OHS Free Admission For Oregon's Birthday

Photo: Ford, Brad

Photo: Andie Petkus

Join the Oregon Historical Society in commemorating the 164th anniversary of Oregon statehood by visiting the museum for free Saturday, February 11 through Oregon’s birthday on Tuesday, February 14. Enjoy birthday cupcakes, which will be available to visitors on Saturday at noon, and pick up an activity sheet at the front desk that will help young visitors navigate our cornerstone Experience Oregon exhibition. 

Visitors are encouraged to learn more about the stories that have been entrusted to OHS’s care for nearly 125 years through Our Unfinished Past: The Oregon Historical Society at 125On view through December 17, 2023, this new exhibition highlights the ways scholars, researchers, and artists have worked independently and in partnership with OHS to forge new insights and understandings about Oregon. 

In its final weeks in Oregon, visitors can sing with the Supremes and dance with the Temptations with a visit to Motown: The Sound of Young America. Curated by the GRAMMY Museum®, this exhibition traces the evolution of the Motown label, focusing on its major artists and musical achievements, and explores how the sound of Motown continues to influence some of pop music’s most important artists today.

On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, OHS is proud to host a Citizenship Ceremony in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with 30 local candidates for citizenship taking the Oath of Allegiance. All are welcome to attend this special ceremony, which will take place at 11am in OHS’s main lobby, the Patricia Reser and William Westphal Pavilion.

The History of Oregon Statehood

Oregon’s statehood is a complex legacy that should be acknowledged, reckoned with, and commemorated. Oregon joined the Union 164 years ago in 1859, yet unlike any other state that preceded it, Oregon did so as the only state to ratify a constitution that excluded Black residents from citizenship. “Oregon Statehood Day and the History of Exclusion,” a new post on OHS’s Dear Oregon blog, explores that history through the lens of Letitia Carson’s life — the only known Black woman in Oregon to successfully secure a land claim under the Homestead Act of 1863. Her life and pursuits are part of the larger legacy of resistance, resilience, and courage of Black people in Oregon. 

Though separated by more than 150 years and circumstances, those being naturalized on Oregon Statehood Day and the Black people living in Oregon when it joined the Union are connected by a shared desire to belong and to be recognized for their contributions to the prosperity of both Oregon and the United States. Understanding Oregon’s history of exclusion, Black history, and its impact on democracy and citizenship is vital to understanding Oregon’s past, present, and future. 

Source: Oregon Historical Society

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