This oral history interview with Ralph B. Bennett was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Bennett's home in San Diego, California, on June 8, 1991. In this interview, Bennett discusses his family background. He talks about taking over The Optimist, a newspaper run by his father, Ralph B. Bennett, Sr., in The Dalles, Oregon. He talks about campaigning for public power and working with then-lawyer Gus Solomon, and how that led to him working for the Bonneville Power Administration. He then discusses his experience at Harvard University, including working on the student newspaper and his views about World War II before 1942. He also describes his political philosophy. He discusses working in public relations for the Bonneville Power Administration from 1946 to 1947, including people he worked with, his association with Woody Guthrie, and his work promoting public power. He also talks about leftist politics in Oregon. He describes living in Vanport, including running a newsletter and his experience during the 1948 flood. He briefly talks about working as a reporter for the Wenatchee Daily World in Ephrata, Washington, and his continued advocacy for public power. He then revisits the topics of working in public relations for the Bonneville Power Administration, living in Vanport, and his political philosophy. He closes the interview by talking more about Woody Guthrie.
Bennett, Ralph B. (Ralph Blackhurst), 1920-2002