A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 16, 2012
Little Beirut (Portland nickname)

When President George H. W. Bush visited Portland in May 1990, 25 people were arrested after a four-hour confrontation with police. When President Bush visited Portland again in September 1991, 400 protesters showed up.

A Bush staffer (it’s not known who) called the city “little Beirut,” after the violence-torn city of Beirut, Lebanon. “Little Beirut” has been cited in print since at least September 1991 and “Beirut” since January 1992. The nickname is still recalled; an August 2003 Associated Press story was titled “‘Little Beirut’ nickname has stuck.”


Wikipedia: Nicknames of Portland, Oregon
Little Beirut
Staffers of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush used to refer to Portland as Little Beirut because of the protesters he encountered during his visits.

Google News Archive
14 September 1991, The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), “Officials: Videotape not threat” by The Associated Press, pg. 5B, col. 1:
“Apparently the man on the tube doesn’t want to come to Portland, Apparently the man in the tube has called Portland ‘little Beirut,’” he (video producer Paul Richmond—ed.) said.
(...)
When Bush last visited Portland in May 1990, 25 people were arrested during a four-hour confrontation with police.

Google News Archive
7 January 1992, The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), “Bills chill free speech” (editorial), pg. 8A, col. 1:
Portland is called Beirut by people in the White House because of the large demonstrations that have greeted recent presidents on visits to Oregon. The city live up to its nickname last September when President Bush’s presence at a fund raiser for Sen. Bob Packwood attracted 400 protesters.

Google Books
The Facts of Life in Portland, Oregon
By Elaine S. Friedman
Portland, OR: Portland Possibilities
1993
Pg. 20:
(Unfortunately, as the nickname Little Beirut implies, Portlanders are not always so well-behaved during demonstrations.)

OCLC WorldCat record
Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan Stony Man: Stinger
By Don Pendleton
New York, NY: Worldwide
1995
Pg. ?:
Every time a Republican President visited Portland, the riot police had to be called out to contain the rock- and egg-throwing protesters. In fact, President Bush’s security team had nicknamed Portland Little Beirut and brought extra personnel whenever he visited.

Free Republic
‘Little Beirut’ nickname has stuck
Oregonlive.com ^ | 8/18/2003, 5:41 p.m. PT | By WILLIAM McCALL The Associated Press
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 5:26:47 PM by bicycle thug
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The nickname “Little Beirut” has stuck to Portland since it was first coined by the staff of former President Bush after violent protests during his visits to Oregon in the early 1990s, and the reputation remains strong as his son prepares to return more than a decade later.

Political activists and police are already planning tactics for confronting each other at demonstrations expected during the scheduled visit by President Bush on Thursday to attend a $2,000 per plate re-election campaign fund-raiser.

But activists say it is time to live down the “Little Beirut” reputation that compared Portland to the troubled Middle Eastern city, and focus instead on the issues they feel Bush has avoided — protecting the environment, raising wages for workers, protecting civil rights and the aftermath of the war with Iraq.

For the record, former Oregon Republican Party Chairman Craig Berkman said he first heard the nickname “Little Beirut” from the staff of former President Bush.

It had become a local legend that the elder Bush had coined the phrase, but he told an Associated Press reporter during an October 2000 campaign visit for his son that he did not make up the nickname himself.

Portland (OR) Tribune
’Little Beirut’ fades as city gets crafty
Donors, protesters never meet during Cheney fund-raiser

By Don Hamilton And Janine Robben
The Portland Tribune, Jan 16, 2004, Updated Oct 30, 2009
After years of practice battling protesters, Oregon Republicans think they’ve finally figured out how to get their VIPs in and out of Portland with a minimum of fuss.

This week’s fund-raising visit from Vice President Dick Cheney involved tactics in dealing with protesters that the party has refined in the last two years.

Posted by Barry Popik
Oregon (Beaver State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, June 16, 2012 • Permalink