“Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say; This is my community, and it’s my responsibility to make it better.” – Tom McCall
Newport to Host Two-Day Tom McCall Symposium
Oregon’s most colorful, quirky, and accomplished governor, Tom McCall (1913-1983), will be the subject of a two-day symposium in March. The many larger than life facts and fabrications surrounding McCall will be explored by both scholars and acquaintances of Oregon’s most beloved and, at times, controversial governor. McCall, a television journalist and political commentator served as Oregon’s Governor during the socially and politically turbulent years of 1967-1975.
All five sessions are independent of each other and will take place Friday, March 4th and Saturday, March 5th, at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center on Newport’s Bayfront.
The symposium kicks off Friday evening, March 4th at 6:00 p.m. with a screening of McCall’s landmark 1962 KGW-TV documentary, “Pollution in Paradise” plus an introduction and post-screening Q&A led by William G. Robbins, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History, Oregon State University.
KGW-TV aired McCall’s famous documentary, “Pollution in Paradise,” a sharply critical report of the condition of the Willamette River. “Pollution in Paradise” was a tour de force, pressing home the powerful idea that there was no contradiction between jobs and quality of life in Oregon.
Day two of the symposium will open at noon Saturday. “Frenemies: Tom McCall and Bob Straub” will be the topic for Charles K. Johnson, biographer of former Governor Bob Straub. Although McCall and Straub faced each other for the governorship twice, they often worked together to advance environmental causes. Johnson’s book is “Standing at Water’s Edge: Bob Straub’s Battle for the Soul of Oregon.”
Also on the program: Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall, author of the alternate history novel about McCall, “McCallandia,” the product of extensive research and numerous interviews. Hall was a volunteer in McCall’s 1978 comeback campaign and met the former governor several times.
This symposium to be presented on March 4th & 5th is co-sponsored by the Lincoln County Historical Society and the Tom McCall Legacy Project, a non-profit educational group. The Legacy Project organization sponsored the McCall Day bill designating March 22nd as Tom McCall Day, and encourages all Oregonians to learn about McCall’s legacy.
Admission to the symposium is five dollars, and free for Lincoln County Historical Society members.
For more information about the Tom McCall Symposium, visit: http://oregoncoasthistory.org
Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall is the author of McCallandia, which is based on 40 years of admiration for Tom McCall and was the product of extensive research and numerous interviews. An Oregon native, Hall spent many years in journalism before making the transition to elective office. He was a volunteer in McCall’s 1978 comeback campaign and met the former governor several times.
Bill Robbins joined the faculty at Oregon State University in 1971, where he has taught courses in the History of the American West and Environmental History. He has authored and edited several books, including Oregon: This Storied Land (2006); Landscapes of Conflict: The Oregon Story, 1940-2000 (2004). His most recent book, A Man for All Seasons: Monroe Sweetland and the Liberal Paradox, was published in 2015 by Oregon State University Press.
Charles K. Johnson is a Portland writer, fundraiser, and activist. A native Oregonian, he has been active min environmental politics since childhood. After a decade in national politics, working with Physicians for Social Responsibility and as Executive Director of Nuclear Free America, Johnson returned to Oregon, where he was instrumental in making a home for the Robert W. Straub Archives at Western Oregon University's Hamersly Library. He is the author of Standing At The Water’s Edge: Bob Straub’s Battle for the Soul of Oregon, published in 2012 by Oregon State University Press.
The Legacy Project
— Saying thanks to Tom McCall by paying it forward to Oregon.
Tom McCall, Oregon’s governor from 1967 to 1975, was a great defender of the environment, promoting such legislation as the Bottle Bill, the Beach Bill, and land-use planning. His creative approach to solving problems resulted in our state becoming a leader in environmental reform in the early ’70s. While many Oregonians believe we still hold this position, the sad truth is, we no longer do. The goal of this project is to restore our state to that proud role and ensure that McCall’s efforts to preserve Oregon’s natural resources for future generations are not undone.
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Using Tom McCall’s legacy
to educate and encourage Oregonians to take an
active role in restoring and maintaining Oregon’s position
of environmental leadership.
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