World Events

  • Costa Concorda cruise ship, just beginning a tour around the Mediterranean, wrecks near Tuscan island of Giglio causing the largest shipwreck in history. The ship had diverted from its planned route and struck a rock. Compensation for lives and property rose to $2 billion.
  • Arab Spring uprisings continue with civil war in Syria, elections disputed in Egypt and the Tunisian president imprisoned. In Libya, the Benghazi US Consulate attacked with loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and 2 other American staff members.
  • Disaster strikes the Philippines when super typhoon Bopha causes 170,000 people to flee to evacuation centers. Destruction in the city of  Mindanao leaves thousands homeless
  • 2000 American casualties in our 11th year of war in Afghanistan.
  • In Connecticut, the Sandy Hook School shooting kills twenty children aged 6 and 7 as well as 6 adult staff members and the 20-year old shooter. Despite public and congressional debate about the availability and sale of semi-automatic guns, no legislative change is made.
  • After 246 years of publication, the Encyclopedia Britannia discontinues print publication.
  •  Academy Awards: “Argo” (US), “Amour” (Austria) Prize-winning book: The Round House, Louise Erdrich.

In Salem
   The Salem Chamber Orchestra brought “Play Me, I’m Yours” to Salem with 11 street pianos distributed across the streets of Salem and Keizer. Located in public parks, streets and even on the Union Street Bridge, the pianos were there for the public to play and enjoy. After being in place for two weeks, the pianos were donated to local nonprofit organizations.

                  Piano on Union Street Bridge decorated by Gilbert Children’s Museum

When You Visit

The pianos were located in the places listed in the following link.

Other Local Events

  • In January, heavy rain caused many streams, including Mill Creek, to overflow their banks. Muddy water covered several Salem streets and parking lots. Homes and basements were flooded.
  • KMUZ, our local non-profit, public service radio station was flooded out of its basement quarters.  A move to 245 Division Street provided the crew and their equipment with a permanent home. The KMUZ archive, available here allows listeners to check up on their favorite programs and be introduced to new ones.
  • Janet Taylor, our previous mayor who served an unprecedented four terms, was named First Citizen of the Year by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Anna Peterson is re-elected to serve as a second term as mayor without opposition.
  • The recently completed renovation of the Oregon State Hospital’s only original structure, the Kirkbride Building, as shown below, has a new cultural exhibit.

The Museum of Mental Health at the Oregon State Hospital was opened in October of this year. It is dedicated to telling the stories of the Oregon State Hospital and the people that have lived and worked here. Our 2,500 square foot museum, located in the oldest building on the Oregon State Hospital campus includes permanent and changing exhibits.  The museum effort was headed by Hazel Patton and is currently run by volunteers supported by the generous donations of community members and competitive grants. It contains artifacts from the award-winning movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which was filmed at this hospital. See more references to the renovated hospital in the information for 2009.

  • Originally constructed by Karl J. Peters, the modest bungalow above has served continuously as a residence since 1925.The Peters owned the house until 1937. It changed hands five times through the 1940s until it was purchased by Ole P. and Dorothy Nielson in 1950. They owned the house for the longest period of time, 45 years. The house is a typical example of the modest housing that was constructed in the mid-1920s in this neighborhood for blue-collar tradespeople. Even though this block was excluded from the Gaiety Hill/Bush Pasture Park National Register Historic District, just to the north, it represents a period development in South Salem which defines the character of the neighborhood. It was placed on the city’s list of Local Landmarks in 2012.
  • Bridges, pro and con, are subjects of action and debate. Friends of Two Bridges announces OYFF  (On Your Feet Friday), a series of events intended to help increase awareness and funding for the proposed Minto Bridge.
  • In contrast, local groups, organized under the banner of “No 3rd Bridge” are protesting the City Council project of many years past for a pass-through, heavy traffic highway from the Salem Parkway in North Salem (crossing Front Street at Pine Street) and  continuing over the Willamette River to a landing in West Salem. This would facilitate commercial transportation between Portland and Highway 22 to the coast. Opponents of the “3rd Bridge” cite the damage to the North Salem residential area, the interference with Willamette River natural resources and disruption of West Salem neighborhoods. A diagram showing the path of this bridge can be seen here.