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Capital Salem
Nickname The Beaver State
Official Language English
Governor Kate Brown, D
Senator Ron Wyden, D
(202) 224-5244
Senator Jeff Merkley, D
(202) 224-3753
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood February 14, 1859 (33rd)
Flag of Oregon Motto: "She Flies with Her Own Wings"
The back of the state flag of Oregon.

Oregon is a state on the west coast of the United States. Its capital is Salem and largest city is Portland. Oregon became the 33rd state on Feb. 14, 1859.

The state Constitution of Oregon, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:

All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.


Although Oregon has been a blue state in presidential elections since 1988, Eastern Oregon is one of the major conservative red state parts of Oregon along with Southwest Oregon. Oregon had voted for Republican Presidential candidates from 1964 to 1984. For example, in the 2012 Presidential election, Mitt Romney received at least 60% of the vote in every county in Eastern Oregon.[1]

Since 2007, Oregon, due to the strongly liberal large urban population voting bloc of Portland, has offered domestic partnerships, which are similar to same sex marriage.

Liberal Portland versus conservative Eastern and Southwestern Oregon

The high population density northwest areas of the state (Portland, Eugene, Salem) are very liberal leaning especially in the area of environmentalism. The southwest area of the state (such as the Rogue Valley, Josephine County and Jackson County) and the portion east of the Cascades are very conservative. Hence, Eastern Oregon (Palouse, Harney Basin, High Desert, Treasure Valley and East Central Oregon) is considered to be conservative.


Oregon was originally settled by many Native Americans before the Lewis and Clark expedition brought greater attention to the area from the United States and Britain. The British had control of the majority of the territory until the Oregon Trail started in the 1840s and American settlers began moving in. Eventually, the land was ceded to the United States in the resolution of a boundary dispute.


The population density is concentrated in the fertile Willamette Valley from Portland to Eugene. The Cascade mountains divide the state into wet and dry halves, much like neighboring Washington State, but Eastern Oregon lacks the irrigation works of the Columbia basin and much more resembles Nevada. Oregon supports a significant logging industry, largely concentrated in the western half of the state. Environmental restrictions have severely hurt the industry, producing conservative opinions inland, but the liberal cities of Portland and Eugene generally support environmentalism.

People from Oregon

Oregon is the birthplace of author Lance Goldman, and football quarterback Harry Shields.

Elected Officials



  • Acting Governor Kate Brown (D) - Oregon's second woman governor is America's first openly bisexual governor.[2] Brown takes over only until the upcoming special election in November 2016. She was sworn in after corrupt liberal John Kitzhaber (D), the elected governor was forced to resign in February 2015 due to an ethics scandal involving he and his fiancé and the George Soros-funded Energy Foundation.[3][4][5] Kate Brown takes over only until the upcoming special election on November 8, 2016.

Notable Oregon Companies and Major Employers

Biblography - Further Reading

  • Corning, Howard McKinley, ed. Dictionary of Oregon History. (2d ed. 1989). 281 pp.
  • DeMarco, Gordon. A Short History of Portland. (1990). 158 pp.
  • Dodds, Gordon B. The American Northwest: A History of Oregon and Washington. (1986). 359 pp.
  • Dodds, Gordon B. Oregon: A Bicentennial History. (1977). 240 pp., popular history by leading scholar
  • Pomeroy, Earl. The Pacific Slope: A History of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. (1965) 412pp
  • Robbins, William G. Landscapes of Promise: The Oregon Story, 1800-1940. (1997). 392 pp. standard history of the state
  • Schwantes, Carlos. The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History. (1996)

Specialized Studies

  • Abbott, Carl. Greater Portland: Urban Life and Landscape in the Pacific Northwest. (2001). 242 pp. by a leading historian
  • Allan, Stuart; Buckley, Aileen R.; and Meacham, James E. Atlas of Oregon. (1976). 301 pp.
  • Bataille, Connie Hopkins. The Oregon Book: Information A to Z. (1998). 677 pp.
  • Boag, Peter G. Environment and Experience: Settlement Culture in Nineteenth-Century Oregon. (1992). 227 pp. advanced new social history
  • Bourke, Paul and DeBats, Donald. Washington County: Politics and Community in Antebellum America. (1995). 407 pp., advanced history
  • Carlson, Laurie Winn. On Sidesaddles to Heaven: The Women of the Rocky Mountain Mission. (1998). 253 pp.
  • Clark, Malcolm, Jr. Eden Seekers: The Settlement of Oregon, 1818-1862. (1981). 327 pp.
  • Dodds, Gordon B. and Wollner, Craig E. The Silicon Forest: High Tech in the Portland Area, 1945-1986. (1990). 226 pp.
  • Douthit, Nathan. A Guide to Oregon South Coast History: Traveling the Jedediah Smith Trail. (1999). 224 pp.
  • Drukman, Mason. Wayne Morse: A Political Biography. (1997). 545 pp. liberal senator 1945-69
  • Drury, Clifford M. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. (2 vol. 1973). 911 pp. pioneer Methodist missionaries massacred by Indians in 1847
  • Farmer, Judith A. et al. Historical Atlas of Early Oregon. (1973). 53pp.
  • Gilmore, Janet C. The World of the Oregon Fishboat: A Study in Maritime Folklife. (1986). 271 pp.
  • Haarsager, Sandra. Organized Womanhood: Cultural Politics in the Pacific Northwest, 1840-1920. (1997). 427 pp.
  • Heider, Douglas and Dietz, David. Legislative Perspectives: A 150-Year History of the Oregon Legislature from 1843 to 1993. (1995). 227 pp.
  • Johnson, David Alan. Founding the Far West: California, Oregon, and Nevada, 1840-1890. (1992). 474 pp.
  • Kesselman, Amy. Fleeting Opportunities: Women Shipyard Workers in Portland and Vancouver during World War II and Reconversion. (1990). 192 pp.
  • Lang, William L. and Carriker, Robert C., eds. Great River of the West: Essays on the Columbia (1999). 181 pp.
  • Mason, Thomas L. Governing Oregon: An Inside Look at Politics in One American State. (1994). 251 pp.
  • May, Dean L. Three Frontiers: Family, Land, and Society in the American West, 1850-1900. (1994). 313 pp. advanced social history of Sublimity, Oregon, and two other towns
  • Mullins, William H. The Depression and the Urban West Coast, 1929-1933: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. (1991). 176 pp.
  • Murrell, Gary. Iron Pants: Oregon's Anti-New Deal Governor, Charles Henry Martin. (2000). 228 pp.
  • Neal, Steve. McNary of Oregon: A Political Biography. (1985). 249 pp. conservative GOP Senator 1917-44, and 1940 VP nominee
  • Robinson, Thomas; Gifford, Benjamin and Terrill, Steve, photographer. Oregon Then and Now. (2000). 192 pp. photo history
  • Schwantes, Carlos Arnaldo. Hard Traveling: A Portrait of Work Life in the New Northwest. (1994). 234 pp. labor history by leading historian
  • Shirley, Gayle. More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Oregon Women. (1998). 139 pp., popular

Primary Sources

  • Applegate, Shannon and O'Donnell, Terence, eds. Talking on Paper: An Anthology of Oregon Letters and Diaries. (1994). 324 pp.
  • Beckham, Stephen Dow, ed. Many Faces: An Anthology of Oregon Autobiography. (1993). 330 pp.
  • Dodds, Gordon B., ed. Varieties of Hope: An Anthology of Oregon Prose. (1993). 330 pp.
  • Wendt, Ingrid and St. John, Primus, eds. From Here We Speak: An Anthology of Oregon Poetry. (1994). 332 pp.

Oregon Trail

  • Butruille, Susan G. ed. Women's Voices from the Oregon Trail. (1993). 251 pp., primary sources
  • Unruh, John D., Jr. The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860. (1979). 565 pp. standard scholarly history

External links

Archives, Oregon State

  • Oregon Blue Book - The Oregon Blue Book is the official state directory and fact book about all levels of government in Oregon, and much more. Published since 1911, it is produced and updated by the Oregon State Archives, a division of the Secretary of State's Office.
  • Travel Oregon - This website provides information on natural places of beauty, lodging, outdoor activities and attractions. Databases allows users to search for hotels, B&B's, resorts, RV parks and outdoor adventures. Also available is a searchable calendar of local and regional events taking place throughout Oregon.
  • Oregon Historic Photograph Collections - This database includes over 10,000 viewable photographs and related descriptions from the holdings of the Salem Public Library, the Oregon State Archives, and the Marion County Historical Society. The images date from the mid-1800s to the 1990s and depict a wide range of subjects such as Oregon towns, homes, businesses, occupations, scenic vistas, disasters, festivities, and recreational pursuits. The database is searchable by keyword and is maintained by the Salem Public Library.
  • Oregon State Databases, searchable public domain databases produced by Oregon state agencies. Compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association.

Agriculture, Department of

  • List of Departmental Databases - The Oregon Department of Agriculture provides access to a number of databases from this page including but not limited to: Oregon Products Database, Available Livestock Brands, Oregon Veterinarians and Clinics, Wholesale Seed Dealer licenses, Agricultural Resources Directory, Pesticide Related Licenses, and Nursery and Christmas Tree Licenses.

Elections, Secretary of State, Department of

Employment Department, Oregon

  • Current Employment by Industry - Provides employment data for industry both for the last 12 months and for the last two months with figures for the previous year for various industries in Oregon, its counties, and metropolitan areas.
  • Employer Database - Provides information on thousands of Oregon employers. Searchable by area, industry or employer name.
  • Job Listings - Lists current Employment Department job listings. Searchable by occupation, location, job listing number or keyword.

Legislature, Oregon State

  • Bills and Laws Search - Searchable database of bills and laws by either full measure text or specific measure number.
  • Find your Legislator - Enter an Oregon address to find a list of the state and U.S. legislators for that area.

Parks and Recreation, Department of

  • Search for a park - Search for an Oregon state park by clicking on a region of a map of Oregon or by clicking on the appropriate box. Add details such as type of campsite or yurt, beach access, horse or hiking trails, setting (forest, desert, waterfalls, etc.), events or ADA accessibility.

Revenue, Department of

  • ORMAP - Statewide property tax parcel base map searchable by county and township-range grid, which provides file lists of scanned taxlot maps from county assessors. Also provides links to some county assessor websites, offering other searching capabilities.

Transportation, Department of

  • Tripcheck - Provides information regarding the current status of road conditions throughout Oregon, as well as links to commercial airports, rideshare opportunities, public transit systems and bicycle information. Includes current weather conditions and maps showing rest areas, sno-parks, scenic byways and road cams.

University of Oregon Libraries

  • Data for Local Communities - This database contains records for State of Oregon or other websites containing statistical, spatial and descriptive data about the cities and counties of Oregon and Washington. Many of the sites are access points for agency databases.
  • Historic Oregon Newspapers - Part of the "Chronicling America" program, which covers various Oregon papers from 1848-1922. New content added on a regular basis. Valuable to anyone researching the Western frontier, Indian wars, etc. Searchable by keyword.
  • Oregon Newspapers Index - 977,000+ searchable records including The Oregon Daily Emerald. Eugene (Or.), the University of Oregon campus newspaper, 1900-1979. 102,000+ records.; The Portland Oregonian. Portland (Or.), 1852 - 1987. 839,000+ records and The Register-Guard. Eugene (Or.), 1963 - 2004. 30,000+ records. Index may be searched by title, subject, author, or keyword. Records may be limited by date.

Water Resources Department

  • Historical Streamflow and Lake Level Data - Provides historical graphic statistics on streamflows in Oregon, searchable by basin, gaging station, station status, and date range. Includes searchable watershed and hydrological unit maps in Google Earth or Maps format, with information on gaging stations, including number and description, township, range and section, longitude and latitude, and date range of available data from which to search.
  • Real Time Streamflow Information - Provides links to sites, mostly U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), giving preliminary realtime streamflow data. USACE and USBR provide graphic data in cubic feet over a course of days, and USGS data also includes station number and name, location (including map), drainage area, period of record, gage, remarks, and extremes for period. Offers a choice of discharge or gage height parameters, as well as a choice of output format and number of days.
  • Water Rights Mapping Tool - Allows the user to view water rights and other pertinent information such as ground water limited areas, watermaster districts, water availability basins, etc. Browse by basin, search for a township, or search for an application using this program.
  • Well Log Query - Provides searchable database for well log information. Searchable by township, range, and section, county, constructor, owner name, company, completed and received dates, start card, well log ID, well tag, and taxlot numbers. Results also provide street of well, first water, completed depth, static water level, and yield.


  1. US Election Atlas, Oregon 2012 Presidential Election. US Election Atlas.
  2. Meet America's First Openly Bisexual Governor. MSN. Published February 16, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2015
  3. Long-time Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announces his resignation amid ethics scandal. Published February 13, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2015
  4. The governor’s "fiancé, Cylvia Hayes, was taking money as a private consultant to" George Soros-funded "environment groups and then pushing their policies in her public role as “First Lady” of the state. Most infamously, she ordered state employees to follow a policy she was being paid $25,000 by an advocacy group to promote. Apparently, some of the money also wasn't reported on tax returns." Another Corrupt Democrat Governor Resigns – Oregon Governor Kitzhaber Announces His Resignation…. Published February 13, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2015
  5. "Kitzhaber’s response to the scandal has been egregious. The Willamette Week reported that his “office last week requested state officials destroy thousands of records in the governor’s personal email accounts.” Indeed, the governor’s executive assistant actually ordered all of his personal e-mail accounts to be removed from state servers. Such revelations have prompted Oregon senate president Peter Courtney and house majority leader Tina Kotek, both Democrats, to meet with Kitzhaber and urge him to resign." Fund, John, "Environmental Scandal Engulfs Oregon Governor, Where Is National Media?". National Review. Published February 13, 2015. Accessed February 20, 2015.
  6. Redden, Jim, "Report shows Intel tax breaks a net plus for state, county." Beaverton Valley Times, Published January 9, 2014
  7. Powell's Books on Burnside. Powell's City of Books. Retrieved on 2015-02-20.