Oregon History: Chronology - 1951 to Present

1951 
photograph of Mark Hatfield and others in support of the Civil Rights Bill
Proponents of Oregon's 1953 Public Accommodations Bill, also known as the Civil Rights Bill. The legislation required "full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, religion, color or national origin.” (Image courtesy Oregon Historical Society)
Law prohibiting interracial marriges repealed
1952
Constitution amended to provide for equal representation in state legislature
1953 
Public Accommodations Law prohibits racial discrimination by businesses
1954
Congress terminates Western Oregon Indian tribes
Supreme Court upholds Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, abolishing segregated schools
1956
Congress authorizes Interstate freeway system
Congress terminates Klamath Indian Tribe
1957
Oregon Fair Housing Act passes
1959 
Oregon ratifies 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 89 years after it is adopted
1960 
Census enumerates 1,768,687 residents
Congress passes Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act passes for management of national forests
First female U.S. Senator from Oregon, Maurine Neuberger, elected
1962
Columbus Day Storm causes major damage in Western Oregon
Oregon State University football player Terry Baker (QB) becomes state’s first Heisman Trophy winner
1964
Death penalty abolished
National Civil Rights Act outlaws unequal voter registation requirements; racial segregation in schools, workplace, public places
1965 
Congress passes Voting Rights Act prohibiting qualifications or prerequisites to voting
1966
Astoria-Megler bridge
The Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Workmen complete Astoria-Megler Bridge spanning Columbia estuary
I-5 affords non-stop driving through Oregon
1967 
Beach Bill approved, ensuring public access to all of Oregon’s coastal beaches
Racial tensions escalate into riots in Portland
1969
Department of Environmental Quality created
Federal District Court in Sohappy v. Smith affirms Indian treaty fishing rights in Columbia River
1970
U.S. Census enumerates 2,091,000 residents
1971
Bottle Bill approved
Congress confirms Burns Paiute Reservation
1973
Land Conservation Development Commission created
Public Meetings Law approved
Public Records Law approved
Tillamook State Forest created
Congress approves Endangered Species Act
Oregon ratifies U.S. Equal Rights Amendment
1974
Congress creates John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Oregon Health Sciences University forms out of mergers
Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds
Colorful hills at the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument near Mitchell.
Governor Tom McCall sets odd/even gasoline refueling days
1975
Congress creates Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
1976
First woman, Norma Paulus, elected secretary of state
First Oregon nuclear power plant, Trojan, built north of St. Helens
1977
Aerosol sprays banned by law
Congress restores Confederated Tribes of Siletz
First woman, Betty Roberts, appointed to Oregon Court of Appeals
Portland Trail Blazers basketball team wins the NBA Championship
1978
Death penalty reinstated
1979
Federal District Court in Kimball v. Callahan affirms Klamath Indian hunting and fishing rights within former reservation
1980 
U.S. Census enumerates 2,633,000 residents
Congress creates new Siletz Reservation
Mt. St. Helens eruption disrupts ship traffic on Columbia River
1981
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh establishes Rajneeshpuram
1982
Congress restores Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians
First woman, Betty Roberts, appointed justice of Oregon Supreme Court
1983 
Congress restores Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
1984 
Congress restores Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw
First Oregon lottery ratified by voters
First African-American woman, Margaret Carter, elected to state legislature
1985
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh deported and fined $400,000
First woman, Vera Katz, selected speaker of Oregon House
1986
Congress restores Klamath Tribe
The MAX light-rail system
The TriMet MAX light-rail transit train at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) begins light-rail service in Portland
1988
Congress creates new Grand Ronde Reservation
Congress approves Civil Liberties Act paying $20,000 to each surviving interned Japanese-American
Ballot Measure 8 bans discrimination based on sexual orientation
1989
Congress restores Coquille Indian Tribe
First Sports Action Lottery in U.S. sells tickets
African exchange student Mulugeta Seraw killed by racist skinheads in Portland
1990
U.S. Census enumerates 2,842,000 residents
Ballot Measure 5 limits property taxes to support schools and government
U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife lists Northern Spotted Owl as endangered
1991
First woman, Barbara Roberts, elected governor
1992
First African-American, James A. Hill, Jr., elected to statewide office as state treasurer
First gaming compact for casinos signed with Cow Creek and Umpqua Tribes
1993
First statewide vote-by-mail election held in U. S.
1994
First Death With Dignity Act approved permitting doctor-assisted suicide
1996
First vote-by-mail election for federal office held
1998
Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) extends light-rail service 18 miles west from Portland
1999 
New Carissa, freighter runs aground near Coos Bay
U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife lists several salmon species from Columbia and Willamette Rivers as endangered
2000 
U.S. Census enumerates 3,421,399 residents
2001
Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) extends light-rail service to Portland Airport
2002
Susan Castillo, first Hispanic woman elected to statewide office as school superintendent
Measure requiring removal of racist language from state Constitution passes
Near record forest fire season leaves 1,000,000 acres burned
2003
Perry Bridge
Oregon began a plan in 2003 to fix bridges. Shown above is the Perry Bridge designed by Conde McCullough. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Oregon begins 10-year plan to fix deteriorating bridges
2004
Measure 37 casts doubt on the future of Oregon land use laws
Trojan, Oregon’s only nuclear power plant decommissioned
L.L. Stub Stewart State Park opens, Oregon’s first new state park campground in more than 30 years
2005
Oregon State Quarter released with design featuring Crater Lake
2006
Trojan, Oregon’s decommissioned nuclear power plant imploded
Oregon State University wins NCAA Baseball Championship
2007
Sandy River’s Marmot Dam, built in 1912, removed
Oregon State University wins NCAA Baseball Championship
Oregon Equality Act passes
2008
New Carissa, freighter that ran aground on Coos Bay beach in 1999, dismantled and removed
2009
Oregon celebrates its sesquicentennial on February 14, 2009
Oregon unemployment rate tops 12% amid recession
Portland Timbers became major league soccer’s 18th team on March 20, 2009
2010
Governor’s panel predicts 10 years of state budget deficits
2012 
Oregon legislature began annual sessions, with the even-numbered years having a month-long session in February
University of Oregon football team wins first Rose Bowl Game in 94 years
2013
Klamath Tribes’ senior water rights in Upper Klamath Basin reaffirmed by courts
Drought and lightning produced most expensive wildfire season on record
Josephine County’s last sawmill closes for lack of logs
2014 
U.S. District court strikes down same-sex marriage ban
Voters approve recreational marijuana use; Equal Rights for Women in Oregon Constitution
University of Oregon football player Marcus Mariota (quarterback) wins the Heisman Trophy
2015
Governor John Kitzhaber resigned Feb. 18, 2015, Secretary of State Kate Brown became governor according to the order of succession required by the Oregon Constitution
Minoru Yasui, Hood River Attorney, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his challenge of a military curfew placed on Japanese Americans during World War II and for his lifetime of civil rights work.
2016 
Armed militants seized and occupied the headquarters of Harney County’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days.
2017 
Total solar eclipse crosses Oregon on August 21, 2017. Visible across the U.S., Oregon cities in the path of totality include Lincoln City, Newport, Salem, Albany, Madras, John Day, Baker City and Ontario
After public funding campaign, Oregon’s 158 year old Constitution is professionally restored and put on permanent display​
2018 
Oregonian Colin O'Brady becomes first person to traverse Antarctica solo and unaided
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