The 50th anniversary of Oregon’s landmark Beach Bill will be the focus for the second annual Tom McCall Symposium this weekend at Newport’s Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.
The event, sponsored by the Lincoln County Historical Society and the Tom McCall Legacy Project, celebrates the legacy of the man considered by many to be Oregon’s most colorful chief executive.
McCall served as Oregon’s 30th governor from 1967 to 1975 and signed into law the 1967 Beach Bill, which cemented the public’s permanent right of access to the state’s hundreds of miles of beaches.
The symposium opens at 6:30 pm on Friday, May 19, when Eric Cain, recently retired from Oregon Public Broadcasting, will screen the 2013 “Oregon Experience” documentary he produced to celebrate the centenary of McCall’s birth.
The program on Saturday, May 20, will begin at 1 pm with introductory remarks from Lincoln County Historical Society Executive Director Steve Wyatt, and Bill Hall, Lincoln County Commissioner and author of the novel “McCallandia,” which imagines McCall becoming president of the United States following his governorship.
Among Saturday’s featured speakers is Brent Walth, longtime Oregon journalist and professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication, and author of the definitive McCall biography, “Fire and Eden’s Gate.”
Guests will also hear from Phil Keisling, former Oregon Secretary of State and director of the Center for Public Service at Portland State University’s Mark O. Hatfield School of Government. Keisling was a staff member for the 1978 McCall campaign for governor.
Doris Penwell, who worked as executive assistant in McCall’s press office, will also share memories at the event.
Admission to the event is free for historical society members and $5 for the general public. The Pacific Maritime Heritage Center is located at 333 SE Bay Blvd. on Newport’s Historic Bayfront. Parking is available at the top of the hill. For more information, call 541-265-7509.