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Oregon Historical Photo: Two Governors Compare Lapel Widths

OPB | April 14, 2014 midnight

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Two Oregon Republican governors shake hands, Mark Hatfield, left and Tom McCall, right. OrHi 90679.

Two Oregon Republican governors shake hands, Mark Hatfield, left and Tom McCall, right. OrHi 90679.

Courtesy of The Oregon Historical Society

Every week, Oregon Experience shares a photo highlighting the state’s diverse, exciting history. All photos are courtesy of The Oregon Historical Society.

Republican Mark Hatfield, left, served as Oregon’s governor from 1957 to 1967. He was succeeded by Republican Tom McCall, right, from 1967 to 1975, after Hatfield went to U.S. Senate. Although both men had different clothing styles, they shared the distinction of being iconic, maverick Republicans.

Hatfield made waves in 1965 when he became the first prominent Republican to oppose the war in Vietnam.  For his obituary, The New York Times stated:

At a meeting of the National Governors Association on July 28, 1965, as his colleagues rallied behind President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. Hatfield said, ‘I cannot support the president on what he has done so far.’ He complained that Johnson’s escalation of the war had American troops taking over South Vietnam’s responsibility ‘to win or lose.’

Citing ‘the deaths of noncombatant men, women and children,’ he said the American bombing campaign ‘merits the general condemnation of mankind.’

At the time, a few prominent Democrats, including Senator Wayne Morse, a fellow Oregonian, were opposing the war. But Mr. Hatfield was the first prominent Republican to come out against it.

Hatfield went on to become the longest serving senator in Oregon history.

Unlike his predecessor, McCall was a supporter of the war in Vietnam. But he was not a rank-and-file politician. His dedicated focus on environmental issues helped win him two terms as governor and a place as one of Oregon’s most renowned political figures. From the Oregon Experience documentary on his life and legacy:

McCall’s bold achievements set a new standard for the rest of the nation: The Beach Bill and the Bottle Bill, the SB100 land-use law, the Willamette River cleanup and the reinvention of Portland’s waterfront — all of these emerged from the McCall years.

Watch Oregon Experience’s documentary on Tom McCall

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