Curious Northwest

How Oregon’s GOP governor teamed up with hippies to throw a festival and prevent clashes in the streets

In August of 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon was slated to come to Portland, and so were thousands of antiwar protesters. That's when some young liberal Oregonians teamed up with Republican Gov. Tom McCall on a plan to lure thousands of potential antiwar demonstrators into the woods for a weekend of rock 'n' roll and avoid a projected violent clash in the City of Roses. This is the story of Oregon Vortex 1: A Biodegradable Festival of Life.

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How Oregon named a county after a Confederate sympathizer

Efforts to rename institutions with racist underpinnings such as schools, military bases and sports teams are happening across the country. In Oregon, there’s a movement to change the name of Lane County, which is dedicated to Joseph Lane, the first governor of the Oregon Territory.


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A huckleberry by any other name: The story behind Westerners’ favorite wild berries

Huckleberry season is in full swing in the Pacific Northwest, and whether you forage them yourself or pay a pretty penny at your local farmer's market, these berries are a sweet staple of summer. But what if we told you huckleberries don't grow in the West? In fact, you've been enjoying native blueberries all along.



Hunting for Mare’s Eggs

Two fish biologists search Upper Klamath Lake for an odd creature known as a Mare’s Egg in this “Oregon Field Guide” short. What they find is as uncommon as it is unusual. And it is only around for a short time each year.







A group of KKK members parades down the streets of Grants Pass, Ore., in the 1920s. The KKK had a strong presence across the state in the early 1900s, with Oregon Klan leaders claiming 35,000 active members in 1923.

A racist history shows why Oregon is still so white

Oregon was the only state in the U.S. that had racist ideologies written into its constitution at its founding. But now these racist foundations, which Oregon and the nation were built on, are beginning to crack.

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"Curious Northwest"

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What do you find curious about the Northwest?

Is there something about our region which you find curious? Whether it's a person, a place, a custom, or something else entirely, tell us about it. Share your idea and it could become an OPB story!