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Physician, lesbian, radical labor activist – the passions of Portland’s Dr. Marie Equi

Born in 1872 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Marie Equi grew up in a working-class immigrant family and labored in the town’s textile mills to help support the family. As a young woman, she self-studied her way into medical school and received her degree in 1903. But her life took a hard left into radical politics after she made her way to Oregon.

Author Greg Vandy followed Woody Guthrie's journey through the Pacific Northwest to write 26 songs in 30 days for the Bonneville Power Administration. He also hosts a weekly show, "The Roadhouse," on KEXP.

REBROADCAST: Woody Guthrie

In the spring of 1941, Woody Guthrie came to Portland for a one-month job. He was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration to write songs extolling the virtues of dams, irrigated land and federally subsidized hydropower. He ended up giving the government 26 songs in 30 days.


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. The series explores Oregon's rich past and helps all of us — from natives to newcomers — gain a better understanding of the historical, social and political fabric of our state. Each show brings to life fascinating characters — both familiar and forgotten — who've played key roles in building our state into the unique place we call home.