Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dear Oregon


I love God, horses, Franklin Mint figurines of children at play, the troops, pork BBQ from Pierce's, House, fluffernutter, Chris Rock, tasty waves, any political icon portraitized in black velvet, boxer briefs, DVRs, and the Yankees. Not necessarily in that order, and OK, maybe I slipped some stuff in there that I don't actually even like. And I totally left out my family, which really tops the list. But when it comes to states, Nothing Compares 2 U, Oregon! Which is why it gives me unbridled waves of good cheer and geographic pride to wish you Happy Oregon Statehood Day for the 148th time. (The state is 148 at least; I haven't been around to send wishes every year. Even if I had been, I probably would have forgotten at least once in all that time).

The celebrations will be muted (unless you think thousands of Oregon couples coupling in romance tonight will be to celebrate statehood), since there's nothing really special about the 148th, but planners are gearing up for events surrounding one of my favorite words ever--the sesquicentennial. That means 150th, if you didn't catch on, and the folks of Oregon 150 are already buying streamers and reserving the kegs for 2009. Listen to how wild and crazy they're thinking!
This commemoration of statehood is an opportunity for all Oregonians to learn and reflect upon our rich heritage and diverse cultures; understand our current challenges and opportunities; renew our commitment to our local communities and to Oregon’s future; and instill in all of us a lasting sense of pride, connectedness and responsibility to each other and our state.
As Bill Murray once said, I wanna party with THESE guys! (Actually, it's quite an impressive list of board members from all walks of Oregonian life). I volunteer to make the deviled eggs. I'm also thinking of some buttons for the commemoration:

Kiss Me on the Beaver (Celebration Day)
150 Years, and Sales Tax is STILL for Pussies
Lovesesqui (you might have to be a Prince fan to get that one)
We'll Fix That Bridge in the Next 150, Promise
I Don't Feel a Day Over 149

And as promised above, here's some Oregon trivia to get you in the commemorative mood. Answers are on the S-J page I linked above...

(1) Why is Feb. 14, 1859, significant in Oregon history?

(2) A painting in the Oregon Senate chamber is labeled "Oregon admitted to the Union, Feb. 14, 1859." What event does the painting actually depict?

(3) How many states were there before Oregon was admitted?

(4) What is the state motto? What was it once?

(5) When was the Oregon Constitution, the state's basic framework of government, completed?

(6) Who is considered the "father" of Oregon?

(7) Who is considered the "mother" of Oregon?

(8) How is Oregon's state flag unique among the states?

(9) How many governors has Oregon had since statehood, including the incumbent?

(10) What was the first written record of the use of "Oregon"?