The centennial observance of the United States' joining World War I gets underway this month, and Michael Helquist, author of Marie Equi, will participate in the World War I Centennial Series, sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society. On April 19, Helquist will present his current research on how Oregon aggressively embraced the Espionage and Sedition Acts during the war years. His research presents for the first time a tally of Oregonians arrested for disloyalty and a description of their cases.
The WWI period in Oregon was the first time that residents in the state were subjected to investigation and surveillance in their daily lives. Helquist notes that never before had ordinary individuals collaborated on an extensive basis with federal authorities to conduct surveillance of one another. Many historians and writers have asserted that the assault on WWI dissent became the start of an emerging surveillance state in the U.S.
Helquist explains that he became intrigued with this period of Oregon history while researching the life and times of Dr. Marie Equi, the only woman in the state to be convicted and imprisoned for sedition. Helquist's award-winning biography-- Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions-- will be available for purchase and signing by the author.
Also presenting at the April 19 event will be Dr. Michael Kazin, Georgetown University professor and author of War Against War, The American Fight for Peace 1914-1918. Kazin was also one of the featured historians who participated in the PBS American Experience: "The Great War."
Wednesday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR
This event is free and open to the public. See Helquist's website for more information on Dissent and Resistance and Marie Equi.