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Former Gov. Tom McCall and his 50 year old Beach Access Bill

Oregon Governor Tom McCall, 1970, preparing for a statewide radio and television address, 1970. Just three years earlier he signed the landmark Oregon Beach Bill into law. Lincoln County Historical Society image

Beach Bill Anniversary Edition of Tom McCall Symposium Scheduled in Newport

The fiftieth anniversary of Oregon’s landmark Beach Bill will be the focus for the second annual Tom McCall Symposium, May 19th and 20th at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center on Newport’s Historic Bayfront.

The event, sponsored by the Lincoln County Historical Society (LCHS) and the Tom McCall Legacy Project, brings together speakers and presentations that bring to light the legacy of the man considered by many to be Oregon’s most colorful chief executive.

McCall served as Oregon’s thirtieth governor from 1967 to 1975. The Beach Bill, approved by the 1967 Legislature and signed into law by McCall, cemented the public’s right to permanent access to the state’s hundreds of miles of beaches.

The symposium opens at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, May 19th. Eric Cain, recently retired from Oregon Public Broadcasting, will show the 2013 Oregon Experience documentary he produced that celebrates the centennial of McCall’s birth.

The program on Saturday, May 20th will begin at 1:00 p.m. Introductory remarks will be offered by Steve Wyatt, LCHS executive director, and Bill Hall, Lincoln County Commissioner and author of the novel McCallandia, which imagines McCall becoming president of the United States following his governorship.

Other featured speakers on Saturday include:
Brent Walth, longtime Oregon journalist and professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. Walth is author of the definitive McCall biography, Fire and Eden’s Gate.

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 for McCall in his press office and as his executive assistant.

Admission to the event is free for Historical Society members and five dollars 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. www.oregoncoasthistory.org

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