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5 Fun Facts About June 14 In Oregon History

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1. Foundation of Oregon

June 14, 1846, marks a significant day in Oregon history as the region officially became U.S. territory. Till then, the Oregon territory was jointly shared between the U.S. and the British. The Treaty of 1818 between the U.S. and Britain had established a joint occupancy of Oregon that lasted for 28 years until the Oregon Treaty of 1846 resolved the ownership dispute. The treaty fixed the boundary line at the 49th parallel and gave the U.S. outright control of the region south of the line.

2. First gubernatorial election

In 1858, Oregon held its first gubernatorial election on June 14, and John Whiteaker was elected as the first governor in the state's history. Whiteaker was a member of the Democratic Party and served as the ninth governor of Oregon from 1859 to 1862. He played a significant role in shaping the state's infrastructure and laid the foundation for Oregon's development.

3. The Tillamook Burn

June 14, 1933, was the day the Tillamook Burn began, which was a series of devastating forest fires that blazed through the Tillamook region in Oregon. The fire had a significant impact on the local ecosystem and destroyed over 350 square miles of forested land. Although the fires lasted for several years, June 14 marked the beginning of the worst of it.

4. Powell's City of Books

On June 14, 1971, Powell's City of Books first opened its doors to the public in Portland, Oregon. The store quickly became popular among book lovers and has since become an iconic landmark in Portland. Today, the bookstore is one of the largest independent bookstores in the world, occupying over 68,000 square feet of retail space.

5. Oregon becomes first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide

On June 14, 1994, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to legalize physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients with the passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. The law allows eligible patients to request and receive a prescription for medication to end their lives in a peaceful, dignified manner. This landmark legislation sparked a nationwide debate about end-of-life care and has influenced similar laws in other states.
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