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Home > Cultural > History > Chronology > 1951 to Present

Oregon History: Chronology - 1951 to Present



1951 Law prohibiting interracial marriges repealed
1952 Constitution amended to provide for equal representation in state legislature
1953 Public Accommodations Law prohibits racial discrimination by businesses
1954 Congress terminates Western Oregon Indian tribes
  Supreme Court upholds Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, abolishing segregated schools
1956 Congress authorizes Interstate freeway system
Congress terminates Klamath Indian Tribe
1957 Oregon Fair Housing Act passes
1959 Oregon ratifies 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 89 years after it is adopted
1960 Census enumerates 1,768,687 residents
Congress passes Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act passes for management of national forests
First female U.S. Senator from Oregon, Maurine Neuberger, elected
1962 Columbus Day Storm causes major damage in Western Oregon
  Oregon State University football player Terry Baker (QB) becomes state’s first Heisman Trophy winner
1964 Death penalty abolished
  National Civil Rights Act outlaws unequal voter registation requirments; racial segregation in schools, workplace, public places
1965 Congress passes Voting Rights Act prohibiting qualifications or prerequisites to voting
1966 Workmen complete Astoria-Megler Bridge spanning Columbia estuary
I-5 affords non-stop driving through Oregon
1967 Beach Bill approved, ensuring public access to all of Oregon’s coastal beaches
  Racial tensions escalate into riots in Portland
1969 Department of Environmental Quality created
Federal District Court in Sohappy v. Smith affirms Indian treaty fishing rights in Columbia River
1970 U.S. Census enumerates 2,091,000 residents
1971 Bottle Bill approved
Congress confirms Burns Paiute Reservation
1973 Land Conservation Development Commission created
Public Meetings Law approved
Public Records Law approved
Tillamook State Forest created
Congress approves Endangered Species Act
  Oregon ratifies U.S. Equal Rights Amendment
1974 Congress creates John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Oregon Health Sciences University forms out of mergers
Governor Tom McCall sets odd/even gasoline refueling days
1975 Congress creates Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
1976 First woman, Norma Paulus, elected secretary of state
  First Oregon nuclear power plant, Trojan, built north of St. Helens
1977 Aerosol sprays banned by law
Congress restores Confederated Tribes of Siletz
First woman, Betty Roberts, appointed to Oregon Court of Appeals
Portland Trail Blazers basketball team wins the NBA Championship
1978 Death penalty reinstated
1979 Federal District Court in Kimball v. Callahan affirms Klamath Indian hunting and fishing rights within former reservation
1980 U.S. Census enumerates 2,633,000 residents
Congress creates new Siletz Reservation
Mt. St. Helens eruption disrupts ship traffic on Columbia River
1981 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh establishes Rajneeshpuram
1982 Congress restores Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
First woman, Betty Roberts, appointed justice of Oregon Supreme Court
1983 Congress restores Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
1984 Congress restores Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw
First Oregon lottery ratified by voters
  First African-American woman, Margaret Carter, elected to state legislature
1985 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh deported and fined $400,000
First woman, Vera Katz, selected speaker of Oregon House
1986 Congress restores Klamath Tribe
Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) begins light-rail service in Portland
1988 Congress creates new Grand Ronde Reservation
Congress approves Civil Liberties Act paying $20,000 to each surviving interned Japanese-American
  Ballot Measure 8 bans discrimination based on sexual orientation
1989 Congress restores Coquille Indian Tribe
First Sports Action Lottery in U.S. sells tickets
  African exchange student Mulugeta Seraw killed by racist skinheads in Portland
1990 U.S. Census enumerates 2,842,000 residents
Ballot Measure 5 limits property taxes to support schools and government
U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife lists Northern Spotted Owl as endangered
1991 First woman, Barbara Roberts, elected governor
1992 First African-American, James A. Hill, Jr., elected to statewide office as state treasurer
First gaming compact for casinos signed with Cow Creek and Umpqua Tribes
1993 First statewide vote-by-mail election held in U. S.
1994 First Death With Dignity Act approved permitting doctor-assisted suicide
1996 First vote-by-mail election for federal office held
1998 Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) extends light-rail service 18 miles west from Portland
1999 New Carissa, freighter runs aground near Coos Bay
  U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife lists several salmon species from Columbia and Willamette Rivers as endangered
2000 U.S. Census enumerates 3,421,399 residents
  Measure requiring removal of racist language from state Constitution passes
2001 Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) extends light-rail service to Portland Airport
2002 Susan Castillo, first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office as school superintendent
  Near record forest fire season leaves 1,000,000 acres burned
2003 Oregon begins 10-year plan to fix deteriorating bridges
2004 Measure 37 casts doubt on the future of Oregon land use laws
  Trojan, Oregon’s only nuclear power plant decommissioned
  L.L. Stub Stewart State Park opens, Oregon’s first new state park campground in more than 30 years
2005 Oregon State Quarter released with design featuring Crater Lake
2006 Trojan, Oregon’s decommissioned nuclear power plant imploded
  Oregon State University wins NCAA Baseball Championship
2007 Sandy River’s Marmot Dam, built in 1912, removed
  Oregon State University wins NCAA Baseball Championship
  Oregon Equality Act passes
2008 New Carissa, freighter that ran aground on Coos Bay beach in 1999, dismantled and removed
2009 Oregon celebrates its sesquicentennial on February 14, 2009
  Oregon unemployment rate tops 12% amid recession
  Portland Timbers became major league soccer’s 18th team on March 20, 2009
2010 Governor’s panel predicts 10 years of state budget deficits
2012 Oregon legislature began annual sessions, with the even-numbered years having a month-long session in February
  University of Oregon football team wins first Rose Bowl Game in 94 years
2013 Klamath Tribes’ senior water rights in Upper Klamath Basin reaffirmed by courts
  Drought and lightning produced most expensive wildfire season on record
  Josephine County’s last sawmill closes for lack of logs
2014 U.S. District court strikes down same-sex marriage ban
  Voters approve recreational marijuana use; Equal Rights for Women in Oregon Constitution
  University of Oregon football player Marcus Mariota (quarterback) wins the Heisman Trophy
2015 Governor John Kitzhaber resigned Feb. 18, 2015, Secretary of State Kate Brown became governor according to the order of succession required by the Oregon Constitution
  Minoru Yasui, Hood River Attorney, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his challenge of a military cerfew placed on Japanese Americans during World War II and for his lifetime of civil rights work.
2016 Armed militants seized and occupied the headquarters of Harney County’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days.