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Today’s Forecast

44º | 70% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:54 a.m. | Sunset 5:53 p.m.
Full Weather Report | Traffic Report

War and peace
A historic photo of the Council Crest Trolley coming down the hill in Portland, Oregon.
The 1940s marked the final hurrah for the Council Crest trolleys. | Photo via Portland City Archives
With abundant electricity flowing from the newly completed Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams, Portland’s wartime economy churned into overdrive in the 1940s. The city’s population exploded and diversified as many thousands of defense workers migrated to the area; tract housing in the suburbs, more easily accessible thanks to the increasing ubiquity of the automobile, met the new residents’ needs.

Pro tip: To explore more historic photos from the decade, check out The Oregonian’s “Portland Memories II: The 1940s.”

Population: 305,394

Mayors: Joseph K. Carson (1933-1940), Earl Riley (1941-1948), Dorothy McCullough Lee (1949-1952)

1940 — Construction of the new Portland-Columbia Airport (the current location of Portland International Airport) finishes. The monumental effort required dredging 4 million cubic yards of fill material to make the marshy riverside a viable location.

The first image shows a massive ship sliding out of the Kaiser shipyard in Vancouver, WA. The second image shows an aerial photo of the Kaiser shipyard at Swan Island in Portland.

Two other Kaiser shipyards operated out of Vancouver and Swan Island.


Photos by U.S. Navy and Edward Cochrane via Wikimedia Commons

1941 — Oregon Shipbuilding Company opens on the Willamette River, downstream from St. Johns. The PNW’s largest Kaiser shipyard built merchant ships for Great Britain, but it eventually pivoted to manufacturing cargo and combat vessels for the U.S. Maritime Commission.

1942 — Following President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, Japanese Americans in Portland and Oregon are rounded up, moved against their will, and imprisoned at the Portland Assembly Center, an internment camp at the current site of the Portland Expo Center.

1943 — Harbor Drive opens, routing US Route 99W alongside downtown Portland and cutting off pedestrian access to the Willamette River. On Thursday, Jan. 21, a winter storm drops 15.5 inches of snow on Portland in 24 hours, a record that still stands today.

1944 — A blaze ravages Iron Fireman Manufacturing Co. in the Brooklyn neighborhood, injuring at least five people and causing $2 million in damage (equivalent to $35,450,000 today).

1945 — Urban League of Portland is founded amid an education boom; Vanport Extension Center (now PSU) opens its doors and Portland Public Schools begins a campaign that created more than 25 new and replacement schools in 10 years.
Monday, Feb. 26
  • Winter Discount Days | Monday, Feb. 26-Friday, March 1 | 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland | $12 | See new Amur tiger brothers Dmitri and Luka (and maybe a glimpse of a newly named baby rhino Tamu) at a lower price.
  • Walla Walla Wine On Tour | Monday, Feb. 26 | 5:30-8 p.m. | The Redd on Salmon, 831 SE Salmon St., Portland | $100 | Explore wine so good they named it twice.
  • Helado Negro | Monday, Feb. 26 | 8 p.m. | Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., Ste. 110, Portland | $25 | Known for bilingual songs that explore Latinx identity, this artist born to Ecuadorian immigrants brings his enticing beat to the east side.
Tuesday, Feb. 27
  • Rip City Remix vs. Raptors 905 | Tuesday, Feb. 27 | 6 p.m. | Chiles Center, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland | $10-$150 | Catch basketball up close and ‘saurus when the scaly team from north of the border comes to town.
  • Trivia & Taco Tuesdays | Tuesday, Feb. 27 | 7-9 p.m. | The Advice Booth, 5426 N. Gay Ave., Portland | Free | Stuff your face and flex your brain with friends to take home the top prize.
Wednesday, Feb. 28
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News Notes
  • A new two-year pilot program will enable food trucks to park in designated spaces and serve downtown customers (with a permit of course). The Portland Bureau of Transportation says it will bring a long-term proposal to the City Council in late 2025 if the program is successful. (KGW)
  • $100 million. That’s how much PBOT is investing this year in improvements across the city and on several of Portland’s most dangerous streets. Breaking ground in spring and summer, these projects include Southwest Fourth Avenue, the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, and 82nd Avenue.
  • Real life experiences from Black Americans, law enforcement, and members of the judicial system come to life on stage in “Evolve Experience.” The traveling show from Portland nonprofit the Red Door Project has been presented to police departments in Lake Oswego, West Linn, Beaverton, and around the country. (OPB)
  • Wake up, Portland! We landed at No. 3 on a Smart Asset’s list of cities where residents are getting a full night’s sleep (that’s 7 hours). Apparently 73.5% of us are sufficiently snoozing, and now for some reason we’re feeling... very... zzz.
  • WeWork’s location in the Lloyd District — its only in the city — will stay open. The company is making its way through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy but filed a motion in court to retain its lease at 830 NE Holladay St. (Portland Business Journal)
  • This fall, getting from PDX to ATL is going to be swell. Alaska Airlines announced it will add two daily direct flights to the “busiest airport in the world” starting Oct. 1. (Portland Tribune + FOX 5)
  • Fermenter, the vegan restaurant on Southeast Belmont Street, will close at the end of March. The news isn’t completely rotten — a culinary successor is already in line for the space, which will also keep the team together. The Fermenter brand will live on through products and educational workshops. (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
  • Potential targets are starting to emerge on the Trail Blazers’ draft board, like Colorado’s Cody Williams and Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle from UCONN. Locked On’s Mike Richman and guest Rafael Barlowe analyzed what each could bring to the Rip City squad.
    PDXtoday’s 2024 pizza bracket
    A graphic with pizza ingredients and a tournament style bracket.
    Whose toppings will come out on top? | Graphic by 6AM City
    With the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments just around the corner, we’re joining the fun of bracket competitions with a face-off of our own — the PDXtoday pizza bracket.

    But first, we need your help nominating the spots you think should be in the tournament.

    Using the nomination form linked below, submit the local shop that has your favorite slice of pie, and we’ll use your suggestions to create a bracket where they’ll battle it out in our newsletter and on socials.

    Need help brainstorming? Check out our pizza guide to get started.
    The Buy
    Spring vacation clothes to bring some color and life with you on this year’s vacation. We’re liking: Santa Barbara Design Studio’s “Le Beach” bag and this crochet swimsuit cover up.
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    The Wrap
    Ben McBee headshot Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    The year is 2200. You just bought tickets for a vacation on the moon, so you need to stop by the Columbia Employee Store to pick up a new spacesuit.

    This might seem far-fetched in 2024, but last week’s lunar landing featuring the Portland company’s OMNI-Heat material suggests a trajectory toward the aforementioned future isn’t as dubious as you would think.
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