Maurine and her husband, Richard, in Washington, D.C. in 1957
The Neubergers gained notice in 1951 as the first married couple in U.S. history to serve together in a legislature, he in the Oregon Senate and she in the House. When her husband was elected to the United States Senate, Maurine was again by his side working in his office and championing his causes, many of them environmental. One lasting mark he left as a Senator was the creation of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on the Pacific Coast of Oregon. He initially introduced a bill for its creation in 1959. After being defeated 12 years in a row, the bill was finally signed into law in 1972. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is located on the Oregon Coast, stretching approximately 40 miles north from the Coos River in North Bend, to the Siuslaw River, in Florence. The dunes are a unique area of windswept sand that is the result of millions of years of wind, sun, and rain erosion on the coast. These are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. Some dunes tower up to 150 meters above sea level.
In 1986, in a newspaper interview, Maurine said she always "kept a finger in politics. During every election I do something, although it may be just campaigning for a candidate for state representative or something like that." At that time, she was working with senators to save the Columbia River gorge. "We're fighting with developers on the Washington side," she said.
Maurine Neuberger was a savvy legislator who understood the importance of conservation and preserving the natural world for future generations. She was truly a pioneer for the environment who would not back down. "I make a fight for my beliefs and I listen to advice, but I will not be unduly swayed," she said. At Pink Goes Green, we're so glad she did just that for the good of the environment. Thank you, Maurine!
Sources: Harvard Square Library, Wikipedia: Maurine Brown Neuberger, Wikipedia: Richard L. Neuberger, The LAMP of Delta Zeta, Issues March, 1951; Autumn, 1960; Winter 1960-61.