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5 Fun Facts About December 14 In Oregon History

---Learn Every Day: OR Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history or To: 618-270-4005---

1. On December 14, 1861, the largest gold nugget ever discovered in Oregon was found at the John Day Valley. Known as the "Armstrong Nugget," it weighed over 80 ounces and was valued at over $5,000 at the time.

2. Oregon's first state capitol, located in Salem, was destroyed by fire on December 14, 1855. The fire was believed to have been started by a stray ember from a nearby blacksmith's fire.

3. On December 14, 1995, President Bill Clinton signed a bill granting federal recognition to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. The tribe had been seeking recognition since the 1970s.

4. Oregon's famous "exploding whale" incident occurred on November 12, 1970 but the event was documented and aired on December 14th by local media outlets. The Oregon Highway Division had attempted to dispose of a dead whale carcass on a beach by blowing it up with dynamite, but the resulting explosion caused large pieces of blubber to rain down on nearby buildings and spectators.

5. On December 14, 1956, the Portland Trail Blazers played their first game in the National Basketball Association (NBA). At the time, the team was known as the Portland Pioneers and played their home games at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.
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