Show Notes: The Vanport Flood

Tracy Wilson

(Public doman photos of the flood's aftermath from National Weather Service, NOAA, Portland, Oregon; and City of Portland Archives and Records)

(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.

Here's last year's two-part podcast on redlining.

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

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