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The Beach Bill

Governor Tom McCall signed The Beach Bill in 1967, forever granting the public recreational access to Oregon's beaches. But the landmark legislation almost died in committee. This is a story of vision and passion to preserve the beaches of Oregon for generations to come.

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This summer Oregon Experience invites you to See Oregon Through Its History.
 
Explore the unparalleled beauty of Oregon’s parks, coastal towns and rural communities. Whether hiking the trails, catching a play or enjoying local wineries, check in with Oregon Experience’s website each week. You’ll be surprised about the history of your destination and who or what played a key role in building this unique state into the place we call home.

For those of you enjoying the last rays of summer or some early fall trips to the ocean, there is nothing like the Oregon coast at this time of the year. Its astonishing beauty, rugged coastline, and long stretches of sandy beaches are extremely accessible and inviting.

It could have been a very different story, without the efforts of Governor Tom McCall. In 1967 he signed the Beach Bill, granting public recreational access to Oregon’s beaches.
 
Learn more about the fight to protect Oregon’s beaches through Oregon Experience’s documentary – The Beach Bill. This program illuminates the events and issues surrounding the fight to protect the beaches from private development. The debate created the greatest public response to any issue in Oregon’s legislative history.

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.

Oregon Experience, entering its 11th season, will continue to bring new episodes in the coming months. All previous season's exciting stories, exploring Oregon's rich past, can be watched online.

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Upcoming Broadcasts

Tom Mccall an Oregon Experience (703)

September 26, 9 p.m. [OPB TV]

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More Oregon Experience

Darcelle XV

OPB | June 20, 2016

Darcelle XV is the West Coast’s oldest performing female impersonator, and operates what is likely the nation’s longest running drag revue.

Portland Jazz Back in the Day

OPB | April 25, 2016

Jazz Town examines the vibrant, post-World War II eruption of music and nightlife in North and Northeast Portland. A colorful and significant chapter in the city’s cultural narrative, this short-lived period is largely unknown to many Oregonians.

Thomas Condon: Of Faith and Fossils

OPB | Feb. 22, 2016

Irish immigrant Thomas Condon was a Congregational minister and Oregon's first state geologist. 

The Jewish Frontier

OPB | Jan. 25, 2016

Oregon's Jewish pioneers were among the region's first settlers. Arriving with the gold miners, they came for a better life away from persecution. In the process, they helped build the businesses and civic organizations that shaped the state.

Vilma Silva on Shakespeare's work: "Claim it. It's yours."

OPB | Oct. 19, 2015

Vilma Silva on Shakespeare's work: "Claim it. It's yours."

Scott Kaiser on Translating Shakespeare into... English.

OPB | Oct. 19, 2015

OSF's Scott Kaiser on translating Shakespeare into... English.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

OPB | Oct. 19, 2015

Oregon Experience explores the origins and the evolution of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Murder On The Southern Pacific

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.

Portland Civil Rights: Lift Ev'ry Voice

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.

Astoria

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.

State of Jefferson

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.

Luther Cressman, Quest For First People

OPB | April 30, 2014

A new Oregon Experience examines an Oregon man’s lifelong search for America’s first people. 

Ken Kesey: An Oregon Life

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.  

Portland Noir

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.

Hanford

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.

Capturing Oregon's Frontier

OPB | April 09, 2013

Tom McCall

OPB | March 19, 2013

Rajneeshpuram

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.

The Suffragists

OPB | Nov. 05, 2012

The History Of Reed College

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.


Funding Provided By: Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer, Robert D. and Marcia H. Randall Charitable Trust, Oregon Cultural Trust, Clark Foundation

OREGON EXPERIENCE is a co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Oregon Historical Society.