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1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack
The 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack was the food poisoning of 751 individuals in The Dalles, Oregon, through the deliberate contamination of salad bars at ten local restaurants with Salmonella. A group of prominent followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho) led by Ma Anand Sheela had hoped to incapacitate the voting population of the city so that their own candidates would win the 1984 Wasco County elections. The incident was the first and is the single largest bioterrorist attack in United States history.
Having previously gained political control of Antelope, Oregon, Rajneesh's followers, who were based in nearby Rajneeshpuram, sought election to two of the three seats on the Wasco County Circuit Court that were up for election in November 1984. Fearing they would not gain enough votes, some Rajneeshpuram officials decided to incapacitate voters in The Dalles, the largest population center in Wasco County. The chosen biological agent was Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, which was first delivered through glasses of water to two County Commissioners and then, on a larger scale, at salad bars and in salad dressing.
As a result of the attack, 751 people contracted salmonellosis, 45 of whom were hospitalized, but none died. Although an initial investigation by the Oregon Public Health Division and the Centers for Disease Control did not rule out deliberate contamination, the agents and contamination were only confirmed a year later. On February 28, 1985, Congressman James H. Weaver gave a speech in the United States House of Representatives in which he "accused the Rajneeshees of sprinkling Salmonella culture on salad bar ingredients in eight restaurants".
At a press conference in September 1985, Rajneesh accused several of his followers of participation in this and other crimes, including an aborted plan in 1985 to assassinate a United States Attorney, and he asked state and federal authorities to investigate. Oregon Attorney General David B. Frohnmayer set up an interagency task force, composed of Oregon State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and executed search warrants in Rajneeshpuram. A sample of bacteria matching the contaminant that had sickened the town residents was found in a Rajneeshpuram medical laboratory. Two leading Rajneeshpuram officials were convicted on charges of attempted murder and served 29 months of 20-year sentences in a minimum-security federal prison.
- "1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack" | 2018-05-13 | 44 Upvotes 16 Comments
Is Randal L Schwartz notable enough for Wikipedia?
Randal L. Schwartz (born November 22, 1961), also known as merlyn, is an American author, system administrator and programming consultant.
He is known for his expertise in the Perl programming language, his promotional role within the Perl community, as a co-host of FLOSS Weekly, and for a controversial felony conviction resulting from State of Oregon vs. Randal Schwartz, later officially expunged.
- "Is Randal L Schwartz notable enough for Wikipedia?" | 2011-08-22 | 65 Upvotes 68 Comments
Alan L. Hart
Alan L. Hart (born Alberta Lucille Hart, October 4, 1890 – July 1, 1962) was an American physician, radiologist, tuberculosis researcher, writer and novelist. He was in 1917–18 one of the first trans men to undergo hysterectomy in the United States, and lived the rest of his life as a man. He pioneered the use of x-ray photography in tuberculosis detection, and helped implement TB screening programs that saved thousands of lives.
- "Alan L. Hart" | 2020-05-02 | 43 Upvotes 2 Comments
1700 Cascadia Earthquake
The 1700 Cascadia earthquake occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone on January 26, 1700 with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7–9.2. The megathrust earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate from mid-Vancouver Island, south along the Pacific Northwest coast as far as northern California. The length of the fault rupture was about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), with an average slip of 20 meters (66 ft).
The earthquake caused a tsunami which struck the west coast of North America and the coast of Japan.
- "1700 Cascadia Earthquake" | 2021-05-05 | 132 Upvotes 115 Comments
The Begum's Fortune
The Begum's Fortune (French: Les Cinq cents millions de la Bégum, literally "the 500 millions of the begum"), also published as The Begum's Millions, is an 1879 novel by Jules Verne, with some utopian elements and other elements that seem clearly dystopian. It is noteworthy as the first published book in which Verne was cautionary, and somewhat pessimistic about the development of science and technology.
Long after The Begum's Fortune was published, it came out that its story is based on a manuscript by Paschal Grousset, a Corsican revolutionary who had participated in the Paris Commune and was at the time living in exile in the United States and London. It was bought by Pierre-Jules Hetzel, the publisher of most of Verne's books. The attribution of plot elements between Grousset's original text and Verne's work on it has not been completely defined. Later, Verne worked similarly on two more books by Grousset and published them under his name, before the revolutionary finally got a pardon and was able to return to France and resume publication in his own name.
The book first appeared in a hasty and poorly done English translation soon after its publication in French—one of the bad translations considered to have damaged Verne's reputation in the English-speaking world. W. H. G. Kingston was near death and deeply in debt at the time. His wife, Mrs. A. K. Kingston, who did the translation for him, was certainly otherwise preoccupied than with the accuracy of the text and may have had to rely on outside help. In 2005 a new translation from the French was made by Stanford Luce and published by Wesleyan University.
I. O. Evans, in his introduction to his "Fitzroy Edition" of The Begum's Fortune, suggested a connection between the creation of artificial satellites in this novel and the publication of The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale in 1869.
- "The Begum's Fortune" | 2021-08-25 | 36 Upvotes 11 Comments
International Talk Like a Pirate Day
International Talk Like a Pirate Day is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. An observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello, everyone!" but with "Ahoy, maties!" or "Ahoy, me hearties!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.
- "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" | 2021-09-19 | 13 Upvotes 2 Comments
D. B. Cooper
D. B. Cooper is a media epithet used to refer to an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in United States airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on the afternoon of November 24, 1971. He extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,278,000 in 2020) and parachuted to an uncertain fate over southwestern Washington. The man purchased his airline ticket using the alias Dan Cooper but, because of a news miscommunication, became known in popular lore as D. B. Cooper.
The FBI maintained an active investigation for 45 years after the hijacking. Despite a case file that grew to over 60 volumes over that period, no definitive conclusions were reached regarding Cooper's true identity or fate. The crime remains the only unsolved air piracy in commercial aviation history.
Numerous theories of widely varying plausibility have been proposed over the years by investigators, reporters, and amateur enthusiasts. $5,880 of the ransom was found along the banks of the Columbia River in 1980, which triggered renewed interest but ultimately only deepened the mystery. The great majority of the ransom remains unrecovered.
The FBI officially suspended active investigation of the case in July 2016, but the agency continues to request that any physical evidence that might emerge related to the parachutes or the ransom money be submitted for analysis.
- "D. B. Cooper" | 2021-11-25 | 18 Upvotes 5 Comments
Portland International Airport Carpet
The carpet at Portland International Airport (PDX) in Portland, Oregon, featured geometric shapes on a teal background, representing the intersection of the north and south runways seen by air traffic controllers from the airport's tower at night. SRG Partnership designed it in 1987, and since then, the carpet has received much media attention.
In 2013, the Port of Portland announced the carpet's replacement with a new pattern conceptualized by the Portland-based firm Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects. The announcement generated a social media "phenomenon" and gained attention from local and national news outlets. Removal of the original carpet began in January 2015, with the airport recycling worn portions and making remaining pieces available for sale by local retail vendors.
In 2015, Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard released his first PDX carpet colorway on the Adidas D Lillard 1 sneaker. In 2016, Lillard released the colorway on the D Lillard 2, also inspired by the carpet.
In February of 2022, it was announced that the iconic carpet would be returning to the airport when a new terminal opens in 2024.
- "Portland International Airport Carpet" | 2022-03-10 | 13 Upvotes 1 Comments
Great California, Nevada, Oregon Flood of 1862
The Great Flood of 1862 was the largest flood in the recorded history of Oregon, Nevada, and California, occurring from December 1861 to January 1862. It was preceded by weeks of continuous rains and snows in the very high elevations that began in Oregon in November 1861 and continued into January 1862. This was followed by a record amount of rain from January 9–12, and contributed to a flood that extended from the Columbia River southward in western Oregon, and through California to San Diego, and extended as far inland as Idaho in the Washington Territory, Nevada and Utah in the Utah Territory, and Arizona in the western New Mexico Territory. The event dumped an equivalent of 10 feet (3.0 m) of water in California, in the form of rain and snow, over a period of 43 days. Immense snowfalls in the mountains of far western North America caused more flooding in Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, as well as in Baja California and Sonora, Mexico the following spring and summer, as the snow melted.
The event was capped by a warm intense storm that melted the high snow load. The resulting snow-melt flooded valleys, inundated or swept away towns, mills, dams, flumes, houses, fences, and domestic animals, and ruined fields. It has been described as the worst disaster ever to strike California. The storms caused approximately $100 million (1861 USD) in damage, approximately equal to $3.117 billion (2021 USD). The governor, state legislature, and state employees were not paid for a year and a half. At least 4,000 people were estimated to have been killed in the floods in California, which was roughly 1% of the state population at the time.
- "Great California, Nevada, Oregon Flood of 1862" | 2023-01-16 | 12 Upvotes 15 Comments