Although this exhibit focuses on the 1840 to 1870 time period, Oregon continued to struggle with racial equality as demonstrated by the following chronology of later national and Oregon developments:
November 2, 1900
Oregon voters reject a proposal to repeal the exclusion clause in the constitution.
The Advocate, a weekly newspaper for the “intelligent discussion and authentic diffusion of matters appertaining to the colored people, especially of Portland and the State of Oregon,” was started. It included societal news (i.e. births, deaths, marriages, etc.), editorials, job announcements, civil rights issues, etc.
George Hardin becomes the first, African-American in Portland, to be named as a police officer.
Portland’s chapter of the NAACP is founded and is the oldest, continuously chartered chapter west of the Mississippi.
Ku Klux Klan organizes chapters in Oregon.
Beatrice Cannady becomes the first, African-American woman to graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School.
Exclusionary Clause is removed from the Oregon Constitution.
State Constitution is amended to remove voting restrictions against African and Chinese Americans.
Law repealed prohibiting inter-racial marriage.
Public Accommodations’ Law prohibits racial discrimination by businesses.
Supreme Court upholds Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, abolishing segregated schools.
Oregon Fair Housing Act passes.
The Oregon Legislature ratifies Fifteenth Amendment 90 years after its adoption in the United States.
National Civil Rights Act passes outlawing unequal voter registration requirements; and racial segregation in schools, workplaces, and public places.
Congress passes the Voters’ Rights Act, prohibiting qualifications or pre-requisites to vote.
Racial tensions result in riots in Portland.
April 25, 1973
Oregon re-ratifies the 14th Amendment 105 years after rescinding their ratification and actual ratification by 28 states.
Margaret Carter becomes the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon Legislature.
African exchange student, Mulugeta Seraw, is killed in Portland by racist “skinheads.”
First African-American, James A. Hill, Jr., is elected to statewide office as State Treasurer.
Measure requiring the removal of racist language from the State Constitution passes.
Oregon Equality Act passes.