- Combat between Iraqi Sunni and Shi'a religious groups leads to a civil war, the bombing of holy sites and displacing civilians into Pakistan.
- The UN declares Afghanistan to be a "failed state" because of Taliban violence. The International Security Assistance Force (including US, Canada, and many European nations), becomes more involved in intensive combat. The U.S. continues to suffer the majority of casualties.
- North Korea detonates its first nuclear device.
- In one of world's worst shipping disasters, an Egyptian ferry sinks in the Red Sea, drowning over 1,000 passengers.
- A US immigration change proposal, H.R. 4437, raising penalties on illegal immigrants and those who help them, causes mass protests. The bill fails to pass in Senate. Latinos begin political activism.
- Mexican president Felipe Calderon sends the military to combat the drug cartels, initiating the Mexican Drug War.
- The conviction of Lobbyist Abramoff leads to resignations in Congress.
- NASA's Stardust mission brings material from comet "Wild 2". Instead of dust, it was rocky grains. The European Space Agency's Venus Express enters that orbit.
- Academy Awards: "The Departed" (US), "The Lives of Others" (Germany). Prize-winning books: The Echo Maker, Richard Powers and March, Geraldine Brooks.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue into the third year as partisan struggles within each country and against the occupying military and aid workers have caused thousands of civilian and over 3,000 American deaths. Salem is the first community to memorialize local military losses with the Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial begun in 2005. The fountain, seen above, is completed by Memorial Day this year and is dedicated with a ceremony attended by Governor Kulongoski, state and military representatives, veterans, Gold Star families and hundreds of local citizens.
This memorial project was the goal of M. J. and Clay Kesterson whose son, Chief Warrant Officer Eric Kesterson, a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, died in Iraq. Planning and construction were made possible by the contributions of many business and veteran organizations, by private individuals, and by the state in providing the site location.
When you visit
The Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs is located at 700 Summer Street NE, north of Union Street. The lobby of the building houses an exhibit of Oregon military memorabilia that is well worth a visit. The park around the building has military memorials for the Spanish-American War, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, and recipients of the Oregon Medal of Honor. This site follows Mill Creek from Capitol to Summer Street and is a beautiful place for strolling or meditation in all seasons of the year.
- The most sensational event, at least downtown, was the August four-alarm fire at McMahon's Furniture Store at the southwest corner of State and Commercial Streets. The fire, discovered in the basement during the early morning hours, caused the employees to vacate and the fire department to respond in full force by 8 a.m. Two hours of firefighting were successful in extinguishing the flames, but fire crews remained at the site for several days to check for hot spots. The building, with a value of $5.5 million, was completely destroyed. There were minor injuries to fireman, but none to civilians. The flames drew many on-lookers during the fire and for days afterward. The site is still (2010) empty.
- On the same day, four pipe bombs are found in and around the city and some suspected a serial pipe bomber was at fault. First, a bomb was found attached to a car in the parking garage of Salem Hospital. Then one was located in the parking lot of a Roth's grocery store. Another was found attached to a car in a parking lot in Dallas, and another found alongside a Salem roadway. The Salem Police Bomb Squad detonated the bomb outside Roth's and rendered the rest of the devices safe. The culprit, who was trying to kill his ex-wife, was found and convicted.
- On the invitation of the City of Salem, SEDCOR and Boise, the Urban Land Institute sent ten experts in the fields of redevelopment, finance and environment to Salem to discuss with city officials, business leaders and involved residents the prospects for a Boise Cascade property redevelopment. The weeklong interviews and studies of site potential resulted in a report that was submitted in November.
- Jane Aiken is elected as Municipal Judge and assumes office in January 2007. Court sessions are open to the public and a current schedule is found here on the City of Salem website.
- The Mill Creek Meadows facility for disabled adults is built at 218-256 25th St. NE. This federally sponsored program, administered by the Salem-Keizer Community Development Corporation, is the first home environment that has been available to Salem residents in need of special housing because of physical challenges.
- The Salem Multicultural Institute moves its offices downtown and opens the World Beat Gallery at the Reed Opera House with an exhibit entitled Diversity in the Philippines. The gallery has since hosted other cultural exhibits, including Holidays Around the World, Black Voices from Salem’s Past, Scotland and Her People, Windows into China and a series about international marriage customs.
- Salem is selected for a Kroc Center to be administered by the Salvation Army. The location will be a 10.6-acre parcel in North Salem near Industrial Drive. The actual construction awaits $8 million in matching funds.
- 77 headstones are vandalized in historic Lee Mission Cemetery. No suspects are found, but many offers of support to repair the damage have been received, the largest from Willamette University. Fifty-three Methodist ministers are buried here. This cemetery is especially important to our city's history as many of the earliest missionary founders are buried here in the
Photograph of Diamond Circle used by courtesy of Elisabeth Walton Potter
- The Salem Film Festival began this year with 30 independent or foreign films showing at the Salem Cinema, Elsinore and grand theaters. Salem Cinema also was one of eight national theaters to present Oscar-qualifying documentaries.
- Jackson's Books, a landmark for nearly 30 years, closes as competition with big retailers is too difficult. The owner said goodbye to employees and customers on the last day with music, appetizers and soft drinks.