50 Years Ago on a Beach in Oregon…

Today’s big news was the apparent success of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. That was fun and exciting. But, this week is also the 50th anniversary of Oregon’s most famous news story.

What’s that, you say? The passage of the nation’s first bottle bill? The beach bill? Any of the other things that put Oregon on the map in the 1970s?

Nope. And beware, this one might cause you to you laugh hard enough to make you blubber.

It’s the story of a good idea that went a bit off the rails. Enjoy.

BTW, the newscaster is still on the air.


Tulsa Prelude: the 1919 Race “riot” of my one-time home town

In 2007, I was in my car when NPR started a 15-minute segment on the shameful history of the 1919 race riot of Corbin, Kentucky.

That event wasn’t as bad as what would happen in Tulsa two years later, but that’s not saying much: Corbin is a small town, and somewhere between 6 and 8 percent of its population lost everything in a single night in an event that today we would call ethnic cleansing.

It was also a jaw-dropping revelation.

From age 9 to 11, I lived in Corbin, never hearing a whiff of its sordid past. As I reached my destination and sat in the parking lot listening to the end of the broadcast, all I could think was: how could it have been so thoroughly covered up that I didn’t know?

As the old newspaper clip I’ve used as the image for this post indicates, it was a national story. (If you can’t read it, it’s from the El Paso, Texas.)

Continue reading Tulsa Prelude: the 1919 Race “riot” of my one-time home town