On October 11, 1923, three brothers tried to rob a Southern Pacific train as it made its way over the Siskiyou Summit of Southern Oregon, sparking one of the nation's largest manhunts. Using rare images, historic film of the brothers and expert interviews, this program chronicles Oregon's most infamous train holdup, and examines the myths and mysteries still associated with the case.more
From historical biographies to issues and events that have shaped our state, Oregon Experience is an exciting television series co-produced by OPB and the Oregon Historical Society.
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OPB | May 04, 2015
In 1923, a Southern Oregon train holdup sparked one of the nation’s largest manhunts and helped established modern criminal forensics.
OPB | April 21, 2015
Lift Ev’ry Voice explores Portland’s African-American history with a focus on the turbulent 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s. At the time, issues surrounding urban renewal, school desegregation and brittle police relations were exploding both nationally and locally.
OPB | Jan. 26, 2015
Founded in 1811 by wealthy fur baron John Jacob Astor, Astoria is the oldest United States settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about the multifaceted history of this city and where those two centuries of activity have brought Astoria today.
OPB | Sept. 29, 2014
Southern Oregon and Northern California make up the mythical State of Jefferson. The “state” is the product of local lore, regional identity, and pride for its residents. It remains a symbol of an enduring rural-urban divide. Now, some are working to make it the 51st official state.
OPB | April 30, 2014
A new Oregon Experience examines an Oregon man’s lifelong search for America’s first people.
OPB | Jan. 03, 2014
Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1964), was one of the best-known authors to ever emerge from Oregon. Airing January 20 at 9 p.m.
OPB | Sept. 26, 2013
From shanghaied sailors to opium dens, Portland’s illicit past is legendary. But how much of it is true? Portland Noir examines Old Town’s sordid history.
OPB | Sept. 16, 2013
In 1943, as World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, thousands of men and women from across the United States began arriving in a remote part of south-central Washington state. They knew very little about why the U.S. government had hired them — only that it was an important project to support the war effort. It was a project that would change the world forever.
OPB | Nov. 19, 2012
In 1981, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from India, and thousands of his disciples moved to Wasco and Jefferson Counties. On what had been the Big Muddy Ranch, the “sannyasins” set out to build a new city, a utopian community in the desert -- Rajneeshpuram. Thousands of people from around the world gathered here to celebrate life. They worked hard and transformed the landscape. And more than a few hoped to spend the rest of their days at this place. But by 1986, they were gone.
OPB | Oct. 11, 2012
In 1911, a small liberal arts college was launched in Portland, Oregon with its sole mission to promote the life of the mind. Founded by a prominent minister and brought to life by a visionary young upstart president, Reed College soon became a well-regarded institution of higher learning nationally but also something of a lightning rod for criticism locally. This is the history of a college confronting wide-ranging public opinion even as it strives to live up to its founders’ ideals.
OPB | May 08, 2012
In the 1960s, a new breed of pioneers began arriving in Oregon’s Willamette Valley determined to grow Vitis vinifera, the fine wine grapes of Europe. They were told it couldn’t be done and were amply warned that Western Oregon was too cold and wet for vinifera to flourish. But they came anyway with a dream of producing fine premium wines – in particular Pinot noir, made from the delicate red grape of Burgundy, France. The pioneers’ risky experiment would create a new industry in Oregon and change the world of wine forever.
OPB | Feb. 16, 2012
Wayne Morse served four terms (1945–1969) in the US Senate. He represented Oregon with brilliance and bravado and followed a vision of “principle above politics.” He could be quick to criticize, and he rankled many opponents. But he wrote and sponsored legislation that was well ahead of its time. Morse also warned of an American war in Vietnam — a full decade before an incident in the Gulf of Tonkin formally started it. He was one of just two members of Congress to vote against it. And for the rest of his career, Morse led a national outcry to end the war and bring the troops home.
OPB | Nov. 08, 2011
The Modoc War of 1872 to 1873 was one of the costliest American Indian wars in U.S. history, considering the number of people involved. For nearly seven months, a handful of Modoc Indian warriors and their families held off hundreds of U.S. Army soldiers. The war is largely forgotten to most of the nation, but at the time of the conflict, the story made headlines from London to San Francisco. People were enthralled as one of the last real-life, Wild-West battles unfolded on the American frontier.
OPB | July 26, 2011
In 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state in the Union. Road to Statehood celebrates Oregon’s 150th birthday by exploring the lives of Native peoples already living here, the mountain men and fur trappers who came for adventure and wealth, and the pioneers who brought their hopes and prejudices with them over the Oregon Trail.
OPB | July 12, 2011
The Portland Youth Philharmonic is America's first youth orchestra. But the story of the PYP begins in Burns where a violinist named Mary Dodge shared her love of music with the local children. As their talent emerged, Dodge formed a children's orchestra called the Sagebrush Symphony that captivated audiences statewide.
OPB | May 30, 2011
Linus Pauling is considered one of the greatest chemists of the 20th century. A brilliant scientist and humanitarian he made revolutionary discoveries in chemistry, physics, molecular biology and medicine; then used his international fame and popularity to promote world peace. Targeted by the FBI and labeled a Communist during the height of the Cold War, Linus Pauling is the only person in history to win two unshared Nobel Prizes.
OPB | April 18, 2011
Oysters are unusual little creatures, and they've played a distinctive role in Pacific Northwest history. As Euro-Americans settled this region, the native oyster became one of the first natural resources to be exploited on a large scale — and one of the first to be depleted. The oyster business spawned the creation of several coastal communities and precipitated the demise of a vast Indian reservation. Yet the oysters themselves and the colorful oystermen who farm them have contributed many unacknowledged environmental benefits, as well.
Funding Provided By: Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust, Clark Foundation
Additional Support By: Decherd Charitable Trust
OREGON EXPERIENCE is a co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society.