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The Rockville Bridge, the longest stone arch bridge in the world, is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The world's largest man-made waterfall is 438 feet tall. It is the spillway over the Shasta Dam in Redding, California.
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City History
Historic People

City History

Portland started as a spot known as "the clearing", which was on the banks of the Willamette about halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver. In 1843, William Overton saw great commercial potential for this land, but lacked the funds required to file a land claim. He struck a bargain with his partner Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts: for 25ยข, Overton would share his claim to the 640-acre site. Overton later sold his half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine. Pettygrove and Lovejoy both wished to name the new city after their own home town; this was decided with a coin toss, which Pettygrove won.

At the time of its incorporation on February 8, 1851 Portland had over 800 inhabitants, a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, and a newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. By 1879, the population had grown to 17,500.

Portland's location, with access both to the Pacific Ocean via the Willamette and the Columbia rivers and to the agricultural Tualatin Valley via the "Great Plank Road" through a canyon in the West Hills, gave it an advantage over nearby ports, and it grew quickly. It remained the major port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century, until the 1890s, when Seattle's deepwater harbor was connected to the rest of the mainland by rail, affording an inland route without the treacherous navigation of the Columbia River.

During this time, corruption in the government allowed for some very unsavory activities to go on as well: "white slavery", specifically including the abduction of men to be used as forced labor on sailing ships, was so common that a network of underground tunnels, formerly used to transport goods from the river to nearby hotels and bars, was co-opted to accommodate the practice.

The first known reference to Portland as "The City of Roses" was made by visitors to an 1888 Episcopal Church convention, the nickname growing in popularity after the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition where Mayor Harry Lane suggested that the city needed a "festival of roses" The first Portland Rose Festival was held two years later, and remains the city's major annual festival a century later.
Late 20th century

During the dot-com boom of the mid to late 1990s, Portland saw an influx of young, creative people, drawn by the promise of a city with abundant nature, urban growth boundaries, opportunities to work in the graphic design and internet industries. When this economic bubble burst, the city was left with a large creative population. In addition, when the bubble burst in Seattle and San Francisco, even more artists streamed into Portland. In 2000 the U.S. census indicated there were over 10,000 artists in Portland. Portland has continued to grow in size and population with the 2000 Census showing 529,121 residents in the city.

Historic Figures

Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925)

Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925)
Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart is an American inventor of Swedish and Norwegian descent. He is best known for inventing the computer mouse; as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs; and as a committed and vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world's increasingly more urgent and complex problems.

July 19, 2024

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