May

Playing Fare
TriMet cuts bus fare by 10 cents—from 35 cents to 25 cents—for adults over 65. An overnight success, the program becomes TriMet’s first step toward instituting “Fareless Square,” a free transit zone in downtown, five years later.

The Clash
Angered by the Ohio National Guard’s killing of four student protesters at Kent State University, Portland State students barricade the South Park Blocks and stage a massive weeklong antiwar demonstration. City Commissioner Frank Ivancie sends in a 125-man tactical police squad that storms a first aid tent and sends 28 students to the hospital. As one student recalls, “I looked up in time to see a cop come right down on me with a club, with a big grin on his face.” Mayor Terry Schrunk regrets the violence but remains firm: “I hoped it would never come to this.”

People Speak, Leaders Listen
A day after the clash on the South Park Blocks, a crowd of more than 4,000 marches on City Hall, led not by a long-haired radical, but by civic leader Gertrude Glutsch Jensen. They demand to see Mayor Schrunk. He declines. But 2,800 miles away in Washington, DC, Oregon Republican Senator Mark Hatfield hears the roar and adds to it by sending out 35,000 letters (under his free mailing privilege) signed by him and four other senators calling for a Senate amendment to cut off all funding for the war.

June

Sometimes a Great Story
As both producer and actor (and later director), Paul Newman arrives in Newport to begin shooting a film based on Ken Kesey’s landmark novel Sometimes a Great Notion. The tale, about a family of Oregon loggers trying to cope with changing times, echoes the fractious era it’s being filmed in. As the story’s patriarch, Henry Stamper (played by Henry Fonda), puts it, “Never give an inch.”

“The People’s Park”
Despite the recent violence at Portland State, the Portland Development Commission moves ahead with the dedication of a new plaza, the Auditorium Forecourt Fountain (today known as Keller Fountain). As civic pooh-bahs give speeches and stern police stare down long-haired youths, Lawrence Halprin, the plaza’s architect, grabs the microphone. “These straight people somehow understand what cities can be all about,” he says, acknowledging the pooh-bahs but playing to the kids. “So as you play in this garden, please try to remember we’re all in this together.” Moments later, the kids—and Halprin—douse themselves in the fountain’s 13,000-gallon-per-minute gush, ushering in a new era of civility and a new generation’s civic involvement. New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable calls the fountain “the greatest civic space since the Renaissance.”