The Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation recently received Senator Morse’s chair that he used on the Senate floor from 1945 to 1968. We are very grateful to Peter Eaton for this generous gift. Peter is the eldest grandson of Wayne Morse and serves on the advisory board at The Wayne Morse School of Law and Politics at the University of Oregon. Our board also greatly appreciates his advice in our own mission of promoting and preserving the legacy and history of Senator Morse.
Each senator picks the chair they want to use when they begin their term and it is in amazingly good condition considering his years on the senate floor. Staffers were not allowed to sit in the senators’ chairs on the floor. The grandchildren, however, took great delight in being allowed to play on them. Peter Eaton was the grandchild who took the most pleasure in this so it was not by accident that he had the chair for many years.
The leather has some cracks which are easily repaired. This handsome piece now sits behind the original desk in the study at the Wayne Morse Family Farm. It is one of the most important pieces of his history ever to be procured by our board. We will be very proud to display it at our annual Open House on May 17th this year. KEZI in Eugene aired a news story and interview with Melanie Lee, eldest grandchild of Senator Morse, on April 29th, where the chair was first publicized.
WMHPC’s 2015 Annual Meeting
Bill Robbins, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at Oregon State University, was the featured speaker at the January 2015 Annual Corporation Meeting and Potluck. Robbins, biographer of Democratic Party activist and former WMHPC Board Member Monroe Sweetland, provided a “political travelogue” through 20th Century Oregon and national politics. Click here to find more about Professor Robbins’ presentation on the Events Page.
During the meeting that followed, Marlene Nesary was welcomed as the newest member of the WMHPC Board. Marlene is President of the City Club of Eugene and worked with the UO Wayne Morse Center on Law and Politics on its 2014 Wayne Morse Legacy Project. Bob Lee (President), Pat Reilly (Vice President), Harriet Behm (Secretary) and Larry Perry (Treasurer) were elected 2015 WMHPC Board officers.
WMHPC has been busy this year! Visit our events page to see what we’ve been doing.
Wayne Lyman Morse is celebrated for his legacies of independent judgment and integrity throughout his public service as a renowned federal labor arbitrator and four-term United States Senator from Oregon. He led the University of Oregon’s School of Law for 14 years, where he was the nation’s youngest law school dean at the time of his appointment…
…The causes that Wayne Morse spoke about so eloquently continue to dominate our national debate. His words and vision provide ongoing inspiration for all who seek to carry on his commitment to public service, integrity, world peace and the rule of law.
Read more about Morse in our biography by clicking on this PDF link (22 pages/325k).
Wayne Morse Legacy Scholarship Program
The Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation established the Wayne Morse Legacy Scholarship in 2011 to annually recognize and help support an Oregon student who has demonstrated or may be inspired by the Senator’s legacy of public service, integrity, strong principles and independence. Approximately 1,000 students each year have applied for the scholarship since its inception. We’re working to build an endowment for this $1,000 scholarship, ensuring its availability in coming years to deserving Oregon students.
Donors can help in two tax deductible ways: (1) Making a direct contribution for the Legacy Scholarship. (2) Purchasing a granite paver at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at the Lane County Courthouse in Eugene. A 4 by 8 inch brick-sized inscribed paver costs $165; a large 12 by 12 inch inscribed paver $750. Limited quantities are available.
Non-paver contributions can be sent to Wayne Morse Historical Park Corporation, 595 Crest Drive, Eugene, Oregon 97405, ATTN: Legacy Scholarship. For further details about pavers, contact us at (541) 682-5380.
Read more about the program on our scholarship page.
Finding Wayne Morse in Eugene
Use our guide, “On the Trail of the Tiger,” to discover Wayne Morse sites in Eugene by downloading this PDF (2 legal size 8.5×14 pages/550k). All offer opportunities to learn about a remarkable Oregonian and to reflect on his legacies.
Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza
Plan a visit to The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza at the Lane County Courthouse at East 8th Avenue and Oak Street in Eugene. It honors Senator Morse, whose career epitomized for supporters and opponents alike political integrity and courage, and provides a location for thoughtful civic discourse. There amid the pavers and plaques highlighting Morse contemporaries and events in his lifetime one also can gain a wealth of wisdom in the quotations and lessons in 20th Century American history and politics.
To read more about the Plaza and its history, click here.