- Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis, first Pope from Latin America. He is a reformer of the Church and an advocate for the poor. ( “Francis: Pray for Me”, 2015 film.)
- On April 15, two homemade bombs ripped through the crowd of fans and runners at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and wounding nearly 300 others.
- In June, Documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed light on the extent of US espionage operations in various parts of the world and threatened to damage US relations with some key international partners. (“Snowden”, 2016 film)
- Prince William and wife Kate welcome a son, Prince George, on July 22.
- On Aug. 21, reports emerged from a Damascus suburb of a sarin gas attack, a grim event in a civil war that had already cost the lives of 100,000 people and spurred the largest refugee crisis in a generation.
- Former South African president and leader of the anti-apartheid movement Nelson Mandela died on Dec. 5.
- New words “twerk” and “selfie” were added to the dictionary this year.
- Academy Awards: “12 Years a Slave” (US),”The Great Beauty” (Best Foreign Film, Italy) Prize-winning books: The Good Lord Bird, James McBride and The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson.
- In April of 2012, a colorful Oregon heritage exhibit was mounted in the Marion County Courthouse Community Hall. Each of the twenty framed collections of photographs and memorabilia offered what that Marion County city considered significant to tell its story. The exhibits were constructed by local committees or by an individual volunteer. Above each poster is a wood carving representing the shape of Marion County with the locality of the city clearly distinguished. At the opening ceremony, the County Commissioners greeted guests from around the county, especially thanking the creators of these handsome displays. Each city had a representative there to speak about what that city had selected to put in their colorful poster.
View the Marion County Courthouse exhibit
- Commissioner Sam Brentano, who was the inspiration for the exhibit, encouraged this author and her son to become acquainted with Marion County cities. On our day-trip adventures, Tom and I discovered many scenic back roads and he took photographs in each city. Each one reviews the community history, offer a brief profile of the city today and includes our discoveries there as visitors. KMUZ interviews with representatives of each city can be heard on their archives. The series also appeared in the Sunday edition of the Statesman Journal newspaper for twenty weeks. It is now the topic “Marion County 20” on this website.
- Scott Casebeer, President of Capitol Auto Group, was selected as the 2012 First Citizen of the year by the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Casebeer’s two sons, who have worked at the dealership, are the great-grandsons of the founder of the company, Douglas McKay. McKay entered politics was elected governor of Oregon, then Secretary of the Interior in the Eisenhower administration.
- A brochure useful to realtors and property buyers this year is entitled “Historic Property Designation”. Produced by the Historic Landmarks Commission, it outlines the benefits and responsibilities of purchasing and maintaining structures in the city that have been designated as Local Landmarks or National Register. It reminds owners that exterior changes, visible to the public, must be approved by the HLC before any work is begun. The HLC meets once a month to discuss proposals brought before the Commission and suggest improvements or necessary alterations to owners’ construction plans to comply with city codes.
Salem lost three outstanding residents this year, Mike McLaran on March 30, Bill Tebeau on July 20 and Orville Roth on October 13. All three, in very different careers, had important roles in the development of the city and shaping its character. The Statesman Journal reported:
- Mike McLaran’s death stunned the business community. The longtime Salem Area Chamber of Commerce executive died March 30 while jogging in southeast Salem, the victim of an apparent heart attack. McLaran, 53, grew the chamber’s membership and gave the organization a strong, unified voice. From 1995 through 2011, McLaran served as the chamber’s chief executive officer. Even after stepping down as CEO, McLaran continued to work closely with the chamber as a consultant. He was involved in such milestones as the development of the Salem Conference Center and the campaign to win a grant for the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. At McLaran’s memorial service, business and community leaders filled the 1,200 seat Salem Alliance Church to near capacity.
- “Make it a great day!” That was William “Bill” Tebeau’s daily motto. It was also front and center July 20 in the brightly lit hospitality room at Center 50+ in Salem, where Tebeau’s family give their patriarch a fittingly warm, often poignant, but overall cheery celebration of life memorial. An engineer, educator and pioneer, Tebeau, 87, was the first African American male to graduate from Oregon State University, which he did in 1948. He died July 5. Scores of well-wishers turned out at the center to honor a man who was described as at once deeply knowledgeable on many subjects and humble about himself.
- The Mid-Valley lost one of its most enduring symbols of community and charity Oct. 13 when longtime civic leader and businessman Orville N. Roth died of a heart attack while visiting family in Honolulu. The 79-year-old co-founder of the Roth’s Fresh Markets grocery chain grew his empire from a single store in 1962 to nine markets in 2013. He was known throughout the state as much for his unfailing support of children and those less fortunate as for his business.