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Vanport Survivors to Share Memories

Event part of PSU 'State of Mind' Festival

The diversity of Vanport, a wartime housing project destroyed by floodwaters in 1948, is reflected in this Oregon Historical Society photo of children in the community.

Former Vanport residents and survivors of the Memorial Day 1948 flood that wiped out the racially diverse city will share memories of event and life in Vanport as part of an on-going oral history project and Portland State University’s annual “State of Mind Festival.”

You’re invited to bring your questions and curiosity to the gathering on Sunday, Oct.20 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the PSU Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 327-328.

Facilitated by the Vanport Mosaic, there will be a screening of short documentaries featuring former Vanport residents, a collection of community-produced short films that create a rich and elaborate “Mosaic” of the vibrant community that made up the city.

A discussion will follow with Edward Washington, a Vanport survivor and a current community liaison with the PSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and with retired Portland Community College professor James S. Harrison who is working on a book about the wartime housing project.

A traveling pop-up exhibit “Vanport, a Story Lived. A Story Told” will also be displayed. The event is hosted by the PSU Department of History and the Vanport Mosaic.


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