Into the Vortex
Fearing a clash between radical anti-war groups and the national convention of the American Legion in Portland, Governor Tom McCall takes the political risk of his life by sponsoring a decoy: Vortex I, the country’s first state-sponsored rock festival. Just weeks before the vote in McCall’s close reelection battle, six days of music, drugs, and nudity ensue at McIver State Park in Estacada. Both the festival and the legionnaires’ fête (complete with a surprise visit from Vice President Spiro Agnew) go off without a hitch.
The Bus Project
After vicious battles with local businesses over tax increases, the fledgling Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) takes over the suburban Blue Bus Lines, adding 75 new vehicles and marking the beginning of a centralized regional mass-transit system in Portland.
In the Trail Blazers’ first home game of their first season in the NBA, less than 3,000 fans watch the team soundly defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers (another expansion team) 120–98 at the 10-year-old Memorial Coliseum.
McCall wins a second term as governor, trouncing his Republican opponent, Robert W. Straub, with 57 percent of the vote. Though McCall concedes that he was “caught in the terrible riptide of taxpayer discontent,” his resounding win vindicates his efforts on behalf of peace and the environment—and his gamble on Vortex I.
A Rising Star
Thirty-year-old lawyer Neil E. Goldschmidt is elected to Portland City Council, launching one of Oregon’s most storied political careers and Portland’s most profound period of change. In two years, he will become mayor and—with the 1972 Downtown Plan as his map—lead a revolution in city planning, reviving the central city and the innermost neighborhoods and trading the proposed Mt Hood Freeway for Portland’s first light-rail line, the East Side MAX. But his first goal: increasing citizen involvement.
Cracking the Liberty Bell
As the city prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, 1970 offers a final growl of anger when a bomb explodes underneath the City Hall portico, destroying the city’s replica of the Liberty Bell. The blast upends Mayor Schrunk’s desk on the second floor and causes $170,000 in damage. No one claims responsibility, and no arrests are made.