Wednesday, February 19, 2014

50 States: Oklahoma


Oklahoma (OK) is located in the south central part of the United States. It was first inhabited by 67 different Indian tribes but was explored by the Spanish in the 1500s. The French claimed the land in the 1700s and controlled it until 1803 when it was sold as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Native Americans continued to reside in Oklahoma and were joined by other tribes who were forcibly removed from the southeastern U.S. by treaties and the military during the early to mid 1800s. On November 16, 1907, OK became the 46th state.

Soon after statehood, oil was discovered in parts of Oklahoma, and its economy grew rapidly. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s decimated the southern midwest states; thus, Oklahoma's economy declined just as quickly. Things began to improve by the 1950s and '60s. The economy today is supported by the farming of wheat and cattle, oil production, and natural gas production.

The capital of Oklahoma is Oklahoma City. Many of the cities in Oklahoma are named after Indian tribes. Tulsa is a form of an Indian word meaning "old town." Tulsa was once known as the oil capital of the world.

The state of OK is nearly 70,000 square miles, making it the 20th biggest state. As of 2012, there were more than 3.8 million residents. People who live in OK are called Oklahomans. Some famous people born here include Johnny Bench; Garth Brooks; Lon Chaney, Jr.; Vince Gill; Woody Guthrie; Paul Harvey; Ron Howard; Toby Keith; Mickey Mantle; Reba McEntire; Dr. Phil; Chuck Norris; Brad Pitt; Oral Roberts; Will Rogers; Sequoyah; Blake Shelton; Carrie Underwood; and Sam Walton. If you are unsure who any of these people are, look them up and see what interesting facts you can learn.

Oklahoma's nickname is the Sooner State. On April 22, 1889, Oklahoma was open for settlement due to an amendment in the Indian Appropriations Bill. It was on this day that any hopeful landowners could participate in what became known as the Land Run of 1889. At the stroke of noon, landowners on horseback and in wagons could race toward their choice of 160 acres of land. Those who headed out before noon included surveyors and marshals—people who were legally allowed to enter early. These people were called "Sooners." As Oklahoma developed, Sooner was a name given to those who were progressive, ahead of their time. The name became synonymous with the Oklahoma—the land of opportunity.

OK's motto is Labor omnia vincit which means Labor conquers all things. The other state symbols are:

Bird...Scissor-tailed flycatcher
Game bird...Wild turkey
Game mammal...White-tailed deer
Butterfly...Black swallowtail
Reptile...Collared lizard
Fish...White or sand bass
Floral emblem...Mistletoe
Flower...Oklahoma Rose
Wildflower...Indian blanket
Percussive Musical Instrument...Drum
Colors...Green and white
Dance...Square dance

The state flag of Oklahoma was adopted on April 2, 1925, after a contest was held to select the winning design. On the flag is an Osage warrior Indian's shield made from the skin of a buffalo. Seven feathers hang from the shield which is adorned with six crosses, or stars, that represent higher purposes or ideals. Lying across the shield are a peace pipe and an olive branch. The state name was added to the flag in 1941.

Some interesting facts about Oklahoma include:

*It is located within Tornado Alley and suffers the effects of roughly 54 tornadoes per year.
*A man from Oklahoma City is credited with inventing the parking meter in 1935.
*The shopping cart was invented by an Oklahoman.
*The electric guitar was invented by a man from Beggs in 1935.
*Twister was set in Oklahoma.
*The yield sign was invented in Oklahoma.
*Oklahoma has the largest Indian population of any state in the country. It is estimated that there are nearly 350,000 Indians today.
*Oklahoma City suffered a devastating bombing on April 19, 1995.

Some fun things to do and see in Oklahoma are:

*Pecan Festival every June in Okmulgee
*National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City
*World Championship Cow Chip Throw every April in Beaver
*Jenks is the Antique Capital of Oklahoma
*The National Lighter Museum is in Guthrie
*Frontier City Amusement Park in Oklahoma City
*The Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City
*Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation in Wynnewood
*Alabaster Caverns State Park
*Oklahoma Railway Museum in Oklahoma City
Zoos, aquariums, sport centers, theaters, and national parks abound throughout Oklahoma.

There are several historic homes that can be toured as well:

*George Murrell Home in Park Hill
*Frank Phillips Home in Bartlesville
Fred Drummond Home in Hominy
*Pawnee Bill Ranch in Pawnee
*Sequoyah's Cabin in Sallisaw
*Sod House Museum in Aline

The history behind these homes is fascinating. If you don't get a chance to visit them, at least read about the people who once lived in them.

Play some games to test your Oklahoma knowledge.

The following items are available on I am an affiliate, so if you purchase anything through my blog, I will receive a commission.

846915: Oklahoma Oklahoma
By P.M. Boekhoff & Catherine Gardner(Editor) / Gareth Stevens Publishing

Bolster students' knowledge of the state they live in! Discover the history of the state, including Native American history, colonial history, and modern history, and learn about the current demographics of the state, the land itself, the economy, state government, and cultural attractions. "Fun Facts," "Famous people," and "In history" sidebars provide interesting tidbits of information. Full-color photographs, time line, glossary, and index included. 32 pages, softcover. Grades 2-4.

399509: According to Plan: Oklahoma History Told from a Providential View According to Plan: Oklahoma History Told from a Providential View
By Jo Anne Bennett / Xulon Press

760280: More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Oklahoma Women More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Oklahoma Women
By Deborah Bouziden / Globe Pequot

637799: Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Fans: Oklahoma Sooners Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Fans: Oklahoma Sooners
By Ed McMinn / Extra Point Publishers

Daily Devotions for Die-Hard Fans: Oklahoma Sooners combines the great passion of the Oklahoma fan with passion for Christ into one set of devotions. Author Ed McMinn, a retired journalist and pastor, uses game moments to illustrate Biblical truth. Have fun! Have faith! Go Sooners! Go God!

781157: Food Lovers" Guide to Oklahoma: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings Food Lovers' Guide to Oklahoma: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings
By Katie Johnstonbaugh / Globe Pequot

395239: The Camera Shop Kid: A Tale of the Discovery of Oklahoma"s 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse The Camera Shop Kid: A Tale of the Discovery of Oklahoma's 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse
By Melissa Michie / Tate Publishing & Enterprises

627052: 1945 & Beyond: A Family"s Journey to the Oklahoma Land Run of "93 1945 & Beyond: A Family's Journey to the Oklahoma Land Run of '93
By Pat Lorett / Tate Publishing & Enterprises

470221: To-1944: Oklahoma Farm Life To-1944: Oklahoma Farm Life
By Pat Lorett / Tate Publishing & Enterprises

861921: One Oklahoma Summer One Oklahoma Summer
By Keith Cole / Tate Publishing & Enterprises

47106EB: Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush - eBook Beautiful Land: A Story of the Oklahoma Land Rush - eBook
By Nancy Antle, John Gampert / Puffin

268244: American Triumph: The Dust Bowl, World War II, and Ultimate Victory American Triumph: The Dust Bowl, World War II, and Ultimate Victory
By Susan Martins Miller, Norma Jean Lutz & Bonnie Hinman / Barbour Publishing

Transport yourself back in time with four historical stories in the Sisters in Time series! Written for ages 8-12, these fictional stories weave real historical events into the storyline. Stories include:
  • Rosa Takes a Chance: a 10-year-old Mexican-American must overcome many obstacles to her dream of becoming a teacher.
  • Mandy the Outsider: a 10-year-old's friendship with a Japanese family is frowned upon by classmates
  • Jennie's War: a 10-year-old grows a "Victory Garden" to help the war effort---and begins to suspect a neighbor of being a spy!
  • Laura's Victory: a 10-year-old wonders if the war will end soon enough for her loved ones fighting for freedom.
267210: My Dad, Oral Roberts My Dad, Oral Roberts
By Roberta Roberts-Potts / Icon Publishing Group

Larger than life personalities sometimes are defined by perceptions rather than reality. In the case of Oral Roberts, the light his ministry shed on the American landscape sometimes obscures the man. This memoir from his daughter, Roberta Roberts Potts, illuminates the personality behind the healing crusades, international ministry, and landmark university. My Dad, Oral Roberts provides a gripping peek into the life of a compelling figure--one of the 20th century's leading religious and cultural icons.

69473: Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing
By James Rumford / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This beautifully illustrated book is a "Robert F. Sibert Honor Book" and is filled with stark, colorful drawings of Sequoyah, the Cherokee people, and land. The story of an illiterate man who invented the Cherokee written language, the text is fittingly written in both English and Cherokee. Sequoyah celebrates literacy and the struggle of a people to stand tall and proud. 29 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.