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.

Notable Women of Portland: From Native Americans to Pioneers to WWII

November 26, 2018 7PM

The story of Portland, Oregon, like much of history, has usually been told with a focus on male leaders. This presentation offers a reframing of Portland's history-- including information on 10,000 years of Native American women, pioneer women, women of the Progressive Era, WWI, WWII, and post-war women, with additional tales of women in the arts and women in politics. Hear how these women made their mark and radically changed the Oregon frontier. This presentation, based on author Tracy Prince’s latest book, Notable Women of Portland, will give you an in-depth understanding of women, throughout history, credited for making Portland what it is today.

Tracy J. Prince, Ph.D., Affiliated Research Professor at Portland State University’s American Indian Teacher Program, is the author of Portland’s Goose Hollow and Culture Wars in British Literature and co-author of Portland’s Slabtown. She and her daughter Zadie Schaffer (a 10th grader at Lincoln High School) were inspired by fascinating nuggets of Portland history to shine more light on the women who shaped Oregon.

Committed: The Home Front in Oregon in WWI, 1914-1918

October 29, 2018 7PM

When most Americans think of World War I they imagine it to be an era of strong leaders, brave soldiers, bloody battles, and heroic generals. Instead, in this presentation, Mr. Stack will be focusing on the home front in Portland and Oregon during 1914 – 1918, and will show how the average Portlander, and Oregonian, was affected by the war in their lives.

During the presidential election of 1916, Woodrow Wilson campaigned on the theme of “He kept us out of war.” By April, 1917, however, the United States was embroiled in World War I. This presentation will show how Americans were affected by the Espionage and Sedition Acts that were passed in 1917 and 1918. People impacted by these laws nationally and locally were activists, immigrants, persons of color, political parties, and labor unions. In addition, public opinion was manipulated by the federal government in order to garner support for the war on the part of Americans. Moreover, this presentation will show how Portland and Oregon gained population during the war and the effect that World War I had on the shipbuilding and timber industries. Finally, Mr. Stack will offer a brief summary of the post-World War I era and the effects both nationally and locally during the 1920s of the “Red Scare” and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States.

William Stack is a seasoned educator and an independent local historian. He has taught at the middle school, high school, and college levels. In addition, he has written and had published Historic Photos of Oregon and articles on President John Adams, Astoria businessman George Flavel, and highway builder Glenn Jackson. He is currently at work on an article on World War I on the home front.

Happy Canyon: A History of the World's Most Unique Indian Pageant and Wild West Show

September 24, 2018 7PM

For over a century, Happy Canyon, the night show of the Pendleton Round-Up, has brought together families, friends, and strangers to witness a joyous celebration of local Pendleton history. The spirit of the Old West and the beauty of tribal life unfolds like a Western Brigadoon each September. With a passion to see Happy Canyon’s story told, Becky Fletcher Waggoner will reveal how the show began, the six-generation family participation, and the beauty of the show’s Native American and non-Native American culture from Eastern Oregon, including the key livestock. As the story unfolds, you’ll discover both Happy Canyon’s history and the entertaining stories that have occurred over the years.

Becky Waggoner of Pilot Rock, Oregon, is a fourth generation Happy Canyon Show participant and Round-Up volunteer and a fifth generation resident of Umatilla County. Besides cattle ranching and working part-time for Mautz & O'Hanlon, LLP, Becky loves to research history.

Becky began volunteering in the show at the age of three, coming out of the trunk. She has played several roles in the show over the years and now plays the part of the nurse in the Doctor Act. Out of her love of the show and its colorful history, Becky recently authored Happy Canyon: A History of the World's Most Unique Indian Pageant and Wild West Show.

Becky and her husband, Allen, former Happy Canyon Show Director and President, have three children, Kyle, Kaleigh and Riley—all fifth generation Happy Canyon volunteers and actors. On with the show!

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.