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.

Portland to the Rescue: Rose City Rushes to Stricken San Francisco

June 27, 2016 7PM

Before Hurricane Katrina, the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 was the greatest natural disaster in US history. News of the raging hell of fire, ruin, and death—3,000 fatalities and 200,000 homeless—stunned Portlanders, but the Rose City rallied with speed, organization, and generosity. The Oregon Doctor Train—a contingent of physicians and nurses—rushed food, supplies, and medical care to the stricken city not knowing how much civil strife or contagious disease awaited them. Among them was Portland's future medical leader and the political activist Dr. Marie Equi. The California Governor lavished praise on the Oregon team for doing so much “at a time when we were practically helpless.” Michael Helquist is the Portland-born author of Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions, published by Oregon State University Press in 2015. The American Library Association named Marie Equi a 2016 Stonewall Honor Book for Non-Fiction. An historian and journalist, Helquist has published widely, including in the Oregon Historical Quarterly and The Advocate.

Darcelle XV: An Oregon Experience Film Premier

May 23, 2016 7PM

Join us for the premiere screening of Darcelle XV: An Oregon Experience, including a conversation with the documentary's producer, Kami Horton and commentary by Darcelle. Darcelle XV is likely the country's oldest performing female impersonator, and operates what is thought to be the nation's longest-running drag revue. At 85-years old, Darcelle is a Portland icon. Kami Horton is a writer and producer for OPB’s historical documentary show Oregon Experience. She and an OPB crew have been following Darcelle and Company for more than a year to produce the half-hour documentary Darcelle XV. Kami has 25 years of broadcasting experience and has been with OPB since 2003. Celebrating its tenth season, Oregon Experience is an exciting history series on OPB TV that brings to life stories that help us understand this place where we live and that reinforce our shared identity as Oregonians. Co-produced by OPB and the Oregon Historical Society, the series draws on the Society’s skilled researchers and extensive photography and moving-image archives.

Oregon on Two Wheels: The Story of Cycling in the Beaver State

April 25, 2016 7pm

According to Travel Oregon, "Whether you're into road biking, mountain biking or in-town cruising, Oregon has the trails and bike paths to suit your cycling. We have the only Scenic Bikeways program in the nation as well as world class single-track mountain bike trails winding through deep forests and along wild rivers."

Please join local cycle enthusiasts and experts for a discussion on what makes Oregon such a great state for those who prefer transportation of the two wheel variety. The program is presented by April Streeter, author and editor of Seven Unforgettable Cycling Characters. A panel discussion will follow, moderated by Michael Anderson, BikePortland News Editor. The panel features Rob Sadowsky, Executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance; Mychal Tetteh, CEO of Community Cycling Center; and Steve Schulz, Deputy Director of Cycle Oregon.

Harry's First Hundred Years

March 28, 2016 7pm

From Aretha to the Beatles, RoboCop to Andrew Lloyd Webber's original London production of Cats, Chariots of Fire to Queen Elizabeth awarding him an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for outstanding service in music, Harry Rabinowitz's remarkable musical career and love of adventure has earned him world renown, good fortune and a life that now spans the century mark. He turns 100 on March 26. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1916, Harry showed real talent on the piano at an early age and soon found work playing in Johannesburg jazz bands and teaching music students. Then in the late ‘30s, he discovered Europe and, as he says, the world has never been the same. He spent years as a conductor for the BBC radio and then conducting scores for iconic British and Hollywood film and television productions, notably a series of Merchant Ivory movies. Since the late 1990s, Harry and wife Mitzi have been Portlanders five months out of the year. They enjoy the many musical and cultural offerings of the Rose City, not the least of which is the abundance of beer and wine. Forty-five years ago, as an original member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), Harry was among the first Brits to stand up and demand local, fresh and flavorful ales. For his big centennial bash, McMenamins has brewed him a very special ale to his specifications, which he drolly named "Harry's Downfall." Come join the celebration of Harry's 100th, listen to him talk of his century of musical expeditions.

Immigrant Voices from Portland's Historic Chinatowns

February 29, 2016 7pm

Panel discussion with Bertha Lee Saiget, Kenneth Fong and Robert Luck. Bertha Lee Saiget was raised on the outskirts of Chinatown by parents who were new immigrants from China. Bertha was a long time Headstart teacher for Portland Public Schools and a graduate of Oregon State University. Kenneth Fong was born in Old Chinatown and is a retired high school principal. His father was both a tailor and one of two owners of the largest casino in Chinatown. Robert Luck was born in New Chinatown, where his parents ran a lottery in their storefront on Northwest Sixth Avenue two blocks from Union Station. As a boy, he worked in Chinatown restaurants and was a runner for his family lottery, delivering tickets and picking up winnings based on two drawings a day. He received a university education and became a successful aeronautical and electrical engineer, working for Bonneville Power and firms in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. He has also had a semi-professional acting career.

James Wasson The Life of an Extraordinary Portlander

January 25, 2016 7pm

The life of James Wasson, a true renaissance man of pre-WWII Portland, was rediscovered by staff of Old Portland Hardware after purchasing and opening a trunk that contained Wasson’s photographs and other extraordinary records. A Buffalo solider, early African American photographer, and community leader, exploring Wasson’s life provides a unique view onto Portland's history. Old Portland Hardware owner Bret Hodgert will tell stories of how he followed clues among Wasson’s materials — including photographs of people and events, a letter from Wasson’s employer, and correspondence related to Wasson’s military service — to reconstruct the biography of this extraordinary Portlander and to understand the community in which he lived and worked.

"Shaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest"

November 30 at 7pm

Presented by Sue Armitage, Emerita Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Washington State University in Pullman. Drawing on her three decades of research and teaching and based on hundreds of secondary sources, Armitage's account explores the varied ways in which, beginning in the earliest times and continuing to the present, women of all races and ethnicities have made the history of our region. Armitage shows that even though women were barred from positions of public authority until recently, they have always worked quietly and informally to assure the stability and security of their families and communities. Women's community building and cooperative skills have been decisive in developing the societies of the Pacific Northwest- Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, and British Columbia.

How to Win with 24 Outlaws: A Presentation About the Legendary Portland Mavericks

October 26, 2015 at 7pm

Join us for beer and history, sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, Holy Names Heritage Center, and McMenamins, in which you'll hear lively local or regional history while you enjoy a frosty pint or two of handcrafted ale. This month’s speakers include former team manager Frank Peters and pitcher & Pulitzer Prize nominee Larry Colton. Hear these two former Mavericks' first-hand stories and experiences about their days with "the battered bastards of baseball." While we can't show the award-winning documentary Battered Bastards of Baseball (due to Netflix contractual rights), we will show the film trailer, followed by short presentations by Peters and Colton. Then we'll open it up to the audience for Q&A and a lively discussion.