a part-time Stasi informer who missed his good times in the west. Failing a consolation entrance exam into the secret police, Werner Probst then decided to leave once and for all. Slipping into the River Spree one night in October 1961, close to the iconic Oberbaum Bridge, he was picked out in the water by a searchlight and shot just short of the far bank.

Another nocturnal fire-fight three years later involved a tunnel that had been dug from West Berlin into a back yard on the far side. (Visitors to the Berlin Wall Memorial today can trace its path marked in the former no-man’s land.) Tunnellers had emerged inside an outside lavatory which offered convenient cover: 57 escapers ‘went’ but never returned. But their luck could not hold forever. Alerted by Stasi informants, armed border troops arrived, and in the ensuing confrontation one guard, Egon Schultz, was caught in the crossfire, hit in the shoulder by a West Berlin escape helper’s pistol and in the chest by a comrade’s Kalashnikov rifle. Only after the Cold War did it emerge that he had been killed by friendly fire. Indeed, over half of the 25 border guards killed at the border were shot by their own side.

The last people killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall were Chris Gueffroy, shot in February 1989, and Winfried Freudenberg, whose homemade hot-air balloon came to grief a month later. Yet far more persons escaped than were killed at the Berlin Wall. In the early sixties, escapers jumped from rooftops, abseiled from windows, burst through the Wall in improvised armoured trucks and steam locomotives, and hijacked ferries. But the numbers escaping dwindled from the thousands in the early 1960s to a handful each year by the 1980s. Yet, even in 1988 there were still around half a dozen escape attempts each month, more than half of which were successful, usually involving guards defecting, building workers exploiting repairs on the ‘front line’, or civilians using ingenious collapsible ladders to defeat the wall.

What does the graffiti on the Berlin Wall mean?

The Berlin Wall’s smooth surface became beloved of western graffiti artists who fought running battles with border guards’ whitewashings. New York hip hop-inspired artist Keith Haring became a coveted spray artist Frenchman Thierry Noir specialised in colourful, primitivist Wall art.

For some former East German dissidents, however, such graffiti trivialised or aestheticised the Wall, leading one group of masked vigilantes to paint a white ‘delete’ line through the DayGlo, until they were seized by a border guard snatch squad through one of the secret doors built into the Wall. (Many forgot to their cost that the five metres on the western side of the Wall also belonged to East Berlin!) Other artists employed elaborate trompe l’oeil effects to camouflage the concrete behind, and countless thousands of tourists signed and dated their presence at the Wall or declared their undying love to their significant other in felt-tip pen.

What was life like on either side of the Wall?

Enclosed West Berlin became something of a mad, bad playground, attracting drop-outs and avant-gardists, who could enjoy a frisson of Cold War danger (but with little actual danger). “We can be heroes”, sang David Bowie, in a song composed at the Hansa recording studio overlooking the Wall in Kreuzberg, where Bowie was neighbours with his partner-in-crime, Iggy Pop, but “just for one day”. Uli Edel’s semi-documentary Christiane F. (1981) gives a good sense of the seedy urban chic of 1970s West Berlin around its drug scene at the Bahnhof Zoo, or Ian Walker’s Zoo Station (1987) documents one journalist’s frenetic travels back and forth through the Cold War looking-glass.

The Wall maintained its lure to the alienated as some late Cold War westerners no longer thought that the west was necessarily the best. Punk band the Sex Pistols found their nihilistic match in it. In ‘Holidays in the Sun’, John Lydon engaged the eastern guards in an existential staring competition, threatening, in an act of paranoid Cold War paradox, to go “over the Berlin Wall, before they come over the Berlin Wall”.

On the eastern side of the Wall, East Berlin punks were complaining of “too much future”. The communist state still claimed to be exercising tough love for the common good. Living standards had risen by the mid-1960s, as the GDR was able to stabilise its workforce. East Berliners could be visited for the first time by West Berlin relatives at Christmas in 1963, but the eastern authorities were taking no chances and tailed incomers with mass surveillance teams. Yet, western visitors noticed a certain defensive pride among East Germans, who did not want to be patronised by ‘Besser-Wessis’ from the so-called ‘Golden West’.

Freedom of travel remained an issue, however. Holiday destinations within the eastern bloc began to shrink in the 1980s, when Poland became a no-go destination as the Solidarity movement blossomed there [a social movement that embodied the struggle against communism and Soviet domination, and ultimately helped lead to the fall of communism in Eastern Europe], followed by Russia under glasnost [Soviet policy of open discussion of political and social issues instituted by Mikhail Gorbachev which began the democratisation of the Soviet Union].

Many of the ambitious thirty-somethings, who back in the 1950s would have moved out and up in West Germany, felt blocked within the rigid hierarchies of “real existing socialism” behind walls. Certain goods such as cars and telephones always remained in short supply with waiting lists of up to 10 years – unimaginable in the instant-gratification west. Exotic fruits such as tangerines were reserved for Christmas only, and jokes circulated about why the banana was curved (because for 28 years it had to make a detour around the GDR…).

What events led to the Berlin Wall being torn down?

Things deteriorated in the 1980s. An energy crisis was about to engulf the eastern bloc, as Russia insisted on payment for its oil in hard currency. The advent of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 also posed a political reform challenge to the hard-line leadership under Erich Honecker. When Politburo member Kurt Hager pronounced that if a neighbour changed their wallpaper one did not need to follow suit, it became clear how out of touch the party leadership were becoming.

Iain MacGregor revisits some of the most dramatic events associated with the history of the Cold War barrier, the Berlin Wall:

What really accelerated the unravelling of the GDR, however, was the dismantling of the Iron Curtain elsewhere, on the border between Hungary and Austria in the late spring of 1989. A loophole was created which led to a renewed exodus, that was then hastily blocked again. But the genie was out of the bottle. Hopeful East German emigrants began to camp out in West German embassies across the eastern bloc. Demonstrations by would-be leavers also started inside the country, focused on the city of Leipzig, where regular Monday prayer meetings at the Nikolaikirche church took on an increasingly dissident hue.

Even more dangerous to the GDR were the Hierbleiber, those determined to “stay here” and change the Workers’-and-Peasants’-State from within. Crunch-time occurred on 9 October 1989, when Leipzig’s security forces held back from a physical confrontation with the 70,000 demonstrators. East Germans had lost their fear. The GDR’s 40th birthday celebrations that month continued to be disrupted by mass counter-demonstrations wishing to see not the flourishing, but the end of state socialism.

On 9 November 1989, however, upheaval degenerated into farce. A rudderless East German regime was about to commit one of history’s greatest miscommunications. Battered by mass demonstrations, the party Central Committee had resigned en masse that day, but attempted one final act of damage limitation: citizens would be allowed to apply for passports for travel to the west for the first time in 28 years. But what had been designed as a delaying tactic, tying up citizens in red tape, turned into a stampede for the exit.

At a now famous press conference, the party’s press spokesman, Günter Schabowski, who had not been fully briefed, read out the new dispensation, but when asked by foreign correspondents when this came into effect he looked uncertain, then shrugged: “immediately?” West German early evening news bulletins, all avidly consumed by East German viewers, announced that the Wall was open by midnight tens of thousands of East Berliners had swamped the border checkpoints whose Stasi guards realised that the game was up. The Berlin Wall had fallen.

What remains of the Berlin Wall today? What does it look like?

The Wall disappeared with unseemly haste. It was dismantled by the border troops who had built it, with the help of heavy-lifting equipment from Britain’s Royal Engineers garrisoned in West Berlin. Initially, small sections were lifted out to create makeshift checkpoints. Some monoliths with particularly eye-catching Wall art were even auctioned at Monte Carlo in June 1990 in order to raise cash for a new East Berlin mayoralty seeking new revenue streams. Much was ground up for aggregate.

Today, visitors can see a long section of the eastern Wall at East Side Gallery, where international artists were invited in 1990 to decorate it with a series of frescoes. The most authentic section is to be found at Bernauer Straße, where the official monument to the Wall is located. Visitors can peep through the hinterland wall at the rear to see the so-called ‘death strip’ of raked sand and the paraphernalia of total control, including a guard tower and fluorescent lighting which could allegedly be seen from space as a halo around the western half of the city.

But there is also the hustle and bustle of Checkpoint Charlie where tourists can visit the slightly eccentric Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, filled with escape memorabilia, including even the white line jack-hammered out of the roadway at the famous intersection between two worlds, at which US tanks in 1961 had played chicken with their Soviet counterparts.

Yet, as with much of the Cold War, all is not what it seems. The military checkpoint hut is not real, but a replica of the one from 1961. And for a Euro or two you can be photographed next to an actor in period uniform. The Cold War, in these uncertain times, seems to be making a come-back.

What is the significance of the Berlin Wall today?

The Berlin Wall was almost unique in that it was designed to keep people in. Conversely, the so-called ‘peace walls’ built in Belfast after 1969 were made to keep sectarian communities apart for fear of rioting the Israeli separation barrier was built to keep out a terrorist threat and Donald Trump’s Mexican wall (or is it a fence?) is supposed to keep out illegal economic migrants from south of the border. Walls that keep in their own populations, however, soon fall foul of the human rights enshrined in the United Nations, including, crucially, freedom of movement.

Already in the 1960s the East German regime had realised that it was now dealing with a captive audience, with no safety-valve of exit to the west, and so had to make some concessions for co-existence with its citizenry. In 1973, when the GDR was admitted to the UN, it found itself trapped into a liberalisation which had already created many humanitarian ‘holes’ in the Wall before 1989.

In the longer perspective, the history of the Berlin Wall shows that walls do not work. In the age of electronic media, East Germans were still connected to an outside world – including by the BBC whose radio broadcasts and mountains of listeners’ letters from East Germans are preserved at Reading-Caversham. The Wall itself simply became a lightning conductor of discontent. The physical separation of two Germanies for a generation certainly left its mark: speech patterns and even body language were different. East German teens’ use of the intensifier ‘urst’ – meaning ‘mega’ – completely mystified westerners, as well as a party jargon which described flags as Winkelemente or ‘wave elements’. Western brashness was seen by easterners as symptomatic of the Ellenbogengesellschaft or ‘elbow-ahead society’, which could not quite get the hang of queuing. It was former mayor of West Berlin, then chancellor of the Federal Republic, Willy Brandt, who maintained nonetheless that “what belongs together will grow together”. This claim has perhaps proved the most optimistic since 1989.

It is noticeable that the alt-right Alternative für Deutschland has in 2019 been polling best in the eastern states of the former East Germany, areas which still feel left behind since unification in 1990 and fear what they see as Islamist inundation. But the European Union’s steadfast defence of the principles of freedom of movement in the face of Brexit is certainly also a legacy of the Cold War. Angela Merkel herself grew up and worked behind the Berlin Wall and the view from her office window must remind her every day where it once stood, just yards away.

Patrick Major is professor of modern history at the University of Reading and author of Behind the Berlin Wall: East Germany and the Frontiers of Power (OUP, 2009) and ‘Listening behind the Curtain: BBC Broadcasting to East Germany and its Cold War Echo’, Cold War History (2013)


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