Oklahoma is situated in the south central part of USA. The approximate population of this state is 3,751,351, which makes it the 28th most populated state in the country. It is also the 20th biggest state in terms of size.
Location and Geography : Oklahoma is often considered to be a Southern state, but it lies in the confluence of several cultural and geographic regions (the South, the Southwest, and the Midwest/Plains States). It is known for its extreme weather and is particularly vulnerable to thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Counties and Regions : Oklahoma is divided into 77 counties. In addition to this, 39 Native American tribal governments oversee their own parcels of land and citizens. The basic geographical regions of Oklahoma are as follows:
Little Dixie (southeast region)
Panhandle (northwest region)
South Central Oklahoma
Population : Oklahoma is home to more than 3.7 million people, almost 60% of which live in or near its major cities. It has one of the highest numbers of Native Americans of any state, with nearly 400,000 living there.
Major Cities : The capital and largest city is Oklahoma city, which has over 1.3 million people living in its greater metropolitan area. The next-largest city, Tulsa, is growing rapidly and will most likely have one million residents living in its metropolitan area in the near future.
Story Behind the Name : The name “Oklahoma” is an adaptation of okla and humma, a Chocktaw phrase meaning “red people.” They named it such in the hope that it could one day be a Native American state.
History and Colonization : The land that now forms present-day Oklahoma was first explored by the Spanish in the sixteenth century and claimed by the French in the seventeenth century, but there was very little development of it until the nineteenth century. The United States gained control of the territory through the Louisiana Purchase, but it would remain unincorporated for many decades. White settlers and former slaves trickled into the state over time, slowly setting up towns and cities.
To this day, Oklahoma is known for its large Native American population. The tribes that had lived there for centuries were joined by other natives from countless places in the United States, as the area had officially been
set aside by the government for natives that were forcibly removed from their lands elsewhere in the country. During the nineteenth century, what was called the Indian Territory was gradually whittled down in size until it comprised only the eastern half of present-day Oklahoma. There were ambitions to create an American Indian state called Sequoyah, but the U.S. government denied this request. Instead, Indian Territory was merged with the rest of Oklahoma Territory to form the current state.
Oklahoma was quickly settled due to its rich natural resources and its abundance of farmland, but years of harsh farming practices took their toll. A drought in the 1930s combined with high winds to create the Dust Bowl, a scourge of sandstorms that struck many U.S. states but was particularly damaging to Oklahoma. Many Oklahomans (called “Okies” in common parlance) left for destinations such as California, significantly reducing the state’s population. This loss would later be regained over the next several decades.
Today, Oklahoma is known as an agricultural and conservative state, although this belies its diversity of topography and population. It has more American Indian tribes living in it than any other state (greater than 50 native tongues are spoken in Oklahoma), as well as very old communities of black former slaves. Oklahoma has found economic success in the traditional industries of farming and ranching, in addition to producing much of the nation’s crude oil and natural gas.
More Oklahoma Facts & Trivia
1.On 25th July 2000 the then Governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating proclaimed plans to build a dome on the capital building of the state.
2.The sole archaeological park of Oklahoma is Spiro Mounds. It is spread over a 140 acre area and has 12 southern mounds that have proof of a Native American culture that lived at the site from 850 AD to 1450 AD. The Mounds are regarded as one of the most critical primitive Indian locations in the eastern part of Rocky Mountains.
3.The first ever parking meter was installed on 16th July 1935 in Oklahoma City. Carl C Magee from the same city is thought of as the originator of the parking meter. He had applied for a patent on 13th May 1935 for a parking meter that was to be controlled by coins.
4.Garth Brooks was brought up at Yukon but was born in Tulsa.
5.Founded in 1871 Vinita is the oldest among the incorporated towns located on Route 66 in Oklahoma. It was originally called Downingville. It was also the first town to have received electricity. Its name was changed later on to honor Vinnie Ram, the creator of Abraham Lincoln's life size statue at United States Capitol.
6.WKY Radio is the first radio station to have broadcast from the western banks of Mississippi.
7.During a tornado at Ponca City a man was lifted from the ground along with his wife. They were at their house when the incident happened. The roof and walls of the house were blown away. The floor, however, stayed firm and came down gradually. This helped the couple to land back safely on the ground.
8.The Centennial Plaza in Ponca City has a backdrop of a building from the times of revival of the Spanish colonial forces. The building was dedicated when the 100th anniversary of the Land Run of 1893 was celebrated. The Plaza has the Centennial Monument that was created by Jo Saylors and is bordered by 7000 bricks that have been named. It also has EW Marland's statue, Fire Station number one, a fountain that serves as a war memorial and a city hall.
9.The Amateur Softball Association of America was set up in 1933. It was a non profit body where volunteers played a major role. It is based in Oklahoma and since its inception has become one of the strongest softball set ups in USA.
10.The state motto of Oklahoma is Labor Omnia Vincit. When translated into English it means labor conquers every thing.
11.Bill Bennett, a local sculptor from Perry, has carved a statue named Hopes and Dreams. The statue is located in the downtown area. It has been placed on a huge granite pedestal and is a top Cherokee Strip Centennial memorial.
12.A famous woman outlaw named Belle Starr has been cremated in a remote grave that lies in southwestern Porum close to Eufaula Dam.
13.The oldest park in Oklahoma is Turner Falls Park and it is located in Davis. It is also the biggest waterfall in the state. The Honey Creek, which is created by several springs from the famous Arbuckle Mountains, flows down a 70 feet height and falls to form a natural swimming pool.
14.The University of Central Oklahoma was originally named Normal School. It is the state's original public school and was meant for public education. It started off as a teacher's college and has now become a top educational institution in this part of the USA.
15.There is a functional oil well that is located on capitol grounds in Oklahoma that have been named Capitol Site No. 1.
16.Almost 20,000 fire starters and lighters are on display at National Lighter Museum in Gurhrie. It is the only museum of this kind in USA.
17.The only proper Indian city in USA is located in Anadarko. It is situated at the Wishita River Valley in the southwestern part of the state.
18.Quachitas, Wichitas, Arbuckles and Kiamichis are the various mountain ranges in Oklahoma.
19.On The Chisholm Trail is a cattle drive's life size statue. It was set up in 1998 in Duncan as a monument for paying tribute to the American cowboys.
20.Foress B Lillie took part in the land run held in 1889. He established a tent for business purposes even as the shots were fired. Lillie's Drug was the original drug store to have been set up in Guthrie. He was given the first license certificate after he was enlisted as a working pharmacist by the newly formed Oklahoma state.
21.The major artillery fort of USA is located at Fort Sill. It was founded by Phillip H. Sheridan, William T. Sherman and George A. Custer.
22.The famous 1996 film Twister is set in Oklahoma.
23.Will Rogers was born in 1879 at a big ranch in Cherokee nation close to Oologah, Oklahoma. He soon became a national figure and starred in many Broadway productions. He also appeared in 71 movies during the 1920s and 30s. He later became a famous broadcaster and has written over 4000 columns that were published in many newspapers.
24.Oklahoma is bordered by Texas in west and south, Kansas in north, Missouri and Arkansas in east and New Mexico and Colorado in northwest.
25.There is a life size statue of Thomas P Stafford in Weatherford. He was a famous astronaut.
26.Billed as the entrance to southeastern Oklahoma, Antlers is also known as the global deer capital.
27.During the Second World War Boise City in Oklahoma was the only American city to have been bombed. A B-17 Bomber dropped 6 bombs for practice on the town on 5th July 1943 at almost 12:30 am. The Bomber was based at Dalhart Army Air Base, which lies to Boise City's south and is 50 miles away.
28.On 25th March 1948 evening Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma was ripped apart by a tornado that caused a lot of damage. A few people were injured but no one lost their lives. A couple of hours before the tornado Air Force Major Ernest J Fawbush and Robert C Miller had forecast correctly that atmospheric conditions were suitable for tornadoes in the area. This first ever tornado forecast proved to be crucial in safeguarding military resources and public in USA from dangers caused by natural disasters.
29.In Oklahoma Choctaw is the oldest licensed town. It gained its status in 1893.
30.Kingfisher is marked by a slogan - "Buckle of the wheat belt". It has the biggest market for wheat in USA.
31.Okmulgee holds the world record for the biggest pecan pie, pecan brownie, pecan cookie, and largest cookie and ice cream party. It also holds the Pecan Festival every year.
32.Oklahoma and Indiana are the two American states whose capitals include the name of the state as well.
33.Oklahoma City is home to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
34.The YIELD sign was created by Clinton Riggs and used for the first time in Tulsa on a trial basis.
35.Beaver claims that it is the global cow chip throwing capital. It also houses the yearly World Championship Cow Chip Throw every April.
36.The official wildflower of Oklahoma is Indian Blanket. It is a red flower that has yellow tips. It stands for the beauty and splendor of the state and its rich Native American legacy. The flower blossoms during the months of June and July.
37.The original shopping cart was discovered by Sylvan Goldman. He was from Oklahoma.
38.In USA Oklahoma has the most man made lakes. All these lakes cover a million acres of area.
39.Jenks is famous for being the antique capital of Oklahoma. It also has a finest range of antique stores, crafters malls, gift shops, museums, galleries and collectible retailers in Oklahoma.
40.Oklahoma gets its nickname from the Sooners.
41.Guthrie was the first capital of Oklahoma but it was later shifted to Oklahoma City after a popular vote.
42.The state bird of Oklahoma is Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher. It is a calm bird and has lovely feathers. It has a smooth and long tail that is twice bigger than its whole body. The tail also looks like scissors.
43.Oklahoma was originally an Indian territory but it was later opened for settlers during a land rush that took place in 1889. Prospective settlers were permitted to enter the territory and claim plots by taking hold of the stakes that marked the plots. A couple of settlers went in to claim land before the process had started officially. These people later came to be known as Sooners.
44.In USA Oklahoma has the biggest population of Native Americans. There are almost 250,000 Indian Americans living in the state and most of them are descendants of the 67 tribes who used to live in the Indian Territory. 39 tribes have their headquarters in the state.
45.Cherokee Nation's tribal capital is in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
46.Oklahoma City National Memorial pays tribute to victims, rescuers and survivors of the bombing that took place on 19th April 1995.
47.Pensacola Dam was erected in 1940 and is situated between Disney and Langley on the southern coasts of the Grand Lake O the Cherokees. It is still the tallest multiple arch dam of the world. The length of its spillway is 6,565 feet and its multiple arch section is 4,284 feet tall. It is also Oklahoma's first ever hydroelectric facility.
48.The major draws at Chickasaw National Recreation Area are its various springs, lakes and streams. It is Oklahoma's original national park. The park is at a transitional location, which serves as the meeting point of prairies of west and deciduous forests of east.
49.The first electric guitar was invented in 1935 by Bob Dunn from Beggs.
50.Sequoyah's Cabin is located in Akins and was inhabited from 1829-44 by Sequoyah who was also known as George Gist. In 1821 Gist came up with some symbols that helped people to write and read Cherokee.