America in the 1970s: The Pacific Northwest

Day 5 of Documerica Week on In Focus, featuring regions of the U.S. covered by the photographers of the Documerica Project in the early 1970s. In our final photo essay, we visit the northwestern states of Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, during a heightened energy crisis that left gas pumps empty and frustrated businesses and residents. Construction of the massive Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline was about to take place, and Spokane, Washington was preparing for its debut on the world stage, building the site of Expo '74, the first environmentally themed world's fair. The Documerica Project was put together by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1971, with a primary goal of documenting adverse effects of modern life on the environment, but photographers were also encouraged to record the daily life of ordinary people, capturing a broad snapshot of America. Be sure to see the whole series: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • AP

    A Wild Elephant Runs Loose in an Indian City

    A wild elephant wandered into the streets and alleys of Siliguri, India, on February 10, leaving behind a trail of startled residents, damaged structures, trampled cars, and smashed motorbikes.

  • Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty

    Carnival 2016 Around the World

    Recent images of carnivals around the world, including images from Spain, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Bolivia, and more.

  • Joseph Eid / AFP / Getty

    Newlyweds in the Ruins: A Syrian Wedding Photo Shoot

    In Homs, Syria, where entire city blocks have been reduced to rubble by years of civil war, a Syrian wedding photographer thought of using the destruction of the city as a backdrop for pictures of newlywed couples to show that life is stronger than death.

  • Brittany Greeson / The Ground Truth Project

    'We Fear the Water'

    Photographs of life in Flint, Michigan, where lead, copper, and bacteria have been contaminating the drinking supply

Join the Discussion