In a public poll, "Exploding Whale Memorial Park" won a landslide victory over more picturesque names like "Dune View Park" and "Little Tree Park." On November 12, 1970, a dead beached whale in Oregon needed to be disposed of. In a poll to determine the new park’s name, “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” garnered 439 … She covers local and non-local music in Portland, and writes for Baltimore City Paper whenever she's visiting her hometown. Park amenities include a shelter with picnic tables and a nice grassy area to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day. This whale memorial is total blast. 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 — where authorities used half a ton of dynamite to blow up a beached whale. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The need for strong, independent local journalism is more urgent than ever. PORTLAND NEEDS WILLAMETTE WEEK. A small coastal town... Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Earlier this year, the people of Florence were asked to name the city’s newest riverfront park, and they chose to memorialize that day of blasted blubber by dubbing it Exploding Whale Memorial Park. "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. Please support the city we loveby joining Friends of Willamette Week. WW NEEDS YOU. The coastal city of Florence has announced a name for its newest park, which references a literal blast from the past. The idea was that the rotting whale would be nearly disintegrated by the blast, and that any smaller pieces left over would be taken care of by seagulls or other scavengers. PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you’re in Florence, Oregon anytime soon, you might want to stop to visit the Exploding Whale Memorial Park. This story has been shared 69,796 times. It includes Linnman’s iconic closing line: “It might be concluded that should a whale ever wash ashore in Lane County again, those in charge will not only remember what to do, they’ll certainly remember what not to do.”. Photo courtesy city of Florence. “To have it live as a story still on the internet after 50 years is just amazing,” Brazil said. The peculiar name commemorates a historic event. Oregon Coast's Exploding Whale 50th Celebrated in Florence, Online . 69,796, This story has been shared 62,897 times. Flo the Whale stands by the newly named Exploding Whale Memorial Park sign. 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. 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Florence, Oregon's newest park is named after an actual event that happened there in 1970. For the uninitiated: Nearly 50 years ago, a gigantic, dead whale washed up onto a Pacific Northwest shore and really stunk up the joint. 62,897, This story has been shared 45,310 times. Here’s What Happened. 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. On Nov. 9, 1970, a 45-foot sperm whale had washed up on the beach near Florence, but as KATU reporter Paul Linnman noted at the time, it later became "a stinking whale of a problem. " For the anniversary, the Oregon Historical Society released a remastered version of the 16mm print original, which has been under the museum’s care since the 1980s, according to the Willamette Week. Nearly 50 years ago, a whale beached itself on the shores near Florence, Oregon. Alternately, … Recently named the "Exploding Whale Memorial Park," the new park provides views of the Siuslaw River and Bridge as well as the iconic sand dunes on the South side of the river. FLORENCE, Ore. – Welcome to the newest park on the Oregon coast – Exploding Whale Memorial Park! It did not go as planned. The city of Florence recently unveiled the “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” on the north side of the Siuslaw River. “All of a sudden, we realized blubber is coming down … There was that momentary ‘Oh … This stuff is landing.’ And it could have hit us,” Linnman recalled. The Oregon Highway Division had decided the best way to remove the dead 8-ton sperm whale that had washed ashore was to stuff it with 24 cases of dynamite and blow it up. “I was asked about it virtually every day of my life, or commented on it, by everybody, strangers alike,” Paul Linnman told KATU-TV in Portland. “The humor of the situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival.”, According to the Oregon Historical Society, Paul Linnman said in an on-the-scene news broadcast. The park is named in honor of the 1970 explosion of a rotting sperm whale on the Oregon Coast just outside of the city's limits. Will Oregon Decriminalizing Drug Possession Make Street Drugs Cheaper? 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 Transport… Privacy Notice In November 1970, the Oregon Highway Division attempted to dispose of a rotting sperm whale that had washed up out of the Pacific onto a beach in Florence by blowing it up with dynamite. An outdoor recreation site along the Siuslaw River is now named Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Officials were flummoxed — how do you bury an 8-ton titan? In November 1970, an 8-ton, dead and decaying sperm whale washed up on a Florence beach. In a time when people are questioning the names behind public spaces, the city of Florence has announced the name for its newest park. You’ll be pleased as punch to know you can now visit Florence, Oregon’s Exploding Whale Memorial Park. Oregon State, meanwhile, has since implemented a policy to bury carcasses that can’t be easily removed. November 12, 2020 | 10:35pm | Updated November 13, 2020 | 9:27am. 45,310, © 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved 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. Actual explosives have also been used to assist in disposing of whale carcasses, ordinarily after towing the carcass out to sea. Do Not Sell My Personal Information. You may have heard about the exploding dead whale of Florence, Oregon. ", The blubber bits were so big, one managed to smash a car, and the scattered remains still had to be buried. Nov. 12, 1970 is an auspicious day in Oregon history. However, the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 continues to makethis a very challenging time. Clearly, the residents of Florence have a sense of humor and pride about the debacle. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on…”Exploding Whale Park.” Exploding Whale Correspondent: "I Got Over That' It was too big to simply bury and posed a public health risk. In July 2020 — half a century after the explosion — Florence residents voted to dedicate a park to the incident. Sitemap Experts determined the best method would be to blow it up using dynamite. We've received your submission. 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: It’s a whale of a tale. Thanks for contacting us. There have been several cases of whale carcasses bursting due to a buildup of gas in the decomposition process. The Oregon Department of Transportation used 20 cases of dynamite to … 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 —… In fact, the event became the city’s claim to fame, and Florence in June christened a riverfront park “Exploding Whale Memorial Park” to … Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights The City of Florence hosted the Siuslaw River Beach Access Park grand opening on May 14, 2019. 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. Megan Messmer / City of Florence Tech & Science Oregon Youtube Florence Footage of a 45-foot sperm whale being blown up with dynamite on an Oregon beach has been remastered and re-released 50 years after the event took place. On Nov. 12, 1970, Linnman and his cameraman Doug Brazil were just 23 when they were assigned to capture the blubber blast on a beach in Florence, Ore. Published 11/05/20 at 4:45 AM PDT By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff More information on the park can be found here. The mascot for Exploding Whale Memorial Park is shown in Florence, Ore., in June 2020. Built in 2019, the park oversees scenic views of the Siuslaw River … An Oregon town has named a park after a whale that the state blew up 50 years ago. Residents of Florence voted on the name last year, and anointed the park with a new sign yesterday, the Siuslaw News first reported. I Tried Microdosing With Four Different Psychedelic Drugs. Its carcass was "dealt with" with dynamite by city officials, causing the blubber to fly! 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.". Or in the words of Linnman: "The remaining chunks were of a size that no respectable seagull would attempt to tackle.". Terms of Use "Huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere." Your California Privacy Rights As Linnman’s deadpan segment covered, chunks of the sea creature flew in the air like shrapnel, sending screaming onlookers running and even flattening a car. Florence has a new park and it’s named after one of Oregon’s greatest triumphs -- welcome to Exploding Whale Memorial Park. In 1970, a deceased 45 foot, eight ton whale washed ashore near Florence. It has bike racks, picnic tables, kayak access and views of the Siuslaw Dunes. The story is legendary. 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The Register-Guard wrote of "a 100-foot-high column of sand and whale," and that "chunks of the animal flew in every direction, and spectators began to scream and run for cover when they glimpsed large pieces soaring directly overhead. This riverfront park provides access to the Siuslaw River in Historic Old Town Florence. Bud Pierce Declares His Candidacy. In his alliterative voice-over of the clip, Linnman quipped that “land-lubber newsmen” became “land-blubber newsmen … for the blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.”. A beauty spot in Oregon has been named 'Exploding Whale Memorial Park' after the infamous exploding whale incident of … Locally, the City of Florence included on its recent Nov. 2 agenda the issuance of a proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of the “Exploding Whale” incident and, last June, officially designated Florence’s newest park — a small pocket park with beach access from Rhododendron Drive — as “Exploding Whale Memorial Park… The whale explosion footage gained national fame in the 1990s, and received renewed attention on YouTube, becoming a viral hit. The community also created a mascot for the exploding whale's 50th anniversary: an adorable, totally intact whale named Flo. Exploding Whale Park had simply been undeveloped land owned by … Its carcass was `` dealt with '' with dynamite by city officials, causing the blubber to!... Side of the Siuslaw River is now open to the incident anniversary: an adorable, totally intact named! 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