History Pub

Developed by Holy Names Heritage Center, History Pub is a collaborative program of the Heritage Center, Oregon Historical Society, and McMenamins. Programs feature a presentation by an expert from fields including history, journalism, and women's studies. Whenever possible, individuals who participated in or were affected by the events share their memories as part of the program. The voices of historical participants add a unique perspective to the discussion of these important issues.

History Pub is designed to increase public understanding of historical events that have shaped the past and their continued implications for the present and future. The series explores lesser-known historical events and the important roles minority groups have played in the Northwest and encourages participants to consider the ways social, cultural, and political forces affect individuals, communities and physical places.

The series is held at the historic McMenamins' Kennedy School in northeast Portland. Where else can you hear fascinating history while enjoying a slice of pizza and a frosty pint of handcrafted ale? History Pub appeals to a broad audience and is also family-friendly. This innovative program typically draws a crowd of 150 people each month.

The Long Game:100 Years of Portland Parks Golf

August 27, 2018 7PM

It delights many of us as a lifetime pastime, but the game of golf has a history of being exclusionary. Studying the history of golf in Portland (as in the United States as a whole) shows the challenges that women and people of color have had regarding access to and involvement with the game. Join us for an honest look back at Portland Parks Golf’s first century, including successes and challenges. By studying where we’ve been and where we are, we have the opportunity to better understand where we want to go – and how to make the game the most inclusive it’s ever been. We want to serve Portlanders of all ages and races during the next 100 years of Portland Parks Golf, and inspire more passion – because that’s what is at the core of the game, and it should and can be embraced by all. Portland Parks Golf is recognized as one of the premier municipal systems in the country; welcoming golfers playing more than 300,000 rounds a year. Presented by Vincent Johnson, Portland Parks and Recreation Assistant Director of Golf

Crafting a Legacy: Pacific Northwest Women in Brewing

July 30, 2018 7PM

July's program features a panel of women who were and are influential in the history of the brewing industry that, in 2017 alone, contributed nearly $2 billion to Oregon's economy and $1.7 billion to that of Washington according to the Brewers Association. Beth Hartwell, Jen Kent and others will discuss their experiences and the culture of craft brewing in the Northwest.

State Sponsored Sterilization: The Dark History Of Eugenics in Oregon

June 25, 2018 7PM

In 1917, the Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Board of Eugenics. Its charge was to review reports from the Oregon State Penitentiary, the state hospitals, and the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded of “all feeble-minded, insane, epileptic, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, and sexual perverts, who are persons potential to producing offspring who, because of inheritance of inferior or antisocial traits, would probably become a social menace or ward of the State.” Based on its determinations about those persons, the board was required to order many of them to be sterilized. The Oregon Board of Eugenics was part of a much larger trend towards racial purity and xenophobia in the United States that included “Better Baby” contests and the “Fitter Families” program to ensure racial purity. The eugenics movement mostly died out in the 1940s, when it came to light that Adolph Hitler had patterned the extermination of the Jewish population on the American eugenics movement. Surprisingly, the Oregon State Board of Eugenics survived in one form or another until 1983.

Marc Brown is the chief deputy defender with the Appellate Division of the Office of Public Defense Services. Brown spent several years teaching political science at Washington State University-Vancouver. In 2014, he received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at the South China University of Technology School of Law, and, in 2017, Marc co-taught a comparative constitutional law course at Shivaji University College of Law in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.


Memories of Vanport: A Panel Discussion

May 28, 2018 7PM

During its short lifetime from 1942 to 1948, the city of Vanport was home to a large and diverse population. The housing project was constructed on a Columbia River flood plain to house thousands of workers employed in Portland and Vancouver’s shipyards during WWII. Vanport later served as home to returning veterans, African Americans and displaced Japanese Americans who had been interned. On May 30, 1948, the swollen Columbia River overflowed Vanport’s dikes and swept the city away. An unknown number of people died and 18,000 were left homeless. Former residents Luanne Barnes, Belva Jean Griffin, Carolyn Hinton and Janice Okamoto will share their memories of life in Vanport and the flood that destroyed the community.


Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement

March 26, 2018 7pm

Learn about the traditionally untold stories of the Civil Rights Movement, specifically the role of women of color. Speakers will share reflections on their work in the Oregon Civil Rights Movement — their struggles and greatest memories — as well as advice for young activists on how to get involved and what they can do to make a positive difference in their communities.

Joyce Harris’s career has been defined by her professional (and personal) work in making connections and meeting the needs of communities and educators. She currently serves as a manager with a focus on community engagement at Education Northwest. Previously, she served as an administrator at the Black Educational Center, a school she co-founded in Portland, from 1980-1993.

Jackie Winters represents District 10 in the Oregon State Senate. She began her life-long interest in citizen involvement in public policy listening to her parents’ discussions around the table in Topeka, Kansas. She was recruited to be supervisor of the Office of Economic Opportunity’s New Resources Program by Governor Tom McCall, and she was appointed Ombudsman by Governor Victor Atiyeh. In 1998, voters of District 31 elected her as their State Representative, the first African-American Republican to achieve this honor. She was re-elected to this office in 2000. In 2002, 2006 and 2010, she was elected as State Senator for District 10.

Charlotte Rutherford is a community activist and former civil rights attorney, administrative law judge, and entrepreneur. She was the third child of Verdell Burdine and Otto G. Rutherford. Rutherford grew up in Portland’s Albina District and attended Jefferson High School. She attended Los Angeles City College, arriving in the city during the Watts riots. In 1967, she returned to Portland and wrote for the Oregon Advance Times, a local Black newspaper. She earned a BS in Administration of Justice and a minor in Black Studies from PSU and her JD at Howard University. She worked as a civil rights attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Washington D.C. and New York City. Rutherford returned to Portland and worked as an administrative law judge for Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings until her retirement in 2010.

Joy Alise Davis is Executive Director of the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF). She is an experienced interdisciplinary design professional who has held support and leadership roles in various social justice organizations. Joy is a graduate of Miami University with a BA in Political Science. She worked at The U.S. Fund for UNICEF on the UNICEF Tap Project campaign centered on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in developing countries before earning her MA in Theories of Urban Practice program at Parsons The New School for Design. Joy founded Design+Culture Lab, LLC, a research-based urban social enterprise dedicated to the transformation of urban neighborhoods through collaborative design strategies to address the complex spatial issues associated with cultural, racial and ethnic inequality.


Legacy of Fire: Examining the Past for Clues to Oregon's Wildfire Future

February 26, 2018 7pm

Join forest historian Doug Decker for a look back at key events and trends in Oregon’s wildfire history—including the great Tillamook Burn that devastated 500 square miles of the Oregon Coast Range—for clues to the challenges and opportunities of living with fire in the 21st Century. Doug will cover the evolution of firefighting policy and technique in Oregon, provide a detailed look at the Tillamook Burn fires of the 1930s-1940s, and close with a look at how recent fires illustrate the challenges ahead.

Doug Decker served as Oregon State Forester from 2011-2016, retiring after a 29-year career with the Oregon Department of Forestry, including 11 years in the Tillamook State Forest, where he led development of the Tillamook Forest Center, an interpretive museum that tells the story of past and present in the former Tillamook Burn. In his semi-retirement Doug is on the faculty at Portland State University, chairs the national Forest History Society based at Duke University, and actively investigates the history of northeast Portland for his website www.alamedahistory.org. He is also helping lead development of the Salmonberry Trail, a major rail-trail project that will connect Portland to the Coast.


Don't Screw Up: The Story of How Nike Became the Success It Is Today

January 29, 2018 7pm

Join Nelson Farris, a 45 year Nike veteran and Ambassador of Culture and Nike Heritage, as he chronicles the Nike journey, from 1965 to today. It all started with a handshake and $1000 investment and now, Nike is a $36 billion-dollar company. Hear the first-hand stories of commitment, teamwork, risk taking, fierce competitiveness, and unprecedented customer service that makes Nike the success it is today.

About the Speaker:
In 1955, Nelson started to run track in Junior High School in Southern California. Eighteen running years later, involvement with the Southern California running community connected him to Nike in Oregon. Him and his running partner thought they could start their own Sport Shop and sell running shoes to their buddies. Their first inventory was all Nike; a new athletic shoe that they thought was “cool”.

Their business did not work out, so Nelson traded in his retail and running experience for a job with Nike, as the Southern California Promotional, Direct Sales, and Retail Manager. “Best decision I ever made,” says Nelson, “it was my dream job.” Over 40 years, 5 moves, 20 different jobs, and a million miles traveled to over 60 countries later, he now serves Nike employees globally and contributes to employee education and development, helping to build a better Nike for the future.

The Martha Washington Hotel: Portland's Early Affordable Housing Endeavor

November 27, 2017 7PM

 Three versions of the Martha Washington Hotel operated between 1887 and 1983.  Though only two were named The Martha Washington, all three were started by The Portland Women’s Union. The first all-women volunteer organization in the state of Oregon, the PWU had a  primary mission to provide a safe and respectable residence for women coming to the city of Portland.  

There were no organized social services to support women in the city at the time, so the Union also established Portland’s first night school, which offered classes in grammar, mathematics, and bookkeeping, and an industrial school, where women could learn gardening, sewing, and housekeeping skills. The PWU hired a “depot matron” to direct young women to “respectable” housing and employment and worked with social agencies to begin the travelers’ aid program.

Enjoy an evening watching a documentary about how the residences for women came to be, and learn from the filmmaker what she learned about the beginning of affordable housing for women in the city of Portland.

 Dana Plautz is a filmmaker with a passion for telling stories about places or industries that no longer exist in their original form.  Her projects include the award-winning documentary Artist Response to 9.11 and The Martha Washington and the Women Who Built Her. Ms. Plautz also produced and researched several of the interactive media installations for the 2006 Portland Armory which underscored the value of architectural preservation to our community.