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Multnomah is a county in Oregon, but it is also a neighborhood of southwest Portland, Oregon. Oregon officially became the 33rd state of the U.S on February 14, 1859, meaning 1959 marked the centennial of Oregon’s statehood. The Multnomah Labor Council, Centennial Hosts for the celebration, created badges for staff so guests knew who to direct questions about the event.
There were many events and celebrations throughout 1959 commemorating Oregon’s 100 years of statehood, including the Oregon Centennial Exposition and International Trade Fair, which took place along the Columbia River north of Portland from June 10th-September 17th. This fair boasted eighteen acres of exposition sites including more than 200 companies, government agencies, and private as well as public organizations with exhibits. This also included 19 Oregon counties as well as 22 foreign countries. There was an international garden with a Japanese tea-house as well as a giant floral clock and the Cameo House for showcasing the latest décor and appliances. There was an Adventureland with an open-air train to a Bavarian Beer Garden, a covered wagon train, and a working sawmill for visitors to turn trees into timber. This also featured Frontier Village which recreated a Western town from the 1870's with a dance hall, stable, saloon, post office, actors, and more. There were shows, attractions, and a 31 ft. tall Paul Bunyan to greet visitors, which still stands today in the Kenton neighborhood of Portland. This event brought in nearly 1.5 visitors in the 100 days it was open, which pales in comparison to crowd sizes at other events such as the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905 in Portland that drew in 2.5 million people.