(Public doman photos of the flood's aftermath from National Weather Service, NOAA, Portland, Oregon; and City of Portland Archives and Records)
Today's podcast is as much about the creation of Oregon as a state as it is about a flood that struck there in 1948. When Oregon became a state in 1859, its constitution specified, "No free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this State at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall come, reside, or be within this State." For this reason - and, of course, other reasons as well - very few African-Americans lived in Oregon for decades. This began to shift just before World War II, with an influx of workers into wartime shipbuilding jobs. A city built to build these workers, which became known as Vanport, was destroyed by a flood just a few years after the war ended. This episode discusses all of that history, along with the flood's aftermath.
Our listener mail follows our Schoolhouse Blizzard and is from Sam, who writes about a family memory tied to the blizzard.
Episode link: The Vanport Flood
- Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society. "Black Exclusion Laws in Oregon." The Oregon Encyclopedia. http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/exclusion_laws/#.VqZHAPkrKM8
- Oregon Constitution Exclusion Language. http://www.upa.pdx.edu/IMS/currentprojects/TAHv3/Curricula/2006_Units/OR%20Racial%20Timeline/Timeline%20Data%20Files/OR%201857%20Constitution%20Exclusion%20Clauses.pdf
- Slavery and Exclusion Laws in the 1857 Oregon Constitution. http://www.upa.pdx.edu/IMS/currentprojects/TAHv3/Content/PDFs/OR_Constitution_1857.pdf
- Oregon State Archives. "The Original Oregon Constitution: Foundation for Statehood." http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/exhibits/50th/constitution/constitutionintro.html
- Center for Columbia River History. "The Flood: Floating 'like corks'." http://www.ccrh.org/comm/slough/vpflood.php
- Housing Authority of Portland, Oregon. "Report on Vanport City Flood Disaster." Via Center for Columbia River History. http://www.ccrh.org/comm/slough/primary/housing.htm
- Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society. "Vanport." The Oregon Encyclopedia. http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/vanport/#.VqYzmfkrKM9
- Geiling, Natasha. "How Oregon's Second Largest City Vanished in a Day." Smithsonian Magazine. 2/18/2015. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/vanport-oregon-how-countrys-largest-housing-project-vanished-day-180954040/#vh9JPLK6CVt2vWFH.99
- McGregor, Michael. "The Vanport Flood." Oregon History Project. http://www.oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/essays/the-vanport-flood/#.VqYzmfkrKM9
- Maben, Manly. "Vanport." Via Center for Columbia River History. http://www.ccrh.org/comm/slough/primary/lifeatvp.htm
- Fryer, Heather. "Race, Industry, and the Aesthetic of a Changing Community in World War II Portland." The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 1 (Winter, 2004/2005). http://www.jstor.org/stable/40491804
- Rivera, Jason David and DeMond Shondell Miller. "Continually Neglected: Situating Natural Disasters in the African American Experience." Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 37, No. 4. March 2007. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40034320
- Mcelderry, Stuart. "Building a West Coast Ghetto: African-American Housing in Portland, 1910-1960." Source: The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Vol. 92, No. 3 (Summer, 2001). http://www.jstor.org/stable/40492659
- Brummett, Franklin. "The Vanport Flood: Clark v. United States." Litigation, Vol. 25, No. 3, EVIDENCE (Spring 1999). http://www.jstor.org/stable/29760071
- Pearson, Rudy. "'A Menace to the Neighborhood': Housing and African Americans in Portland, 1941-1945." Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 102, No. 2 (Summer, 2001). http://www.jstor.org/stable/20615135
- McElderry, Stuart. "Vanport Conspiracy Rumors and Social Relations in Portland, 1940-1950." Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. 99, No. 2 (Summer, 1998). http://www.jstor.org/stable/20614894
- Albertson, Mona. "There's Another Vanport." Oregon Journal. 8/3/1947. http://www.ccrh.org/comm/slough/primary/another.htm
- Oregon Voter's Pamphlet, General Election, November 5, 2002. http://library.state.or.us/repository/2010/201003011350161/ORVPGenMari2002m.pdf
- Blanchard, Dave. "Our Town: Vanport." OPB. 5/29/2013. http://www.opb.org/news/series/ourtown/our-town-vanport/
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