Oregon History: Chronology - 1902 to 1950

photograph of Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park opened in 1902. (Oregon State Archives Scenic Image 20151021-8570​​)
Crater Lake National Park opens
Congress passes Federal Reclamation Act
Voters amend Constitution for Initiative and Referendum, allowing citizens to propose new laws and constitutional amendments
Heppner Flood kills 225 people
First Voters' Pamphlet published
Direct primary law passes
First African-American, George Hardin, named officer in Portland Police Bureau
Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Exposition
Klamath Irrigation Project commences
Oregon land fraud trials pursue wrongdoers
City home rule law approved allowing extensive city lawmaking authority
Indictment by grand jury law approved
Taxes begin on telephone, telegraph and railroads
First meeting of Association of Oregon Counties
President Theodore Roosevelt creates "Midnight Reserves" setting aside millions of acres of national forests
Constitution amended for Recall provision
First woman, Lola Baldwin, named head of Women's Division, Portland Police
State's Central Fish Hatchery opens at Bonneville
Oregon Caves National Monument created
Pendleton Round-Up begins
Congress passes Enlarged Homestead Act
U.S. Census enumerates 672,765 residents
Three-fourths verdict in civil cases approved
Employers' Liability Act approved
painting of Columbia River Gorge Highway
Construction began on the Columbia River Gorge Highway in 1911. (Oregon State Archives Image)
Columbia River Gorge Highway construction begins
First U.S. primary elections held in Oregon
Oregon Trunk Railroad completes line to Bend
Women's suffrage approved
Prohibition of private convict labor approved
Eight-hour day on public works approved
First U.S. minimum wage law approved
Oregon Highway Commission established
Presidential preference primary law approved
Governor Oswald West declares beaches open to public
Death penalty abolished
Prohibition approved
Eight-hour day approved for women
Congress revests O & C Railroad land grant
Legislature requires publication of Oregon Blue Book
Workmen complete Celilo Locks and Canal
Congress passes Stock-Raising Homestead Act
University of Oregon football team beats Pennsylvania to win the third Rose Bowl game
U.S. Army Spruce Production Division begins logging
Influenza pandemic kills hundreds
Emergency Fleet Corporation contracts for ships
WWI enlistment poster depicting giant gorilla carrying off woman
An Army war enlistment poster from World War I. Learn more in the Oregon at War Web exhibit.
Oregonians enlist to serve in World War I
First gasoline tax in U.S. authorized to fund highways
Congress revests Coos Bay Wagon Road land grant
Death penalty reinstated
Oregon League of Women Voters founded
U.S. Census enumerates 783,389 residents
Ku Klux Klan organizes chapters
First state park opened by Oregon Highway Commission south of Monmouth, named for Sarah Helmick
Compulsory School Act approved outlawing private and parochial schools and requiring children aged 8 to 18 to attend public school
First African-American woman, Beatrice Cannady, graduates from Lewis & Clark Law School
Japanese American Citizens' League founded
Alien Land Law approved preventing first generation Japanese Americans from owning or leasing land
Alien Business Restriction Law approved denying business licenses to first generation Japanese Americans
Prohibition of sectarian garb in schools approved
Alien Business Restriction Law approved
Compulsory School Act held unconstitutional
Congress extends citizenship to Native Americans
Clarke-McNary Act aids federal-state forest fire protection
State parks and waysides authorized
League of Oregon Cities founded
Fishwheels abolished
Astor Column completed
Exclusion of African-Americans clause removed from Constitution
State Park Commission created
irrigation ditch
An irrigation ditch near Vale. (Oregon State Archives Scenic Image 20170731-8728​)
Vale Irrigation Project begins water delivery
U.S. Census enumerates 953,786 residents
First woman, Mary Jane Spurlin, appointed judge in Oregon to Multnomah County District Court
Tillamook Burn destroys 240,000 acres of forest
Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Projects Administration start projects
First grazing district under Taylor Grazing Act forms at Bonanza
Congress authorizes Bonneville Dam
Fire destroys State Capitol
Bandon Fire destroys town, 11 residents die
Work completed on five major bridges on Highway 101
First woman, Nan Wood Honeyman, elected from Oregon to U.S. House of Representatives
President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates Timberline Lodge and Bonneville Dam
Gas chamber built for capital punishments
Oregon Shakespeare Festival forms in Ashland
Congress creates Bonneville Power Administration
Bankhead-Jones Act authorizes buy out of homesteaders
544 Report for Willamette flood control approved
Bonneville Dam completed
University of Oregon wins first NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Tillamook Burn destroys 190,000 acres of forest
State capitol completed in Salem
U.S. Census enumerates 1,089,684 residents
Oregonians enlist to serve in World War II
WWII posters
Learn more in the Life on the Home Front Web exhibit about World War II.
Executive Order 9066 authorizes removal of Japanese-Americans to internment camps
Japanese submarine shells Fort Stevens
Siskiyou National Forest firebombed by Japanese
U.S. Army builds Camp Adair and Camp Abbot
U.S. Navy builds Tillamook and Tongue Point Naval Air Stations
Vanport founded to house wartime workers
Six Oregonians die in explosion of Japanese incendiary balloon
Tillamook Burn destroys 180,000 acres of forest
Supplement to 1923 Alien Land Law passes
Portland State University (PSU) founded
Rural School Law encourages consolidation of districts
Plane crash kills Governor Snell, Secretary of State Farrell, and others
Columbia River Flood destroys Vanport in hours
Vollum and Murdock found Tektronix
State Department of Forestry begins replanting Tillamook Burn
Fair Labor Practices Commission established
State Supreme Court invalidates 1923 and 1945 Alien Land acts
First woman, Dorothy McCullough Lee, elected Portland mayor
U.S. Census enumerates 1,521,341 residents