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 Communists, A Longshoreman Strike and the U.S. Supreme Court: DeJonge v. Oregon and the Right to Freedom of Assembly

September 28, 2015 at 7pm

On July 27, 1934, the Portland Police “Red Squad” arrested Dirk De Jonge, a World War I veteran, longshoreman, former Portland mayoral candidate, and Portland communist. The State charged him with criminal syndicalism for speaking at a meeting sponsored by the local Communist Party. The meeting was called in response to a police crackdown on striking longshoremen, who had shut down every West Coast port from southern California to northern Washington. De Jonge’s crime was speaking about jail conditions experienced by the arrested strikers. A jury found him guilty, and the judge sentenced him to seven years in prison. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the conviction, holding that the criminal syndicalism statute, as applied to De Jonge, unconstitutionally infringed on his right to assembly as protected by the First Amendment.

Marc Brown, an appellate public defender with the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services, will talk about the history behind the case as well as its long-term significance. Marc has taught political science, criminal justice, and history at Washington State University-Vancouver.

Home Front Stories of World War II

August 31, 2015 at 7pm

This month, listen to stories from individuals who worked on the Oregon home front during World War II. The panel will include: Harry Hendricks, who worked the graveyard shift at Vancouver's Kaiser Shipyard as a teenager; Ellen McFadden, who served as one of the nation's youngest certified Red Cross volunteers at Portland's Union Station canteen; Jean Matsumoto, who was sent with her family to Idaho's Minidoka Relocation Center where she was interned for three years; and Sharon Williams, who experienced wartime conditions as a young child growing up in North Portland.

Stories From Our Native Ancestors: Killing Bigfoot, The Giant Beaver, The Coast Range Goblin and How Clam Got His Eyes

July 27, 2015 at 7pm

Jason Younker is a member of the Coquille Indian Tribe, and David Lewis is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. For most western Oregon tribes, their generation is the last to have lived part o their life as a terminated Indian. Despite great cultural loss, many things endured. Stories about their existence and landscape are buy a few. In the presentation, they will share stories about the creatures of western Oregon that have lived on land and in culture for generations stretching far back into the past.

Dr. David G. Lewis is an independent educator, author, and anthropology researcher who lives in Salem, Oregon, in the homeland of his people, the Santiam Kalapuya. Dr. Jason T. Younker is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President for Sovereignty and Government-to-Government Relations at University of Oregon. Originally from Coos Bay, Oregon, he taught for ten years at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

The Hood River Crag Rats and the Cloud Cap Inn

June 29, 2015 at 7pm

On August 3, 1926 Andy Anderson, a Hood River lumber store manager, invited around 20 local young men to his home for the purpose of establishing an organization to promote mountaineering and skiing. The Hood River Crag Rats were formed that afternoon and became the first U.S. mountain rescue organization west of the Mississippi. Wooden ice axes and hemp rope have given way to GPS devices and helicopters, but searching for and rescuing people on Mt. Hood and in the Columbia Gorge have remained much the same for over 80 years. The program, featuring tales of harrowing rescues, will chronicle the early and current Crag Rats and their relationship with the historic Cloud Cap Inn. Speaker Don Pattison is a second-generation Crag Rat and works in the outdoor industry; Bill Pattison is a Crag Rat and 4th generation Oregonian.

World War II Veterans Tell Their Stories

May 18, 2015 at 7pm (one week early!)

Paul Meyer served in the US Army 70th Division "Trailblazers" unit from Oregon as a machine gunner. He fought in the "Operation Nordwind," the southern part of the Battle of the Bulge, was injured and carried out on a stretcher, and eventually was taken to recover in a hospital in England. Art Sorenson fought with the 104th Infantry Division as part of the second Allied advance across France, Belgium, and into Germany. He experienced fixed bayonet combat and spent time as a prisoner of war. Sorenson was awarded a Purple Heart, Silver Star Medal, and two Bronze Star Medals. Ellen Johnson Thronson, RN, served in the United States Navy Nurse Corps at the Puget Sound Navy Yard and the Naval Air Station in San Diego. After completing special training in psychiatric nursing, she worked in hospital psychiatric departments caring for combat veterans suffering from "battle fatigue."

Coffee Adventures From The Rose City: Portland's Pioneer Roasters to Today's Craft Coffee Movement

April 27, 2015 at 7pm

April's program features an exclusive talk by and with Portland's foremost coffee industry experts. An introductory presentation will be followed by a Q&A in which the audience can talk with the people who have made Portland's successful coffee industry what it is today. Free coffee samples, provided by the Oregon Coffee Board. Speakers include Kelsey Mutter, Martyn Leaper, Michael Boyd, Dan Welch, Brian Dibble and Bruce Miletto. Mark Stell will serve as moderator.

"Night Life: Clubs, Restaurants and the Music"

March 30, 2015 at 7pm

Explore the vibrant music and night life in Portland's African American community during the 1940s and 1950s through first-person accounts. Speakers include Ben Johnson, Bill Rutherford and Jim Thompson. This program is presented in collaboration with a special exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society, A Community on the Move: Black Portland during the 1940s and 1950s. This month's History Pub is organized in partnership with Oregon Black Pioneers.

Rethinking the Columbia River Treaty: Will We Get the Future Right This Time?

February 23 at 7pm

The Columbia River Treaty of the 1960s between the United States and Canada is perhaps the classic example of a "benefits-sharing" international river treaty. Canada built three large storage reservoirs in the upstream portion of the Columbia River Basin, and for fifty years, the two nations have cooperated in system operations to provide flood control and power generation benefits downstream. Even so, the people who negotiated the Treaty designed it for a particular future, and the future turned out much different than expected. An opportunity to rethink this arrangement has arisen because of provisions in the Treaty. Representatives of the two nations need to ask themselves again: Are there new ways to cooperate on the Columbia River and bring greater total benefits to the people of the region?

John Shurts is General Counsel for Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and his recent work has included speaking and publishing on the Treaty. He has a PhD in American History from the University of Oregon as well as a law degree from the Lewis and Clark Law School.