January 5, 2015

Hello and Happy New Year, fans of the American Treasure Tour!

We have had a crazy holiday season here - not in the least because of the silence we have subjected you to on the blog front.  We know.  We're sorry.  Hopefully your holidays have been so busy with family and friends and food that the absence of our blogs hasn't had too negative of an impact on you.  

We are definitely back now, and we intend to delight, wow, and surprise you with facts, novelties and things that make you say, "Huh."  

The subject for today's blog is:  Oregon.

Today is a very important day in the history of Oregon.  Prior to January 5th, 1846, Oregon Territory (now the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming) were not technically controlled by any one country.  The United States and Great Britain had a joint land sharing kind of agreement.  There was no formal government, and relations between the fur trappers and settlers of the different country were okay, but not great.  It became the destination for the Oregon Trail, the largest voluntary land migration in American history.  As the population grew, so did tensions.

Then, President James K. Polk and Secretary of State James Buchanan set their sites on ensuring peace with old enemy Great Britain (they were fighting a war with Mexico already, and didn't want tensions to build in the north, too), and they negotiated the 49th Parallel as the northern boundary between the U.S. and Canada, while Russian Alaska stayed neutral.

Oregon became the 33rd state in the union in 1859.  The natural beauty of the state is unparalleled, with such sites as Crater Lake and the Columbia River Gorge inspiring awe in countless visitors.  It has also given us some national treasures, including the actor Howard Hesseman, whose work on  the television show WKRP in Cincinnati from 1978 to 1982, then in Head of the Class between 1986 and 1990.

In which of the following films did Howard Hesseman NOT make an appearance?

A)  About Schmidt

B)  The Rocker

C)  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

D)  Clue

Answer Below

Other important things to know about Oregon:

-  Oregon is the only state to have an official state nut.  It is the hazelnut (also known as the 'filbert')

-  Eugene, Oregon was the first city to have one-way streets.

- Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state in the country.

- Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states that require professionals to pump gas for customers at the local gas station.


Answer:  C)  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button