The Important Ephemera of American History Live in Portland, Oregon
The TV show 'Portlandia' may have made a Portland, Oregon more popular than ever, but first-timers to this city in the Pacific Northwest will want to do more than shop for books and eat brunch. All this week, we'll detail the must-dos of Portland, from good eats to great history.
Want to see the TV camera that filmed Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald? How about the bullet-hole-pierced speech that Teddy Roosevelt had in his jacket pocket when he was shot? You don’t need to head to the Smithsonian for these incredible pieces of Americana.
Local philanthropist Melvin “Pete” Mark has been collecting American presidential artifacts for some time, and much of his collection is on display in the quiet, unassuming Oregon Historical Society.
The exhibit’s only problem is its clunky name (“Windows on America,” which reminds us of that restaurant that used to be in the World Trade Center), but even the most indifferent history student will have to be impressed with some of the stuff herethink a “Dewey Defeats Truman” newspaper signed by both Dewey and Truman, a program from the Ford’s Theater on the night Lincoln was shot, and the original plans for George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.
This exhibit is small and intimate, and it seems unbelievable that a collection this awesome has gone under the radar for so long. The upside is that you won’t have to wait in a long line or push people out of the way to get a glimpse at these awesome pieces.