Robert W. Straub’s political career in the state of Oregon spanned over 25 years. He started in 1955 as a member of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, which he served until 1959. He was elected State Senator for Lane County for one term from 1960-1962. During this time, Straub became an enthusiastic proponent of natural resource management and conservation.
Straub was elected Oregon State Treasurer in 1964 and served two terms until 1972. During his tenure as state treasurer, Straub earned a reputation of being fiscally conservative. He was well known for his favorable stance on the Oregon Beach Bill, defining Oregon beaches as public domain, and the Willamette Greenway Plan, making the Willamette River accessible to the public while making the river as pollution free as possible. Both of these bills were considered to be landmark environmental packages. Straub was elected Democratic Governor of Oregon in 1975, which he served for one term until 1979.
This digital collection contains a selection of documents, photographs, and video recordings related to Oregon’s beaches from 1965-1979. Special areas of interest include the fight over the Nestucca sand spit, ballot petitions for keeping Oregon’s beaches publicly accessible, his work with the non-profit organization Beaches Forever, Inc., and materials related to Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to the Oregon coast before the Oregon Democratic Primary in 1968.
Digitization of the Straub Oregon Beaches Collection was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered by the Oregon State Library. This grant was awarded to Western Oregon University, Portland State University, Willamette University, and Pacific University in 2010 and completed in August 2012.
For more information about the Robert W. Straub collection at Western Oregon University Archives, please visit the finding aid in the Northwest Digital Archives.