I want a book that will suck me in, make my brain spin, and not let me go until the very last page. Thank goodness there's been a surplus of books lately where the authors have written books that do exactly that.
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver is another twisty book that I couldn’t put down. Lionel Shriver has written quite a few novels that take on big issues. In her latest book,
Welcome to our new blogger, Patrick, who says this about himself: "I work at the Holgate Library where I answer questions all day. When I'm not doing that (and if you don't believe me, check with my coworkers who have given up hope of engaging me in lunchroom conversations) I'm probably reading or playing games. I read lots of comics and graphic novels, but also enjoy dystopian fiction, rousing adventure tales, classic sci-fi and fantasy, Dickens, good writing about science, and the occasional bit of warm and fuzzy pop philosophy."
I like '
It turns out that I have been finding many of those thoughtful moments via MCL's zine collection, particularly the works of John Porcellino. I discovered them randomly in the form of an issue of King-Cat Comics & Stories that passed in front of my face, and there was something about the simplicity of the line art that made me want to open it. What I found was a little handmade collection of comics and... well, 'essays' sounds boring, but 'stories' doesn't sound true enough. 'Reflections' seems to fit. John talks about his beloved cat Maisie, his sweetie Misun, sunrises, moving, music, and all sorts of things that occur to him. He's someone who struggles to find meaning in life, and he frequently questions things he has previously held true. What I like best are the little vignettes like 'Football Weather' from King-Cat #66 where all the neighborhood kids decide to help him with his lawn and then a football game ensues. It's not about leaves or football, though... it's about things like community, and appreciating life, and What Is Important to You.
If you enjoy King-Cat, there are hardbound collections, or you might also like his other work, including the short and sweet Three Poems about Fog, or a hardcover graphic novel called Thoreau at Walden. As is usual for me, a thing aimed at younger readers can actually be pretty universal.
And if you want another good autobiographical zine with less philosophy but equal self-discovery and more sass in it, try Jesse Reklaw's Ten Thousand Things to Do. where he describes his lifestyle of "inking, drinking, and anxious thinking".
I found one this month, Maureen McHugh, and I have Jo Walton to thank for it.
In her blog post revisiting the 1993 Hugo Awards she mentioned one of the nominees, China Mountain Zhang, with an adamant "It's wonderful" that intrigued me.
I grabbed it. I loved it.
The time is the near future -- after a Second Great Depression, China dominates the world. The US has gone through it's own Cultural Revolution -- a 'Cleansing Wind' -- and has settled down into Socialism. But economics and ideology are not the focus, they are only the background of the characters' lives.
The main character is Zhang Zhong Shan. He pretends to be things that he is not: 100% Chinese (he is half Hispanic), straight (he is gay). At the beginning he is not honest with himself, he does not know what he wants, and he is hard to like. But with the finest shown-not-told writing, McHugh brings him from being to a boy to being a mensch. I grew to love him, to be excited for him as he learned new things and began to be capable of making the world better. And as I learned to love him I gained understanding of why he had been the person he was: ashamed, torn, young.
In short, "It's wonderful."
I'll admit I do not have the world's classiest taste in movies. I adore the summer blockbuster season (even if I frugally wait for the really really bad ones to hit DVD and wait for my hold to come in). If like me you think winter means slow talky movies with a depressing minimum of explosions, I have a couple of books to suggest that you might like.
How much did I know about James Garfield before reading Candice Millard's most recent book, Destiny of the Republic ? Almost nothing. He was just a trivia answer to me, one of our four assassinated presidents. But here's the thing: Garfield didn't die from the assassin's bullet. He died from massive infection eighty days after the shooting, almost certainly caused by his
Luckily for Garfield, the wound caused by his shooter was not mortal, though that would have been merciful. Unfortunately, the U.S. medical profession, for the most part, did not believe that there were such things as microorganisms. In 1881 doctors in America believed in the "old stink" of surgery, and were proud of it.
The infection that raged through Garfield's body was introduced within moments of the shooting by the unwashed hands and instruments of the doctors who battled to attend to him, determined that they would be the one to find the bullet. Their poking and prodding would continue daily, and it makes for cringe-worthy reading. Garfield lingered for months, getting weaker, always in excruciating pain, suffering in the heat of a humid D.C. summer, in a White House in disrepair where rats were a constant problem. When he finally succumbed and the autopsy was done, the doctors knew immediately what the cause of death was. The bullet was not where they had insisted it had to be, but on the other side of the body, "safely encysted." However, infection was everywhere. The doctor's words were "Gentlemen...we made a mistake." Profound septic poisoning was the cause of death.
The story of Garfield's life and death by Candice Millard is a stunning read, and gets an "un-put-downable" rating from me. Two remarkable ironies: had Garfield been an average Joe in America in 1881, he would've likely survived the shooting without a doctor's care, and simply walked around with a bullet in his body, like tens of thousands of his fellow Civil War veterans. Second, had the shooting happened just a few years later, it would have been easily survivable, even with a doctor's care.
[Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, and was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2011]
I have been waiting a decade to find many comics about contemporary women. Comics have changed - they just aren't about muscle bound men and scantily clad muscle bound women. Now there are c
Greek and Roman history are subjects that continue to captivate our interests. A large part of this has to do with how much they influence our daily lives in literature, architecture, recreation, government, philosophy, and much, much more.
Even though there are remnants in today’s life, in comparison, life is very different than it used to be. Hour-long baths, arranged marriages, and having your father manage all your business until you are 25-years-old, are just some of the things that were customary then. Would you be ready for public speaking or to lead an army when you turn 17 like this young adult living in Rome in 73 A.D.?
Life was exciting living in the Roman Empire with gladiators, chariot races, and exotic bath houses. It was a time that gave us great leaders such as Augustus, Nero, Julius Caesar, and Claudius. If you were a Roman leader, who would you most resemble?
There are some similarities to what life was like in Greece and Rome, but still, things were varied. Life could be very different even in places as close as Athens and Sparta. Depending on where you were born, and whether you were a boy or a girl, you could have a very different experience from those youth close by. Play this game from The British Museum that allows you compare the lives of both men and women from these two Greek cities, and learn more about daily life in ancient Greece. Be sure to take the Greek “house challenge” to see where you would find men and women hanging out, and doing what, under the same roof.
At this time of year many people are tempted to pull out the tarnished sax hiding under their bed
Never fear - Multnomah County Library has one of the best collections of sheet music anywhere around.
For instance, maybe you'd like to know what the kids were singing in the 90's - the 1890's, that is. Take a look at Songs of the Gilded Age, which includes such great tunes as "Elsie from Chelsea" and that old favorite "She is More to be Pitied, than Censured", not to mention "Where Did you Get that Hat
Perhaps your instrument is your voice. Then maybe you'll want to check out the American Idol Presents series - complete with sheet music and CD accompaniment. You're sure to be a star in your own living room.
Or maybe you'd like to rock out and take it up to eleven. The Zen of Screaming might come in handy. It's a training program for rock singers "to preserve their vocal cords without compromising their passion."
According to Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers: The Story of Success, it will only take you 10,000 hours of pra
After all, as the writer, Alexander McCall Smith asked, in a recent New York Times article, "why should real musicians — the ones who can actually play their instruments — have all the fun?"
When people speak about the mystery of Christmas, they generally aren't talking about crime novels, but I like to read something holiday-ish in December, and for some reason I gravitate towards mysteries. The following titles range from crimes as simple and relatively innocuous as a stolen Christmas tree to a death at a Victorian holiday party. Make a cup of cocoa, throw another log on the fire, and check 'em out if you'd like to celebrate the holidays with a mystery!
Hamish MacBeth is on the trail of a stolen Christmas tree and lights, as well as trying to solve the mystery of a missing cat.
Two dead bodies make for a not-so-merry holiday for Scotland Yard's Richard Jury and his friend Melrose Plant.
When a woman dies at a holiday party, the wrong person may have been accused. Claudine Burroughs wants to make sure that the truly guilty party is caught. This is just the latest in Anne Perry's series of Christmas novels.
Just three days before Christmas, Inspector Alan Banks must sort out a tangle of relationships to find a killer.
Merry Sleuthing and a Happy Clue Year!
If you're part of a nonprofit organization, you've probably heard about or explored the world of foundation grants. But with so many nonprofits competing for funding, how can you increase your chances of getting chosen? Perhaps you've been asking the following questions:
- What are the main characteristics of successful funding proposals?
- Increasingly I see foundations say they don't accept unsolicited proposals. How am I supposed to get a grant?
- If I'm turned down, can I try again?
- Do funder guidelines describe accurately what they fund?
Author Martin Teitel answers these questions and more in his Guidestar article Questions I'm Most Often Asked about Winning Foundation Grants.
This is part three of a multi-part series on researching past residents of your Portland-area house:
- Portland houses 1934 and after
- Portland addresses 1933 and earlier
- Houses that are (or were) outside Portland
In the other two installments of this series, I talked about how to use old Portland city directories to find names of people who lived in your house in the past, and about how to find the address your house had before Portland's city-wide address system revision in the early 1930s.
Now we're going to talk about finding past residents of houses that are not in Portland, or that did not used to be in Portland.
- If you live in Montavilla, or Richmond, or Foster-Powell or any of the other close-in east-side neighborhoods between 42nd and 92nd, your house wasn't in Portland until sometime between 1900 and 1910.
- If you live in St. Johns, your neighborhood was its own incorporated city before it joined Portland in 1915.
- If you live in Multnomah or the neighborhoods to its south and west, your house wasn't inside Portland city limits until the 1940s at the earliest.
- If you live east of 92nd Ave., or in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood in SE, or the Cully neighborhood in NE, your neighborhood was annexed in the 1980s.
The Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability has a really helpful map of historical annexations to the City of Portland (pdf) which you can consult for more detail.
The historical Portland city directories mostly contain listings only for people and businesses that were, at the time the directory was published, within Portland city limits. This presents a problem if your house is in Parkrose or Collins View or one of the other neighborhoods that joined Portland after a lot of houses were already built. So, is it possible to find out who lived in your house in those early, pre-annexation years?
And what if your house is in Maywood Park or Gresham or Fairview or somewhere else near to but outside of Portland? Is there any way to find out past residents of houses outside of Portland?
Other city directories. The library has many, many city directories for towns and cities around Oregon. They are often useful, but not always: some smaller-town directories were only published in scattered years, and some have listings by name only, with no by-address section in the back. R.L. Polk & Co.'s Gresham directories (they began publication with the 1962 edition, pictured at right) are a good example of a smaller-city directory that does include a cross-reference-by-address section in the back. To consult the Oregon city directory collection, visit the Literature and History room on the third floor at Central Library in downtown Portland. The librarian on duty can get you started.
Search the library's Historical Oregonian (1861-1987) database for your house's address to see if you can find news articles, rental or real estate advertisements, or funeral notices from early issues of the Oregonian daily newspaper that reference your house. Please note: this can be a tricky database to search! A comprehensive search for your house's address may require several steps (general tips on searching the Historical Oregonian for mentions of your address are in part two of this series - scroll down to the bottom of the page), and it might help to add the name of your town or neighborhood as well. Remember, you are searching the words that appeared in the newspaper, so think about what words a homeowner might have included in a classified ad, or about what words a journalist might have used in a local news story. If you have an questions about using Historical Oregonian (1861-1987) or if you'd like a librarian's help getting started, don't hesitate to contact us.
Contact your local library. If you live in Clackamas or Washington county, your local library may have more resources to help! They are the experts about their cities and neighborhoods. Get in touch with your librarians through Washington County Cooperative Library Services or Libraries In Clackamas County.
Search for early owners. If you can't find a list of residents, you might be willing to settle for a list of owners - who, let's face it, do often live in the houses they own! You should be able to find a list of everyone who has ever owned your house (including people who owned the land before your house was built), by combing through the property records at your county assessor or recorder's office. This research can be quite a bit of work – and you'll need to visit the assessor or recorder's office in person – but if you're diligent you should be able to find property records all the way back to the 1850s or 1860s. If your house is in Multnomah County, you can find records at the Public Records Access room at the Multnomah County Division of Assessment, Recording & Taxation. To research previous owners of property in Clackamas County, visit the Recording Division of the Clackamas County Clerk's office; for Washington County records, go to the Recording Division of the Washington County Assessment & Taxation Division.
And, one wrinkle to consider: old addresses! If your house was in an unincorporated area when it was built, but is in a city now, it is quite possible that it has had a couple of different addresses over time. If you'd like help gumshoeing that mystery, definitely get in touch with a librarian and we'll get you started.
There you have it, all the basics for finding out who lived in your house in years past! To get a refresher on using city directories to find out who lived in your Portland house from 1934 to the present, take a look at part one of this series. Or, re-read part two, in which I discuss basic tools for finding your Portland house's pre-1930s address, and for tracking down pre-1930s residents.
Have fun researching the history of your house; and as always, be sure to ask your friendly librarian any time you have questions, or whenever you'd like help with a research project!
Shailene Woodley, starring as Tris, appeared in another movie adapted from a young adult novel: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp -- as did Miles Teller, who plays Peter. Ms. Woodley is also starring in another hotly-anticipated movie adapted from a young adult novel: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Theo James, playing Four, had an important role in the third episode of the first season of the BBC TV series Downton Abbey.
You might know Kate Winslet, playing the Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews, from Titanic or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Back in 1994, when she was a teen, she made her feature film debut in the creepy and compelling Heavenly Creatures.
Tony Goldwyn, playing Tris's dad Andrew Prior, also plays President Fitzgerald Grant on the ABC drama Scandal. And he's the grandson of producer Samuel Goldwyn, who's responsible for the G in the name of the movie studio MGM: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Lose yourself in books, movies, music & TV while you wait for the Divergent movie!
The Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery", as it eventually came to be called, was conceived by Thomas Jefferson. He was dedicated to exploration of the vast territory west of the Mississippi River and learning about the Native Americans who resided there. He wanted to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean and map the topography. Also, he expected the Corps to catalog the flora and fauna they encountered. On the Monticello web site read about Thomas Jefferson's part in funding and planning the Corp's work.
MERIWETHER LEWIS AND WILLIAM CLARK
President Jefferson chose his secretary Meriwether Lewis as the ideal candidate to captain the Corps. Lewis then chose his Co-Captain, William Clark. They had served in the military together and were an ideal team. Between them, they possessed the skills needed to face the challenges of their incredible journey.
Monsieur Charbonneau is not noted for his popularity with the rest of the Corps or his abilities as a member of the team...it appears that the only contribution of real value he provided was the interpreting services of his wife, Sacajawea. This description of Charbonneau makes it clear he was considered a sort of "necessary evil".
There are many questions surrounding Sacajawea's story that have been controversial. One is the correct spelling/pronunciation of her name and another question is at what age and where did she die? My search for accurate information about these questions and others about Sacajawea led me to the descendants of her tribe of origin, the Lemhi Shoshoni. I found an site from the Sacajawea Interperative, Cultural, & Educational Center. Tim Woodward interviewed members of Sacajawea's birth tribe. The story of the kidnapping and slavery of Sacajawea and her marriage to Charbonneau make difficult reading. Her life as a member of the Corps of Discovery is but a small piece of her complex history. From the time she was kidnapped, Sacajawea's life was determined by people who were not interested in her happiness but in taking advantage of her talents. Sacajawea probably died due to an illness that may have resulted from the birth of her second child, a daughter named Lissette.
JEAN-BAPTISTE CHARBONNEAU (POMPEY)
Sacajawea gave birth to Jean-Baptiste during the first winter of the expedition when they were camped at Fort Mandan in North Dakota. William Clark was very fond of the toddler nicknamed "Pomp" or "Pompey". And here are landmarks the Corps mapped and named after Pompey. After the expedition he was provided for by Clark, but never adopted by him. Jean-Baptiste spent time as an adult in Europe but eventually returned to the United States to take up a mountain man lifestyle similar to his father's. The man, who had traveled as a child on one of the greatest explorations of all time, died and is buried in Oregon.
York was William Clark's slave and belonged to him from the time both were children. His contributions to the success of the Corps were as valuable as any of the other members. In recent years, letters William Clark wrote to his brother reveal that he did not feel York's "services" with the Corps had any value. He didn't care that York wished to live close to his wife and refused to grant him his freedom. Clark told his brother that if York didn't improve his attitude he was going to loan him to a harsh master. The final years of York's life are detailed by the National Park Service. You can learn how York's position in the 1800's is typical of the complexities of the slave/owner relationship.
SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD
Sgt. Floyd holds the dubious honor of being the only member of the Corps of Discovery to perish on the journey. This unhappy event took place soon after the Corps embarked on their Missouri River voyage. Flying at Sgt. Floyd's monument is a replica of the 15 star and 15 stripe flag he would have defended for the military. Visit his Sioux City memorial to learn what ended Sgt. Floyd's trek.
Seaman was a Newfoundland dog and a valued member of the Corps of Discovery. He was purchased by Meriwether Lewis for $20 (about $400 in 1806), perhaps because he had webbed feet and much of the trip was intended to take place by pirogue. Seaman caught small game, entertained the expedition members and provided excellent service at guard duty. There are many theories about what became of Seaman. This version of Seaman's fate is my favorite...and it appears to be based on some historical evidence. Here is a great photo of a sculpture including Seaman which is located in Fort Clatsop National Park--he is paying very close attention to the flounder rather than his guard duty.
WHO WERE THE OTHER GUYS
The rest of the Corps included volunteer members of the U.S. Army and a handful of civilians. They were chosen for the skills they could contribute in carrying out the goals of the expedition and for keeping all members alive and safe. The U.S. Army created a terrific summary of the privates, the civilians, and the boatmen.
Can you imagine saying goodbye to almost everyone you know, leaving behind most of your possessions, and traveling 2,000 miles across the country to live in a place you'd never seen? Almost 500,000 people did just this, packing mostly supplies they would need for the journey into covered wagons, and traveling along the Oregon Trail.
The trail started in Missouri, and then went through what is now Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. History Globe shows an 1843 map of the trail, featuring "Unorganized Territory" (land with no government) and "Oregon Country" (what is now Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and part of Montana and Wyoming). The map will make more sense when you click on the "modern map" link! The Trail Tour section of the website provides information and images about various stopping points along the trail.
History comes alive when we learn about events through people and their stories. The Oregon Territory and its Pioneers is a gold mine for learning about these stories and what life was like on the trail. The website itself is a pioneer on the Internet, started in 1989. It looks much different than websites that you are used to browsing, but don't let that that keep you from exploring. It is packed with great information. Take a look at the section called "The Journey'" to learn about daily life along the trail. Oregon Trail 101 features some amazing pictures of wagon trains and emigrants. Check out Emigrant Diaries and Journals to learn what people who traveled the trail thought about their experience.
The Oregon and California Trails Association is another great resource for learning about the people who crossed the Oregon Trail. The People and Stories section of the website shares emigrant profiles and trail stories.
Want to take a break from your research and play a game? Actually, you don't have to! The Oregon Trail lets you research while you are playing a game. See how you would have fared on the trail and learn about some of the hardships that those who crossed it faced. This game has been around since the 1980's, so check in with your teacher and family to see if they played the game when they were your age. You can either play the early version of the game online, or download an app. Besides the game, the website shares information about daily life along the trail.
Want to learn more about the Oregon Trail? Just ask a librarian !
The British Museum in London has artifacts from around the world, representing people, places and cultures from the past two million years. Khan Academy has detailed information about the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. Click on photos to find out more about that object and its importance.
Have fun exploring The Sport of Life and Death: the Mesoamerican Ballgame. Not only can you learn about the world's first team sport, you can get quick info about each culture and the time periods. Test your knowledge as you play a game (no sacrifices involved). Check out the video below about the rubber balls used for the game and see an example of how a version of the game was played.
If you want or need more help, contact a librarian. We're just a click away!
Trout focuses mostly on the dogs he's met and operated on and condenses a number of cases he's seen over the years into one day to give readers a sense of the urgency and adrenaline rush one might experience in a day working at Angell. He begins with an early morning call that gets him out of bed and ends his day over fifteen hours later when friends of his child bring in a pet that needs some immediate attention.
Interspersed among the cases are Trout's ruminations on the practice and business of being a vet - issues that I had barely, if ever, considered over the years of taking my pet to the vet. Questions of ethics and finance, cures versus palliative care - these are all noted in Trout's honest, if at times slightly condescending, voice. Now that I make weekly visits to the vet with my elderly cat, the new insight has given me an even deeper appreciation for the doctors who work so hard to make sure our pets have the best possible care.
This is part two of a multi-part series on researching past residents of your Portland-area house:
- Portland houses 1934 and after
- Portland addresses 1933 and earlier
- Houses that are (or were) outside Portland
House history researchers are often interested in learning who lived in their houses in the past. In the first post in this series, we explored using city directories to find past residents of Portland houses. But that only works reliably for 1934-present, because nearly every building in the whole city got a completely new address (and sometimes a new street name) in the early 1930s. So, what if you want to go back further and find out who lived in your house in 1933, or earlier? You have come to the right place! To get started, here's a little background on old and new addresses in Portland:
Portland's 1930s address system revision
This is how we got the familiar "five quadrants" that we use today: NW, N, NE, SW, and SE. If your house was built before 1933 and you want to find its early residents, you will need to know the original address.
Finding your house's pre-1933 address
Here's the information the Directory of Street and Name Changes shows for the Magadanz and Schuman family houses that we looked at in the 1934 city directory, in our last blog post:
The Magedanz family house's pre-1930s address was 1075 E 24th St. N (in pink, on the left). The renumbering crews gave it the new address 5115 NE 24th Ave.
The Directory of Street and Name Changes was published in the 1930s, and meant as a tool for people who had to live through this rather disruptive change. It shows address changes for buildings that were within the city limits at the time (remember, Portland was much smaller in the 30s than it is now -- check the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability’s map of historical annexations to the City of Portland (pdf) to see when your neighborhood joined the city). But, if your house was built before 1933, and it was within the city limits in the early 1930s, it should be included in this cross-reference directory.
Using pre-1930s addresses
Okay, what if you know your Portland house's pre-1930s address, and you'd like to find out who lived there in those early years? If you want to know who lived in your house in 1930, 1931, 1932, or 1933, look at the Polk's Portland (Oregon) City Directories for those years – they each have a pink section in the back which lists residents by address. General tips on using city directories are in part one of the Who lived in my house? series. If you're looking in 1930 or 1931, use the house's older address; if you're looking in 1932 or 1933, you might have to check both the old and the new address, because some neighborhoods had their addresses changed earlier than others.
Finding out who lived in your house in 1929 and earlier
What if you want to find out who lived in your house before 1930? That can be a challenge, because city directories for 1864-1929 don't have a section in the back with listings by address!
Here are some things to try:
Look for the names of your house's 1930 residents in directories from earlier years. Maybe they lived there the whole time!
Check to see if the city issued plumbing or sewer permits when your house was built or modified – these sometimes list the owner's name. You can see some early permits by looking for your house in the city's property information database PortlandMaps – type in your address, then click on the "Property" tab, then on the "Historic permits" tab. (Portland's Development Service Center has more complete historical permit records, so visit their office in downtown Portland if you'd like to dig deeper.)
Search the library's Historical Oregonian (1861-1987) database for your house's pre-1930s address to see if you can find news articles, rental or real estate advertisements, or funeral notices from early issues of the Oregonian daily newspaper that reference your house. The Historical Oregonian can be a tricky database to search, so here are some tips:
If you are only interested in a limited range of dates, set your search to those dates by clicking on the "Dates and Eras" tab and typing in the years you need. For example, if your house was built in 1913, you might limit your search to 1913-1932, the approximate date the new Portland address system was finalized.
Type your house's pre-1930s address in with quotation marks around it, like this:
If your street had a directional before the 1930s (e.g. "East Pine St.," "E. 9th St. N," or "52nd Ave. SE"), be sure to include it in your search. Try different variations:
"925 E Pine"
"925 East Pine"
"126 19th St. North"
"126 19 N"
"126 19th N"
"126 19th Street N"
"126 19th Street North"
"52 Ave. SE"
"52nd Avenue SE"
"Fifty Second Avenue South East"
Now you have some basic tools for finding your house's pre-1930s address, and for tracking down residents from the early 30s and before! To get a refresher on using city directories to find out who lived in your house from 1934 to the present, take a look at part one of this series, and stay tuned for the next installment: Who lived in my house? Houses that are (or were) outside Portland.
Have fun researching the history of your house; and as always, be sure to ask your friendly librarian any time you have questions, or whenever you'd like help with a research project!
In the United States, our democracy relies on three branches of government. These branches -- executive, legislative and judicial help to ensure that laws are fair and balanced. The system created by these three branches is called checks and balances. Here's a video that explains the idea of how the three branches balance one another.
Follow these links to find out more about the President (executive), Congress (legislative), and the U.S. Supreme Court (judicial.) Or learn more by playing a game on iCivics.org. Games like Branches of Power and Supreme Decision give you a look at some of the real-life issues faced by Congress, the President and the Supreme Court. (You can register for a free account or play as a guest.)
Here are some more places to explore for more information about the Federal government:
Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids has information for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Kids in the House is published by the Clerk's office of the US House of Representatives. This site has sections for Young Learners, Grade School, Middle School and High School.
For detailed information about state government in Oregon, the Oregon Blue Book is the go-to guide!