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Tom McCall

Nearly forty years after he left office and thirty years after his death, Oregon Governor Tom McCall remains one of the state's most renowned political figures. His bold achievements set a new standard for the rest of the nation: The Beach Bill and the Bottle Bill, the SB100 land-use law -- all of these emerged from the McCall years.


Oregon Experience, enters its 11th season this fall.

The series continues to bring to life stories that help us understand this place where we live and those that have played key roles in its history and legacy.

Premiering November 14 at 9pm is the story of Vanport City, the largest public housing project in the country during World War II.  With a population of more than 40,000 people during its heyday, it was Oregon’s second largest city.   But on May 30, 1948 a flood swept it away completely.

Oregon Experience will explore Vanport’s history, the city’s transformation and dramatic ending.  Discover how its legacy still reverberates today.

Until then, you can watch all the episodes of ten previous seasons of Oregon Experience online.

And join us Monday evenings on OPB TV throughout the month of October to celebrate stories from Oregon Experience’s past seasons. Meet Oregon’s first state geologist, Thomas Condon, Reub Long’s unusual collaboration in rural storytelling, the myths and mysteries behind the Murder on the Southern Pacific and other fascinating stories.  Starting at 9 PM on OPB.

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Upcoming Broadcasts

Leo Adler an Oregon Experience (205)

October 24, 9 p.m. [OPB TV]

White Plague an Oregon Experience (406)

October 24, 9:30 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.


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.


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


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.