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Shares of Oregon History

Published on oregonlive.com

THEY SPENT THE MONEY, YOU SPEND THE TIME 

If someone invested $2.5 million in what you do, would you take it?

Probably not if it came from a drug cartel or North Korea.

Just to be clear, neither Kim Jong-Il or El Chapo gave the Oregon Historical Society two and a half million; the Oregon state lottery did.

Will the leaders of OHS do something different with $2.5 million than the leaders of the Sinaloa Federation or Pyongyang would do?

Let’s say it together, “Yes, they will.”

Since it is an investment, I have a few ideas, but first let’s clear up a few perceptions about history.

Most of the time, history means reading books with pages so dry they crack and dissolve when you turn them. That’s old history. New history, or slanted history, comes at you from an angle of disbelief and creates more doubt than satisfaction.

Either way, you deal with books, and not everyone wants a history lesson on paper.

OHS is 3D history. You can walk around it, look under it, but you can’t touch it. Is that alone worth $2.5 million? Probably not, since the museum already has exhibits on their floor.

What makes history worth the money, along with the tax levy from Multnomah County? Read the rest of this entry