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Honorable Betty Roberts Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Audio and Video

Campaigns

Clippings

Issues

Legal Career

Legal Organizations and Associations

Political Career

Presidential Campaigns

Speeches

Women in Law and Politics

Memoir and Memorials

Photographs

Oversized



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By Bryce R. Henry

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Collection Overview

Title: Honorable Betty Roberts Papers, 1966-2010Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1966-1986

ID: SC/2009.5

Primary Creator: Roberts, Betty Cantrell (1923-2011)

Extent: 7.25 Linear Feet

Languages: English

Abstract

The Betty Roberts papers are comprised primarily of paper records, photographs, sound recordings, and a videotape documenting Betty Roberts’ political and judicial careers (1965-1986).

This collection is arranged into 12 series: Audio and Video; Campaigns; Clippings; Issues; Legal Career; Legal Organizations and Associations; Photographs; Political Career; Presidential Campaigns; Speeches; Women in Law and Politics; and Oversized.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection is arranged into 12 series: Audio and Video; Campaigns; Clippings; Issues; Legal Career; Legal Organizations and Associations; Photographs; Political Career; Presidential Campaigns; Speeches; Women in Law and Politics; and Oversized.

The bulk of the material within this collection is comprised of paper records, photographs, sound recordings, and a videotape documenting Betty Roberts’ political and judicial careers (1965-1986). Additional material consists of Roberts’ various interests, activities, speeches, and awards from her public service career as well as after her resignation from the Oregon Supreme Court. The paper records consist of campaign materials and ephemera, correspondence, court books and case files, legislative session reports, media clippings, photographs, posters, publications, reports, studies, speeches and presentations.

There are often two sets of dates assigned to any given folder title. The first set of dates encompasses the material that the folder seeks to collect, while the second date reflects the inclusive dates (e.g., in the Abortion sub-series of the Issues series, there is the folder "1973 Benson v. Johnson, 1971-2009"). This two-date system is a result of Roberts' frequent updates of foldered material. The bulk of these updates are from newspaper/magazine clippings or email correspondence. When only the first date is present, the material in the folder or sub-series is all from that year.

Collection Historical Note

Betty Roberts was born in Arkansas City, Kansas on February 5, 1923. Her family relocated to Texas in the 1930s. She attended Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth for one year (1941-1942) before marrying Bill Rice in 1942.   After World War II, they moved to Oregon, where Bill became a banker and Roberts raised their four children.

In 1955, Roberts enrolled in evening classes at Eastern Oregon College in La Grande before the family relocated to Portland. She graduated from Portland State College in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.  Roberts earned her Master’s degree in political science in 1962 from the University of Oregon, and her Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College in 1966.

Between 1958 and 1967 she taught high school in the Portland area before taking a part-time job teaching business law and political science at Mt. Hood Community College from 1967 until 1976. In 1959 she divorced Rice, and in 1960 married Frank Roberts whom she divorced in 1965. In 1968 she married fellow Representative Keith D. Skelton, but opted to retain the Roberts last name. Together as Skelton & Roberts the couple held a law firm from 1967-1977.

In 1964 and again in 1966, she was elected as a Democrat to the Oregon House of Representatives. In 1968 and again in 1972, she was elected to the Oregon Senate and was the only woman serving in the state senate at that time. In 1974, she ran for governor of Oregon, but lost in the Democratic primary. That same year, following the death of Democratic nominee Wayne Morse, she was chosen to run for United States Senate against Bob Packwood, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Roberts remained in the Oregon Senate until her 1977 appointment to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

In 1977, Roberts was appointed to the Oregon Court of Appeals as the first woman to serve on the court. The next year she ran a successful election to keep her seat on the appeals court for the full six-year term. She resigned from the appeals court in 1982 after Governor Victor Atiyeh appointed her to the Oregon Supreme Court, where she was again the first woman on the court. She retired from the Oregon Supreme Court in 1986.

Since her retirement from the Supreme Court, Betty Roberts has acted as a Senior Judge handling mediations and arbitrations. From 1988-1991 she was a visting professor at Oregon State Universtiy as the Dubach Endowed Chair in Political Science. She has been awarded numerous professional, education, and civic awards and honoraria in recognition of her work. In March 2004, she presided over the first legal same-sex marriage in Oregon.

Biographical Note

Betty Roberts was born in Arkansas City, Kansas on February 5, 1923. Her family relocated to Texas, where Roberts was raised, in the 1930s. She attended Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth for one year in 1940 before marrying Bill Rice in 1942. They moved to Oregon after World War II where Bill became a banker and Roberts raised their four children.

In 1955, Roberts enrolled in evening classes at Eastern Oregon College in La Grande before the family relocated to Portland. She graduated from Portland State College in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.  Roberts earned her Master’s degree in political science in 1962 from the University of Oregon and then her Juris Doctorate from Northwest School of Law in 1966. Between 1958 and 1967 she taught high school in the Portland area before taking a job teaching business law and political science at Mt. Hood Community College from 1967 until 1978. In 1959 she divorced Rice, and in 1960 married Frank Roberts whom she stayed married to until 1965. In 1968 she married fellow Representative, Keith D. Skelton.

In 1964, and again in 1966, she was elected as a Democrat to the Oregon House of Representatives. In 1968, and again in 1972, she was elected to the Oregon Senate and was the only woman serving in the state senate at that time. In 1974 she ran for governor of Oregon, but lost in the Democratic primary. That same year she was chosen to run for Oregon United States Senate - following the death of Democratic nominee Wayne Morse - against Bob Packwood but was ultimately unsuccessful.

In 1977, Roberts was appointed to the Oregon Court of Appeals. The next year she ran a successful election to keep her seat on the appeals court for the full six-year term. She resigned from the appeals court in 1982 when Governor Victor Atiyeh appointed her to the Oregon Supreme Court where she became the first woman on the court. She retired from the Oregon Supreme Court in 1986.

During and since her retirement, Roberts has been awarded numerous awards and honorariums for her work. Since her retirement from the Oregon Supreme Court she has worked as a mediator and arbitrator in alternative dispute resolution. In March 2004, she presided over the first legal same-sex marriage in Oregon.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audio and Video, 1962-2009],
[Series 2: Campaigns, 1964-2008],
[Series 3: Clippings, 1941-2011],
[Series 4: Issues, 1905-2008],
[Series 5: Legal Career, 1977-2006],
[Series 6: Legal Organizations and Associations, 1998-2008],
[Series 7: Political Career, 1965-2009],
[Series 8: Presidential Campaigns, 1972-2008],
[Series 9: Speeches, 1971-1999],
[Series 10: Women in Law and Politics, 1971-2010],
[Series 11: Memoir and Memorials],
[Series 12: Photographs, 1966-2004],
[Series 13: Oversized, 1966-1985],
[All]

Series 1: Audio and Video, 1962-2009Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: Audio Tapes, 1962, 2004-2005Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Pledge of allegiance controversy at Lynch Elementary School Board meeting, 1962Add to your cart.
2 1/4 in. reel-to-reel tapes
Folder 2: "Oh What a Night", April 2004Add to your cart.

2 tapes

Oregon Historical Society program with Gretchen Kafoury, Vera Katz, Norma Paulus, Betty Roberts, and Melody Rose.

Folder 3: Women Trailblazers, 2005Add to your cart.

6 tapes

Betty Roberts oral history with Katherin O'Neil

Folder 4: Court of AppealsAdd to your cart.
3 cassettes Court of Appeals - Swearing in Ceremony, September 6, 1977
Folder 5: Supreme CourtAdd to your cart.
1 audio cassette, Supreme Court, swearing in ceremony, 1982.
Sub-Series 2: CDs and DVDs, 2008-2012Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Oregon State Capital Foundation - Betty Roberts Interview, 2009Add to your cart.
2 CDs
Folder 6: Betty Roberts - With Grit and by Grace: Breaking Trails in Politics and Law, A Memoir, 2008Add to your cart.

2 DVDs

Back Page no. 145. Produced at OSU Media Services

Folder 7: MemorialsAdd to your cart.
4 DVDs "Betty Roberts: A Celebration" July 28, 2011; "Memorial Tribute to The Honorable Betty Roberts" Oregon Judicial Department, February 16, 2012; Senate Floor Session, February 16, 2012 SCR 205; House Floor Session, February 27, 2012 SCR 205.
Folder 8: Tribute DocumentsAdd to your cart.

1 disc 98 page PDF "In Memoriam"

Salem Tribute Day February 16, 2012:

Court: 27 page trascription "Tribute to Betty Roberts Supreme Court Courtroom February 16, 2011" and 4 page PDF of program

House of Representative: 5 page PDF transcript of Oregon House Floor Sessions February 16, 2012

State Senate: 3 page PDF March 2012 - Senate Concurrent Resolution 205 and 9 page PDF transcript of Oregon Senate Floor February 16, 2012

Sub-Series 3: Transcripts, 1979-2007Add to your cart.
Folder 9: 1979-1999Add to your cart.

Oregon Historical Society interview with Linda Brody, 1981

Her Honor, Betty Roberts, Judge, Oregon Court of Appeals by Joy A. Mills, 1979

Oregon Woman Lawyers with Betty Roberts and Mercedes Diaz. Interview by Katherin O'Neil, 1999

Folder 10: Women Trailblazer in the Law Betty Roberts oral history, 2005-2007Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: VHS, 1995-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 11: KATU 2 News - Betty Roberts archive footage, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Oregon Women Lawyers: A Conversation with Betty Roberts and Mercedes Deiz, November 22, 1999Add to your cart.
2 cassettes
Folder 13: Oregon Women Lawyers Spring Conference, 1995Add to your cart.

Keynote speaker: Betty Roberts

held at Willamette University Law School


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audio and Video, 1962-2009],
[Series 2: Campaigns, 1964-2008],
[Series 3: Clippings, 1941-2011],
[Series 4: Issues, 1905-2008],
[Series 5: Legal Career, 1977-2006],
[Series 6: Legal Organizations and Associations, 1998-2008],
[Series 7: Political Career, 1965-2009],
[Series 8: Presidential Campaigns, 1972-2008],
[Series 9: Speeches, 1971-1999],
[Series 10: Women in Law and Politics, 1971-2010],
[Series 11: Memoir and Memorials],
[Series 12: Photographs, 1966-2004],
[Series 13: Oversized, 1966-1985],
[All]


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