- Barack Obama wins the US presidency with 53% of popular vote.
- In the national economic collapse, the Federal Reserve props up banks, automakers & mortgage agencies. The "Great Recession" begins.
- An earthquake strikes Sichuan, China killing at least 87,000 people. In August the Summer Olympics in held in Beijing.
- Israel invades the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired by Hamas.
- The story of a Mumbai teenager who wins a fortune,"Slumdog Millionaire", wins the Academy Award (2009). The National Book Award: Shadow Country, Peter Matthiessen (fiction)
When you visit
Perhaps you have also driven east on Pine Street, or along Portland Road, during the last few years, wondering what the new highway configurations, landscaping and construction would produce. We may expect that even more improvements are on the way for the old Hollywood business district. The senior center relocation, Center 50+ and the new businesses (we wish them well!), the KROC Center and this Hollywood Station have all brought welcome new enterprise to the area of North Gateway, truly the historic entrance to our city. The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board is an avenue by which residents can provide input to present and future projects in this part of our city.
- As new structures rise in Salem this year, old ones are threatened. In January, the Oregon State Hospital had been issued a report from the US Department of Justice siting violations of patient safety, supervision and treatment failures. The hospital sponsored tours through the unused, historic buildings as plans for a $458 million renovation and reconstruction are being formulated. Local historic preservationists, lead by Hazel Patton, submit a successful, whole-campus nomination for National Register to protect the most valuable parts of the institution, particularly the "J" Building. The Historic Landmarks Commission hears evidence that many buildings most be demolished.
|Justice Ginsburg cuts the ribbon opening the Oregon Civil Justice Center|
- The Carnegie Library on State Street, for 60 years our Salem Public Library, is rededicated as the Oregon Civil Justice Center of Willamette University. The ceremony includes a ribbon cutting by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court.
- With the retirement of Bob Wells, Linda Norris becomes Interim City Manager: she is officially appointed City Manager in June. Sean O'Day became Interim Deputy City Manager in February and was officially appointed to that position in October.
- John Ritter, a local historian and former professor, serves this year as a historian for the Oregon Corrections Enterprises. He produces an Exhibit Guide outlining the 150 years of inmate work programs as displayed in the interpretive museum at 3691 State Street. Exhibit artifacts and background photographs on the wall outline the various programs that have been active in this time span. As the brochure explains: the exhibit begins when the State Penitentiary had its start as the Territorial Prison in Oregon City as a small brick structure and moved to Portland in 1854 where inmates were used to grade streets, crush rock and log trees. In 1866 the Oregon State Prison was moved to Salem and remains here. Over 24 artifacts, actual products made at the Salem institution, are displayed in the exhibit, including the infamous Oregon Boot, a devise worn by inmates when outside to keep them from "wandering away". Other exhibits illustrate today's work programs. For times when the exhibit is open to visitors, call 503 378 2449 or 503 378 2677.
- The new YWCA facility is opened in the Broadway Plaza, a TELOS construction on the northwest corner of the Market and Broadway streets intersection. (This YWCA facility closed in 2014)
- Delta ends flights from McNary Field after less then a year of service. However, Salem is moving forward with plans to expand the terminal and lengthen the runway. Lottery dollars will help pay the $4.75 million improvements.
- Barack Obama has a town hall meeting at the Armory during his campaign for president: Bill Clinton speaks at Chemeketa Community College less than a week later, and returned twice more, on behalf of his wife's campaign. Hillary Clinton answers the phone in her Reed Opera House campaign headquarters: Senator Obama visits the Iris Fair in Keizer.
- The red-light camera system goes into effect at two of the city's most dangerous intersections: Mission at 25th street and Commercial at Marion Street. If a car passes over the sensor after the light has turned red, a video is taken to record the vehicle's license-plate number. That information is forwarded to the police.
- Fire guts the governor's ceremonial office in the Capitol and damages the building. This brought back memories of the two previous fires that destroyed our Capitols in 1857 and 1935.