The Oregon Portal

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Oregon (/ˈɒr(ɪ)ɡən/ (listen)) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The 42° north parallel delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

Oregon has been home to many indigenous nations for thousands of years. The first European traders, explorers, and settlers began exploring what is now Oregon's Pacific coast in the early-mid 16th century. As early as 1564, the Spanish began sending vessels northeast from the Philippines, riding the Kuroshio Current in a sweeping circular route across the northern part of the Pacific. In 1592, Juan de Fuca undertook detailed mapping and studies of ocean currents in the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon coast as well as the strait now bearing his name. Spanish ships – 250 in as many years – would typically not land before reaching Cape Mendocino in California, but some landed or wrecked in what is now Oregon. Nehalem tales recount strangers and the discovery of items like chunks of beeswax and a lidded silver vase, likely connected to the 1707 wreck of the San Francisco Xavier.

In 1843, an autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country, and the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state of the U.S. on February 14, 1859. Today, with 4 million people over 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second-most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U.S. cities. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168. (Full article...)

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Gus Solomon Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon
The 1985 Rajneeshee assassination plot was a conspiracy by high-ranking followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (now known as Osho) to assassinate Charles Turner, the then-United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. Osho's chief lieutenant, Ma Anand Sheela, assembled the hit squad after Turner was appointed to investigate illegal activity at Rajneeshpuram. Turner headed an investigation into the 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack in The Dalles, Oregon, and also investigated charges of wiretapping, immigration fraud and sham marriages. The conspirators obtained false identification to purchase handguns out-of-state, stalked Turner, and planned to kill him near his workplace in Portland, Oregon. The assassination plot was uncovered as a result of an investigation by federal law enforcement into the bioterror attack in The Dalles, and Turner was never harmed. Prosecution of the conspirators began in 1990, when a federal grand jury brought indictments against several of the key players. Some had fled the country, and extradition proceedings against the perpetrators and subsequent prosecution and conviction was not completed for sixteen years. The final conspirator was convicted in 2006, when Catherine Jane Stork agreed to return to the United States from Germany in order to be allowed to visit her ill son in Australia. The perpetrators received sentences ranging from five years probation to five years in federal prison.

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Relief sculpture by Ralph Stackpole in San Francisco
Ralph Ward Stackpole (May 1, 1885 – December 13, 1973) was an American sculptor, painter, muralist, etcher and art educator, San Francisco's leading artist during the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Williams, Oregon, in Southern Oregon, Stackpole was involved in the art and causes of social realism, especially during the Great Depression, when he was part of the Federal Art Project for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Stackpole was responsible for recommending that architect Timothy L. Pflueger bring leftist Mexican muralist Diego Rivera to San Francisco to work on the San Francisco Stock Exchange and its attached office tower in 1930 to 1931.

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Cottonwood Creek in the Trout Creek Mountains


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The Willamette.jpg
Credit: Kris

Willamette River at night in downtown Portland with two racing shells on the river. The Willamette River is a tributary of the Columbia River, 187 miles (301 km) long, in northwestern Oregon.

State facts

State symbols:

American beaver

Western meadowlark

Chinook salmon

Oregon grape

Oregon Swallowtail butterfly

Douglas fir






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

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See also: Good articles relating to Oregon

Featured articles

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Good articles

Featured pictures

  • Fredmeyer edit 1
    Fredmeyer edit 1
  • Hayden Bridge
    Hayden Bridge
  • Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon
    Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon
  • Oregon Convention Center Dusk 1 (edit)
    Oregon Convention Center Dusk 1 (edit)
  • Oregon state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
    Oregon state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
  • Portland Night panorama
    Portland Night panorama
  • Portland panorama3
    Portland panorama3
  • WillametteRvrPano edit
    WillametteRvrPano edit

Featured portals

Picture of the day pictures

  • Fredmeyer edit 1
    Fredmeyer edit 1
  • Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon
    Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon
  • Oregon Convention Center Dusk 1 (edit)
    Oregon Convention Center Dusk 1 (edit)
  • Oregon state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
    Oregon state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876)
  • Portland Night panorama
    Portland Night panorama
  • Portland panorama3
    Portland panorama3
  • Rogue River Oregon USA
    Rogue River Oregon USA
  • WillametteRvrPano edit
    WillametteRvrPano edit

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Natural history

Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


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This month's Collaboration of the Month projects: Women's History Month: Create or improve articles for women listed at Oregon Women of Achievement (modern) or Women of the West, Oregon chapter (historical)
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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5