The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Jim Edmunson Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

November 10, 2014


“Oregon State During Turbulent Times”  November 10, 2014  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Edmunson discusses his family background and upbringing in Lane County, Oregon, his interests as a boy, and his decision to attend Oregon State University.

The primary focus of the session is Edmunson's recollections of his years as an OSU undergraduate. In this, he comments on his academic progression and his living arrangements. Of particular note are Edmunson's reflections on his work with the Daily Barometer newspaper. He describes his initial involvement with the paper, outlines his advancement within the newsroom, and speaks of faculty and fellow students who made an impact on him as a young journalist. He also shares his memories of covering student unrest during the Vietnam War era, and of coordinating the Barometer's reporting on the murder of OSU student Nancy Wyckoff in February 1972. He likewise shares his perspective on other important moments on campus during the early 1970s - including the first Earth Day celebrations - and the broader culture of the Barometer newsroom during his years of affiliation.

From there, Edmunson outlines his professional career in journalism, noting stints working at the East Oregonian and Daily Astorian. He then provides an overview of his work as a lawyer, public servant and political party leader, describing his accomplishments as a member of the Oregon legislature, his activities as chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, and his contacts with national leaders within the Democratic party. The interview ends with notes on Edmunson's family.