Oregonian Now Available Through Dec. 1922!

The time we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! Historic Oregon Newspapers online now contains the full 20th century public domain run of the Portland Morning Oregonian and The Sunday Oregonian! All newspapers published on or before December 31, 1922 are considered to be in the “public domain,” which means that copyright permission is not required for reproduction or use of the content.

In 1922, the Morning Oregonian successfully launched Oregon’s first commercial radio station, KGW, evidence of which can be found in the newspaper:

Clipping from the Morning Oregonian reads: "The Oregonian Test of Radio Makes Hit. Congratulations Pour in at First of Broadcasting. Another trial tonight. Piano to be installed today and musical selections sent out for short time. "Hello, KGW. THe Oregonian. This is the Vancouver barracks talking. Say old man, you come in like a ton of bricks. What power are you using? Only 50 watts? Why, you sound like a 250-watt outfit. Will you relay a message for me to San Diego? Your voice modulation is perfect, KGW you've got some station there, Congratulations."

Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937, March 24, 1922, Page 5, Image 5. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025138/1922-03-24/ed-1/seq-5/

Also, by the time 1922 rolled around, the Morning Oregonian was publishing a political cartoon on the front page of every issue! These cartoons are just as telling of the times as the textual content, and can serve to remind us how much things have changed since then, but also how much things have stayed the same! For example, on this day, December 5, in 1922 (91 years ago!!!!), the following political cartoon appeared on the front page of the Morning Oregonian:

Political cartoon depicts several men, apparently members of Congress, throwing bricks at each other, using umbrellas as shields, and running around in a flurry. Bricks are labeled with words such as "charges," "impeachment proceedings," "counter charges," "General Daugherty." Caption reads: "This promises to be as hot a session of congress as the last one."

Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937, December 05, 1922, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025138/1922-12-05/ed-1/seq-1/

How does this scene compare to the Congress of today? Knowing the context of these cartoons is crucial to understanding their messages, and the textual articles within the papers help to build that understanding.

The Sunday Oregonian also consistently published a Comics Section at the end of each issue, with a more relaxed approach than the highly charged political cartoons of the Monday Oregonian. Stay tuned for our next blog, which will provide a guide to finding cartoons and comics on the Historic Oregon Newspapers site!

Happy searching!

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