This week we are allowing all our Bridgeliner readers to have a glance into the trivia fun our members normally get. There’s a lot of Portland/Oregon trivia out there, but we try to go in really deep to see if You Can Answer This Question!
What was Portland’s Operation Green Light and how did it influence the nation?
On Sept. 27, 1955, the city showed off its shiny new civil defense program with Operation Green Light. The goal: Evacuate 1,000 city blocks as fast as possible. Portland’s answer was green lights. When the sirens sounded, thousands of people left work and homes downtown. Cars followed a new traffic pattern set up by Civil Defense officials with green lights lining the exit routes. In less than an hour, more than 100,000 people evacuated. The Oregon Historical Society calls it the largest evacuation in the nation at that time. The drill was so successful it inspired CBS film crews to recreate the evacuation in “The Day Called ‘X’,” a fictional documentary using Portland as the location. Portland was a poster child for civil preparedness.
Photo credit: Eduard Delputte