U.S. Senate Celebrates Oregon’s Sesquicentennial

Washington D.C. – The United States Senate today unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley celebrating 150 years of Oregon statehood. The action comes two days before Oregon’s sesquicentennial.

“Since its first days, Oregon has embodied the pioneering spirit of our nation. It has always attracted people who are exploring for new ideas and new ways of life,” Wyden said. “As we celebrate its 150th year as a state, I’m honored to work for the Oregon explorers of the future who, everyday, offer their creativity and innovation to the entire world.”

“I am deeply humbled to be able to represent the great state of Oregon and share in the celebration of Oregon’s sesquicentennial.  The people from my state are incredibly hard working and kind and I couldn’t be prouder to be an Oregonian,” said Merkley.  “I urge all Oregonians to join me in honoring this very special milestone.”

Full Text of the Sense of the Senate Resolution Below:

Sense of the Senate

Honoring the sesquicentennial of Oregon statehood.

February 12, 2009

Whereas 53,000 settlers traveled the Oregon Trail, the longest of the overland routes used in westward expansion of the United States;

Whereas approximately eighty Native American tribes inhabited in Oregon before the pioneers settled, making Oregon rich with Native American history and culture;

Whereas the “Father” of Oregon, John McLoughlin valued the Oregon Country and reached out to American settlers heading west to seek a new life in a land rich with resources and opportunity;

Whereas Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14th, 1859, one hundred and fifty years ago;

Whereas Oregon is the only state in the Union to have a two-sided flag;

Whereas Oregon is home to the deepest lake in the United States, Crater Lake, known for its beautiful deep blue waters;

Whereas Oregon is home to the Sea Lion Caves the largest sea lion cave in the world, where the Steller Sea Lions and a variety of wild birds reside;

Whereas Oregon’s state fish, the Chinook salmon, is the largest of the Pacific salmon;

Whereas among Oregon’s natural bounty, the state produces some of the finest nuts, berries, pears, wines and microbrews in the world;

Whereas Oregon’s varied geography, ranges from mountains to rivers, deserts to lakes, fossil beds to deep canyons;

Whereas Oregon’s forests are made up of diverse ecology and history, from temperate rainforests to ancient old growth forests;

Whereas Oregon is home to Forest Park, the largest urban forest reserve in the United States;

Whereas Oregon is the home base of such companies as Nike, Intel and Columbia Sportswear, responsible for employing tens of thousands of Americans;

Whereas Oregon’s largest city Portland, referred to as the Rose City, is home to the International Rose Test Garden, which was founded in 1917 and is the longest-running official rose garden in the United States;

Whereas Oregon has been a national leader with democratic innovations such as an initiative system that dates back to the turn of the last century;

Whereas Oregon was the first state in the union to pass the landmark bottle bill, which promoted conservation and environmental responsibility, and has passed a beach bill and a state-wide land use planning process to protect the very resources that brought people to Oregon;

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that–

(1) Oregon’s sesquicentennial should be observed and celebrated to honor Oregon’s admission as the 33rd state to join the United States;

(2) Oregonians should be honored for their pioneering spirit and innovation;

(3) an enrolled copy of this resolution be transmitted to the State of Oregon for appropriate display.