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 Camp Without a Fence: Nikkei Farm Laborers in Malheur County During WWII

June 30, 2014 at 7PM

On May 20, 1942, the War Relocation Authoritygranted permission for 400 Japanese and Japanese Americans to move from the Portland Assembly Center to Malheur County, Oregon, to provide critical labor for that year's sugar beet crop, which numbered more than 12,000 acres. From May until October, the majority who volunteered for beet labor were housed in a Farm Security Administration tent camp, just outside the town of Nyssa, on the Snake River. It was the first such labor camp created during the World War II incarceration of Nikkei. By the end of 1945, thousands, nearly 12 percent of the 120,000 incarcerated during the war, worked in the beet fields across the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain states. Speaker Morgen Young is a consulting historian and the project director for "Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II," a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission.

Bud Was Serious! A 30th Anniversary Retrospective of Bud Clark's Successful Race for Mayor of Portland

May 19, 2014 at 7PM

Bud Clark's Portland mayoral campaign of 1984 was as remarkable and unexpected as it was successful. Its first achievement was convincing voters that the well-liked tavern-keeper who had never previously held a public office was a serious candidate. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the landmark campaign, former staffers (including Mike Ryerson) and Bud Clark himself will convene for a panel discussion. Longtime Portland political analyst Tim Hibbitts will give introductory remarks about the city's political climate of the 1970s and early 1980s, then serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

History of PCUN: Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United)

April 28, 2014 at 7PM

PCUN is Oregon’s farmworkers union and the largest Latino organization in the state. It was founded in 1985 by eighty farmworkers, who created an organization that would grow to register more than 6,000 members, 98 percent of which are Mexican and Central American immigrants, and to encompass a wide variety of organizing projects — including a community radio station. Its history is now being archived in partnership with the University of Oregon Special Collections. Join PCUN leaders and UO archives staff to learn more about the history and future of PCUN.

“‘Venereal Girls,’ The Cedars Detention Home, and the Portland Free Dispensary: Public Health, Gender, and Civil Liberties in WWI and its Aftermath”

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 7PM

From 1917 to 1923, Oregon officials detained, incarcerated, and required a lengthy parole for women who tested positively for venereal disease. Men were treated for their illness but not detained. Federal and local officials carried out similar policies throughout the nation. Oregon’s case is distinctive for the state’s early adoption of policies against women and for the extent to which women and their supporters protested and resisted these violations of women's civil liberties following the 1912 achievement of woman suffrage in Oregon.

Kimberly Jensen is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University. She received her Ph.D. in Women's and United States History from the University of Iowa. Dr. Jensen is the author of Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War and Doctor to the World: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and a Life in Activism. History Pub is a monthly event organized by McMenamins, Holy Names Heritage Center, and OHS, and supported by a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition (funded via Oregon Cultural Trust), where you can listen to lively local history while sipping on a pint of handcrafted ale.

“Leonard’s of the 1930s & ‘40s: The Great Characters & Legends of Portland’s Unofficial Jewish Community Center”

February 24. 2014 at 7PM

From 1930 to 1950, Leonard's was a downtown Portland institution, brimming with professional men and Damon Runyon-esque characters, nearly all of whom were Jewish. A café, cigar shop, and card room were its primary offerings; however, Leonard's true purpose—and the reason for its success— was the fact that it served as a club and community center for Jewish men at a time when Jews were not allowed membership in many of the prominent clubs of the city.

Leonard Kaufman, son of the club’s namesake, will share memories and accounts of his father and the community hub he created, as well as about the notable and colorful men who made Leonard's the legendary landmark it is remembered as today. Historian Harry Stein, author of a biography of one of Portland's most significant Jewish sons, U.S. Federal Judge Gus J. Solomon, will present a contextual view of the city's Jewish community during the early to mid-twentieth century.