During WWII, Oregon built the largest public housing project in US history in Vanport. The state needed workers for its wartime industries. This spurred an unprecedented influx of Black Americans into the state, and Vanport itself became 40% Black.
However, Vanport was built on precarious reclaimed lowlands along the Columbia River. During the winter of 1948, the snowpack in the mountains swelled to double its average size. Then, as the snow was melting, there were three straight days of heavy rain in late May.
On Memorial Day, 1948, the city was utterly destroyed by a massive flood. Fifteen people were killed, and nearly the entire population was left homeless. Vanport Colleg was destroyed.
Today, most of what used to be Vanport is a golf course and a racetrack.
Portland’s notorious far-left City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty commemorated the destruction of Vanport by saying the event is no different than “gentrification” in Portland.
You might remember Hardesty from when she publicly accused the Portland Police department was committing arson to frame BLM & Antifa rioters.
“I have no doubt in my mind, I believe with all my heart, that that is what Portland police are doing. I believe Portland Police is lying about the damage—or starting the fires themselves—so that they have justification for attacking community members.” – Jo Ann Hardesty, July 2020