Battle of Chustenahlah

The Oklahoma Portal

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Oklahoma (/ˌkləˈhmə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, "Okies"), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907.

With ancient mountain ranges, prairie, mesas, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains, Cross Timbers, and the U.S. Interior Highlands, all regions prone to severe weather. Oklahoma is on a confluence of three major American cultural regions and historically served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for Southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Twenty-five Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma.

A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.

Selected article

IndianTerritory.jpg

The Indian Territory served as the destination for the policy of Indian Removal, a policy pursued intermittently by American presidents early in the nineteenth century, but aggressively pursued by President Andrew Jackson after the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Five Civilized Tribes in the South were the most prominent tribes displaced by the policy, a relocation that came to be known as the Trail of Tears. The trail ended in what is now Arkansas and Oklahoma, where there were already many Native Americans living in the territory, as well as whites and escaped slaves. Other tribes, such as the Delaware, Cheyenne, and Apache were also forced to relocate to the Indian territory.

The Five Civilized Tribes set up towns such as Tulsa, Ardmore, Tahlequah, Tishomingo, Muskogee and others, which often became some of the larger towns in the state. They also brought their African slaves to Oklahoma, which added to the African-American population in the state. These tribes fought on the side of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Brigadier General Stand Watie, a Confederate commander of the Cherokee nation, became the last Confederate general to surrender in the American Civil War on 23 June 1865. (Read more...)

Spotlight city

Moore is a rapidly growing suburb in Cleveland County, Oklahoma and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. As of July 1, 2006, the city population was 49,277.

Situated next to the northern boundary of Cleveland County, Moore is the second largest city in the county and the ninth largest city in the state. Moore is less than twenty minutes from downtown Oklahoma City, Will Rogers World Airport, Tinker Air Force Base, the University of Oklahoma, the Federal Aviation Administration's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, and thousands of businesses, industries, public and private schools, as well as recreational and cultural facilities.

The west side of the city often falls victim to tornadoes, and has been severely damaged by tornadoes on October 4, 1998, May 3, 1999, and May 8, 2003. The May 3, 1999 tornado that hit Moore was rated an F5 on the Fujita scale, and was the strongest and most destructive tornado ever recorded in history. The tornado, which occurred during the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, had an approximate recorded wind speed of 318 MPH, the highest MPH on the first F-Scale, left a swath of destruction over a mile wide at times, and 7 miles long. It killed a total of 36 people in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. This was the deadliest F5 tornado recorded since the Delhi, Louisiana tornado in 1971. (Read more...)

Selected image

Gloss Mountains.jpg
Credit: User:Okiefromokla
The Glass Mountains in Oklahoma. Taken from the top of a mesa at Glass Mountains State Park.

Did you know...

Oklahoma State Highway 66.svg
  • ...that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
  • ...that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
  • ...that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the "Father of Route 66," proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
  • ...that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization's headquarters in Tulsa?

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State facts

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The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

Ron Howard.jpg

Ronald William "Ron" Howard, born March 1, 1954 in Duncan, Oklahoma, is an Academy Award-winning American director and producer as well as an actor. Howard came to prominence in the 1960s while playing Andy Griffith's TV son, Opie Taylor, on The Andy Griffith Show (credited as Ronny Howard), and later in the 1970s as Howard Cunningham's son and Arthur Fonzarelli's best friend, Richie Cunningham, on Happy Days (a role he played from 1974 to 1980). Since retiring from acting, he has directed many films including Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, and the upcoming sequel to the The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons. (Read more...)

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