It’s the 100th anniversary of the birth of Oregon political icon Mark Hatfield

Mark Hatfield, one of the most iconic figures in Oregon
political history, would have turned 100 years old on Tuesday.

Hatfield was born in Dallas, Oregon on July 12, 1922. After
serving with the U.S. Navy in World War II, Hatfield returned to Oregon and was
elected to the Oregon House, and later the Senate. Then, he was elected Oregon
Secretary of State, and later, Oregon governor.

In 1966, Hatfield — a Republican — was elected to the U-S
Senate, where he served for 30 years. He retired in 1996, having never lost an
election in a 46-year political career.

He died
in 2011
. His name adorns a host of Oregon landmarks and institutions.

In one of his final public appearances, Hatfield addressed
Oregon lawmakers on the first day of the 2007 legislative session.

“Years from now Oregonians will not remember how many
members of this House of Representatives were Republicans or Democrats,” he
said. “Rather, what they will remember is whether or not you were men and women
of good will, men and women who were Oregonians first, and politicians and
partisans second.”

Also that day, Hatfield administered the oath of office to
then-state Rep. Jeff Merkley. The Democrat was being sworn in as Speaker of the
Oregon House. The following year, Merkley won election to the U.S. Senate,
where he still serves.

As part of the centennial, the Oregon Historical Society is releasing a
series of oral history interviews with Hatfield. They were off-limits to the
public until Hatfield’s 100th birthday.