Think history is just boring facts and dates?
History Pub will change your mind!

Developed by Holy Names Heritage Center, History Pub is a collaborative program of the Heritage Center, Oregon Historical Society, and McMenamins. Each program features a presentation by a humanities expert from fields including history, journalism, law, and women's studies. Whenever possible, individuals who participated in or were affected by the events share their memories as part of the program. The voices of actual historical participants add a unique perspective to the discussion of these important issues.

The series is held at the historic McMenamins' Kennedy School in northeast Portland. Where else can you hear fascinating history while enjoying a slice of pizza and a frosty pint of handcrafted ale? History Pub appeals to a broad and diverse audience and is also a family-friendly event. This innovative program typically draws a crowd of 150 people each month.

History Pub is designed to increase Oregonians' understanding of the historical events and cultural forces that have shaped the past as well as their continued implications for the present and future. The goals of the series are to explore lesser-known historical events and their impacts on local communities and to examine the experiences of minority groups and the important roles they have played in the Northwest. History Pub encourages participants to give thoughtful consideration to the ways social, cultural, and political forces affect individuals, communities, and physical places.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the Oregon Council for the Humanities (OCH), a statewide nonprofit organization and independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OCH's grant program.

Upcoming Programs:

History Pub takes place at the Kennedy School, located at 5736 NE 33rd Avenue in Portland, on the last Monday of every month.

"Ditch Walkers and Water Wars: The Life and Times of the Eldorado Ditch in the Gold Fields of Eastern Oregon
September 30, 7PM
Presentation by Mike Higgins and Les Tipton

The Chemawa Indian School of Salem, Oregon: Assimilation to Affirmation 1880s to 2010s"
October 28, 2013, 7PM
Presentation by Rebecca Dobkins

"The Accomplishments and Adventures of the Oregon Geographic Names Board"
November 25, 2013, 7PM
Presentation by Sharon Nesbit and Mary McArthur

Ropin', Ridin' & Racin': Colorful Life At and Around Oregon's Rodeos and Horse Tracks
March 25, 2013
Presentation by Dave Berman, veteran rodeo performer and horse trainer. The program includes a video presentation of Sister Rae Skinner, SNJM, a native of Jordan Valley, Oregon, recalling her days as a local and world rodeo champ.

All Aboard: Railroading and Portland's Black Community
February 25, 2013
Presentation by Gwen Carr, Avel Gordly, and Charlotte Rutherford. Inspired by the Oregon Black Pioneers exhibit of the same name, this program includes context on how railroad jobs brought African Americans to Portland in the early 20th century.

Celilo Falls Revisited: A Photo Lecture
January 28, 2013
Presentations by Thomas Robinson, historian, photo archivist, Confluence Project member and Chuck Williams, Tribal Elder, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and author of Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire: A Return to the Columbia Gorge.

Building Community Institutions
March 26, 2012
Mary Frances Isom, one of the founders of what is now the Multnomah County Library, Dorothea Lensch, who helped build public spaces and community institutions in Portland during the twentieth century, left a remarkable legacy for future generations of city residents.

Mark Rothko’s Art Legacy
February 27, 2012
Russian-American painter Mark Rothko had a profound impact on the 20th century. A graduate of Lincoln High School, Rothko moved to New York where he began his artistic career in the 1920s. Renowned for his prolific portfolio, Rothko was also a passionate advocate for worker’s rights.

Julia Ruuttila: The Proudest Moment in an Oregon Activist's Life
January 30, 2012
Julia Ruuttila was a labor and investigative journalist, a poet and fiction writer, and a union, peace, and justice activist who lived all but a few years of her life in Oregon. She founded a defense committee that freed a union martyr after twenty years in the penitentiary, headed the woodworkers ladies’ auxiliary during an eight and a half month lockout, stood up to the inquisitors of the House Un-American Activities Committee and got fired from a state job for her coverage of the Vanport Flood. Yet none of these qualified for what she claimed was her proudest moment.

Mona Bell Hill: A Woman Alone
September 26, 2011
Mona Bell Hill's neighbors sensed she was a woman with a past. During her early life in Oregon, she had a brief, public role in Pacific Northwest history, battling the federal government after the Army commandeered her hilltop mansion and surrounding riverfront acreage in the Columbia River Gorge to build Bonneville Dam. Mona's impressive mansion was built in 1928 as a gift from her lover, the flamboyant entrepreneur Sam Hill, whose lasting works include the Maryhill Museum and the Columbia River Highway. John Harrison explores the life of this fascinating but little-known woman.

Oregon Women of Distinction
August 29, 2011
Women have long played a pivotal role in Oregon's civic history. Gretchen Kafoury, Norma Paulus, and Kathryn Jones Harrison, veteran public servants, will discuss their careers. Professor Kim Jensen will offer a historical overview of women's contributions to the meaning of citizenship.

"Kings of the Road": the Story of the Portland Buckaroos
July 25, 2011
In 1959 the fate of Portland's hockey team was in doubt. With only a handful of players returning and the press denouncing the team as the worst team ever fielded in the league, all they could do was skate. Kings of the Road, a 26-minute documentary film, tells the story of the Portland Buckaroos and their remarkable rise as champions and division leaders year after year from 1960-1974. Join us for this lively presentation and film screening. Speakers include Dan Schaefer, Director of Kings of the Road, and a panel of several former Buckaroos.

Columbia River: History and Controversy
March 28, 2011
Historian William Lang and nationally recognized basketry artist Pat Courtney Gold discuss the complex and sometimes controversial history of the mighty Columbia River.

Bikes By Design: The Burley Design Cooperative
February 28, 2011
Burley Design was a worker co-op in Eugene that survived for over 2 decades before selling to a single owner. Sociologist Joel Schoening and former Burley cooperator Patricia Marshall will discuss the early history of the now-ubiquitous bike trailers seen throughout Portland.

Portland’s African-American Murals
January 31, 2011
Mural scholar Robin Dunitz and artist Isaka Shamsud-Din will discuss African- American murals in Portland and the US and how they serve as unique expressions of local history and culture.

“High Pockets: The Remarkable Story of Portland Spy Claire Phillips” November 29, 2010
Speaker: Sig Unander

“Frontier Justice in Oregon, 1850-1997”
October 25, 2010
Speaker: Diane Goers-Gardner

Drawing from the wealth of photographs and information discovered while researching her books, Necktie Parties and Murder and Morality, Diane Goeres-Gardner will present a dark but lively program fit for Halloween, about early-day justice in Oregon, from the first legal execution in 1850 to 1997, when the last man was executed in Oregon. "Frontier Justice" uses individual cases to explore Oregon's early history of legal incarceration and execution. Included are historical firsts: use of fingerprints, legal recycling, and use of electricity at an execution.

Bonus History Pub
"Oregon Women on the Move
October 7, 2010
Speakers: Kim Jensen, Melody Rose, Gretchen Kafoury

In celebration of Wordstock, join us for a bonus History Pub! From the forty-year struggle to gain the right to vote to the campaign for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, Oregon's political and civic landscape has been shaped by women. On October 7, historian Kimberly Jensen, political scientist Melody Rose, and activist and former Oregon legislator and both county and city commissioner Gretchen Kafoury will tell the stories of the political challenges Oregon women faced and the victories they won at a special edition of History Pub.

“Pierce v. Society of Sisters of the Holy Names: The Oregon School Bill Case”
September 27, 2010
Speaker: Paula Abrams

In 1922, Oregonians passed an initiative requiring all children to attend public schools. For the nativists and progressives who had campaigned for the Oregon School Bill, it marked the first victory in a national campaign to homogenize education – and ultimately the populace. Private schools, both secular and religious, vowed to change the law. The Catholic Church, the largest provider of private education in the country and the primary target of the Ku Klux Klan campaign, stepped forward to lead the fight all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. This program explores the story of the Oregon School Bill from the turbulent initial campaign to the court battle that ended in the nation’s highest court.

“History of Hops in Oregon’s Willamette Valley”
August 30, 2010
Speaker: Peter Kopp

THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL PROGRAM TAKES PLACE AT THE BAGDAD THEATER! August’s History Pub features a lively overview of the Willamette Valley’s remarkable hop culture by Professor Peter Kopp. Next, beer columnist John Foyston moderates a panel discussion of the 1985 Oregon brewpub law featuring Brian and Mike McMenamin, Dick Ponzi, Art Larrance, and Fred Bowman as well as Fred Eckhardt, Dean of Beer Writing, and Tom Mason, former Oregon representative who sponsored the 1985 bill. The evening concludes with a screening of Beervana.

“Portland’s History of Vice in the 20th Century”
July 26, 2010
Speaker: Rob Donnelley

“Excavating Gay History From Straight Archives: Examples From Portland and the American West”
June 28, 2010
Speaker: Peter Boag and the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)

“Come Together Home”: The Chinese Burials at Lone Fir Cemetery   May 31, 2010, 7:00 p.m.   Ivy Lin

Established in 1855, Lone Fir Cemetery is well known for several memorable individuals interred there, including Harry Lane, Portland mayor and US Senator, and Asa Lovejoy, Oregon Trail pioneer and a founder of the city of Portland. Lone Fir is also the final resting place of thousands of ordinary citizens, including Chinese immigrants who had helped build railroads in the West. Filmmaker Ivy Lin will explore the fascinating history of the Chinese immigrants’ burial, disinterment, and repatriation of their remains to Hong Kong. Lin’s documentary, Come Together Home, will be screened in its entirety.

“40¢ a Day is What Makes Prostitutes”:
Wobblies, Women, and the 1913 Cannery Strike

April 26, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Heather Mayer

During a strike of the female workers at the Oregon Packing Company in Southeast Portland in 1913, the women held signs declaring that “40¢ a day is what makes prostitutes;” blaming low wages—rather than loose morals—for pushing women into selling their bodies for a living. The Industrial Workers of the World (aka Wobblies) shared this view. Their support of the female strikers led to a showdown between radical and progressive forces in the city, each battling to define what was respectable and acceptable behavior for young females. As the strike ended, the battle took on a new turn, pitting the IWW against the nation's first policewoman, Lola Baldwin, in the case of Lilian Larkin, an 18-year-old with “immoral tendencies” accused of vagrancy.

The Columbia River Highway: Its History, Decline and Preservation
March 29, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Speakers: Robert Hadlow, Oregon Department of Transportation, George Fekaris, Western Federal Lands Highway Division, and David Sell, retired, Federal Highway Administration

Perhaps one of the most celebrated roads in the world, the Columbia River Highway is nearly a century old. Built between 1913 and 1922, construction of the highway was a daunting challenge. Oregon businessman and railroad executive Sam Hill dreamed of building “a great highway so that the world can realize the magnificence and grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge.” The Historic Columbia River Highway resulted from the combined vision and labor of dedicated community leaders, engineers and craftsmen. The iconic highway showcases the stunning beauty of the rugged Columbia Gorge but now faces serious deterioration. Come learn about the threats facing this treasured road and the goals of the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway for its restoration and reconnection.

Renewal and Removal in North/Northeast Portland
February 22, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Speakers: Carl Abbott, Professor of Urban Studies at Portland State University and Thomas Robinson of Historic Photo Archives

February’s History Pub focuses on the dramatic changes to the landscape radiating from NE Broadway and Interstate Avenue beginning in the 1950s. The speakers explore the policies that determine which buildings are saved and which are lost. Dr. Abbott specializes in urban history and revitalization policy. He is the author of How Cities Won the West: Four Centuries of Urban Change in Western North America.

Don Malarkey and Memories of Easy Company
January 25, 2010
7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Donald Malarkey

Join Don Marlarkey of Band of Brothers fame as he recounts his unit’s harrowing experiences at Normandy and the Bulge during World War II. Mr. Marlarkey was born in Astoria, Oregon in 1921. He left the University of Oregon when he was drafted in 1942. During his tenure with the paratroopers, his unit saw combat at Normandy and Bastogne. Marlarkey earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star in addition to numerous other medals for his wartime service. After the war, he returned to Oregon and pursued a career in real estate and insurance. Historian Stephen Ambrose interviewed Marlarkey extensively for his best selling book Band of Brothers. History Pub takes place the last Monday of the month at the Kennedy School, located at 5736 NE 33rd Avenue in Portland.



"Excellent program!"

"Love the History Pub concept and this program was compelling!"

"History is cool and hip."

"This series is a great idea."

"This is so needed - thanks!"

"Tonight is our 30th wedding anniversary and we both said we want to spend it at History Pub!"

Copyright 2007 - 2013 Holy Names Heritage Center. All rights reserved.