"Huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere." This Thursday (Nov. 12) marks the golden anniversary of one of the oddest incidents in Oregon history: the explosion of a dead whale in Florence. However, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very challenging time. Exploding Whale Memorial Park. The event has been local lore for years so this year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the event, the city named a park “Exploding Whale Memorial Park.” You can see the news report on You Tube by looking for “exploding whale Oregon.” -0-Here’s a joke a high school buddy sent me: Named by residents to memorialize the notorious "exploding whale" incident that took place on the Oregon Coast in the 70s, this beautiful wayside park offers sandy beach and views of the Siuslaw River Bridge. ", The blubber bits were so big, one managed to smash a car, and the scattered remains still had to be buried. Clearly, the residents of Florence have a sense of humor and pride about what's been dubbed a "fateful day in 1970 that changed the world forever" by TheExplodingWhale.com, an entire website dedicated to the event. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you’re in Florence, Oregon anytime soon, you might want to stop to visit the Exploding Whale Memorial Park. according to the City of Florence’s website. The need for strong, independent local journalism is more urgent than ever. A widely reported case of an exploding whale occurred in Florence, Oregon, in November 1970, when the Oregon Highway Division (now the Oregon Department of Transportation) blew up a decaying sperm whale with dynamite in an attempt to dispose of its rotting carcass. Well, a Florence brewery just debuted their latest brew: Exploding Whale Ale. More information on the park can be found here. Exploding Whale Memorial Park is nestled on the banks of the Siuslaw River, and has a nice walking path and put-in access for canoes and kayaks. It’s a whale of a tale. Florence has a new park and it’s named after one of Oregon’s greatest triumphs -- welcome to Exploding Whale Memorial Park. See Wacky Oregon Coast History: Nov. 12 is Happy Exploding Whale Day, New Facts The decade anniversaries have been fervently noted and celebrated, starting with the twentieth back in 1990. Bud Pierce Declares His Candidacy, Some Oregon Republicans Are Reluctant to Reveal Their Thanksgiving Dinner Plans. That is the name of the new park that opened in Florence, Oregon, this week, the city’s website says. In fact, the event became the city’s claim to fame, and Florence in June christened a riverfront park “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” to mark the 50th anniversary. What do you do with the carcass of a 45-foot, 8-ton whale on the beach? Published 06/15/2020 at 6:24 PM PDT By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff Nov. 12, 1970 is an auspicious day in Oregon … Thar She Blows (Again)! What was this incident? In July 2020 — half a century after the explosion — Florence residents voted to dedicate a park to the incident. The name w According to KATU, the city sought input from community members through a “Name the Park” contest and “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” was the winner. Florence, Oregon is remembering what happened in 1970. Park amenities include a shelter with picnic tables and a nice grassy area to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day. Nov. 12, 1970 is an auspicious day in Oregon history. “We asked the community for name suggestions, narrowed those 120-plus names down to nine, and had the community vote on them,” said Florence city project manager Megan Messmer. The mascot for Exploding Whale Memorial Park is shown in Florence, Ore., in June 2020. Officials were flummoxed — how do you bury an 8-ton titan? Subscribe to OregonLive. As for how to celebrate? The journalist who covered the story is still talking about it 50 years later. Two of Oregon's most infamous characters were born on the same day, Nov. 12, 1970. Today, when whale carcasses wash up on Oregon coast beaches, they’re immediately buried. Exploding Whale Memorial Park in Oregon commemorates a gory 1970 attempt to remove a whale carcass and is now open to the public. FLORENCE, Ore. – Welcome to the newest park on the Oregon coast – Exploding Whale Memorial Park! All rights reserved (About Us). Yes, There Is Now an Exploding Whale Park in Florence, Oregon Coast. A new park in Oregon has been given a rather odd moniker in honor of its home city's rather bizarre claim to fame. On the 50th anniversary of the “Florence whale explosion” Thursday, a former Oregon TV newsman recalled what it was like to cover the infamous event —… 503-221-8052, lacker@oregonian.com, @lizzzyacker. Jun 17, 2020. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. Last year, Florence residents voted from among nine options to name a new park on the Siuslaw River as Exploding Whale Memorial Park. A small coastal town in Oregon has named a park after a massive rotting sperm whale that officials were forced to blow up in 1970 — one of the state’s goriest and most peculiar pieces of … "The humor of the situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival," KATU reporter Paul Linnman said in an on-the-scene news broadcast. The Oregon Department of Transportation used 20 cases of dynamite to blow it up. Portland, OR – On November 12, 1970, KATU reporter Paul Linnman described “a stinking whale of a problem” on the coast near Florence, Oregon. According to the Oregon Historical Society, "In addition to the stench and the possibility that the body would burst, local officials were concerned that people curious about the carcass might climb on it and fall in.". City of Florence/Facebook The infamous sperm whale was already dead when it … Oregon, of course, would never be the same. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Tonya Harding and the legend of the exploding whale were both born on this day in Oregon. It’s one of those real-life stories that just sounds too strange to be real. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. The most absurd and gory piece of Oregon history has been commemorated by the residents of Florence, Ore.: An outdoor recreation site along the Siuslaw River is now named Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Oregon State, meanwhile, has since implemented a policy to bury carcasses that can’t be easily removed. In November 1970, an 8-ton, dead and decaying sperm whale washed up on a Florence beach. So to prevent carcass climbers, and thinking it would be easier to dispose of the sea mammal if it was in smaller pieces, state officials decided to blow it up using dynamite. (Florence, Oregon) – What is likely Oregon’s most notoriously amusing moment in history turns 50 years old next week: the incident known as “the Exploding Whale.” The central Oregon coast town of Florence has increasingly played along with the joke over the decades, then playing it up, and now it’s a firm part of its tourism appeal.

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