So I guess you're saying the source is WikiPedia! -- LarrySanger
Oregon was originally occupied by a number of NativeAmerican? tribes, including the BannockPeople?, ChinookPeople?, KlamathPeople?, and NezPercePeople?. JamesCook? explored the coast in 1778 in search of the NorthwestPassage?. LewisAndClark? travelled through the region during their expedition to explore the LouisianaPurchase?, at the direction of ThomasJefferson. They found the state wet and miserable, and built their winter fort in WashingtoN?.
Fur traders began trading and trapping, and built up an active fur trade, and in the process brought foreign sickness and disease that depopulated nearly all of the native americans tribes. AstoriaOregon? was established by representatives of JohnJacobAstor?'s AmericanFurCompany? in 1811, creating the first permanent white settlement.
The OregonTrail? infused the region with new settlers, starting in 1842-43, as the UnitedStates sought to wrest control of the area from GreatBritain?. This controversy was resolved in 1846 when the Canadian boundary was set at the 49th parallel.
In the 1880s, railroads enabled marketing of the state's lumber and wheat, and the more rapid growth of its cities.
Industrial expansion began with ernest following the construction of the BonnevilleDam? in 1943 on the ColumbiaRiver?. The power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon have helped fuel the development of the west, and the periodic fluctuations in the nation's building industry has severely impacted the state's economy on multiple occasions.
The state has a long history of polarizing conflicts between its citizens: Native americans vs. English fur trappers, English vs. settlers from the U.S., ranchers vs. farmers, wealthy growing cities vs. established but poor rural areas, loggers vs. environmentalists, white supremicists vs. anti-racists, and native-Oregonians vs. Californians (or outsiders in general). The state ballots frequently experience the extremes of the political spectrum - anti-gay, pro-religions measures on the same ballot as liberal drug-decriminalization measures.
These controversies have served to keep the citizens of the state well engaged and aware of the consequences of their actions. They have little fear of testing out new ideas, and often lead the nation in innovative policies and laws, yet at the same time pay great attention to the side effects and negatives these changes can have, and adjust as required.
The Willamette Valley is very fertile, and coupled with Oregon's infamous rains, gives the state a wealth of agricultural products. Apples and other fruits, cattle, dairy products, potatoes, and peppermint are all valuable products. Vast pine forests have made Oregon the nation's major lumbering state since 1950. In recent years, processing, publishing, and manufacturing have become much more dominant. And lately, high technology industries and services have grown considerably. Oregon has one of the largest salmon-fishing industries, and great care has been taken by the hydroelectric companies to preserve the habitats and migrational patterns of this fish. Tourism is also strong in the state; Oregon's evergreen mountain forests, pristine lakes (including CraterLake?), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round.
Oregon's Governer serves a four-year term. The legislature consists of a thirty member senate and sixty member house. Senators serve four year terms, and house representatives two. At the national level, Oregon is represented by two senators and five representatives. It has seven electorial votes.
Area: 96,981 sq mi (251,181 sq km). Population: (1990) 2,842,321, an 8% increase over 1980 pop. Capital: Salem. Statehood: Feb. 14, 1859 (33d state). Highest point: Mt. Hood, 11,239 ft (3,428 m) Lowest pt.: sea level. Nickname: Beaver State. Motto: The Union. State Bird: Western meadowlark. State Flower: Oregon grape. State Tree: Douglas fir. Abbreviation: Oreg. Ore. OR