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. Partially in the western extreme of the Upland South, 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 "honored people". Cyrus Byington, the 20th-century scholar credited with creating the first Choctaw-English dictionary, stresses that the "humma" is an honorific that denotes courage and bravery. Oklahoma 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. (Full article...)

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Great seal of the cherokee nation.svg

The Cherokee are a people from North America, who at the time of European contact in the 1600s, inhabited what is now the Eastern and Southeastern United States. Most were forcibly moved westward to the Ozark Plateau. They were one of the tribes referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, they are the most numerous of the 563 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.

Of the southeastern Indian confederacies of the late 1600s and early 1700s (Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, etc), the Cherokee were one of the most populous and powerful, and were relatively isolated due to their hilly and mountainous homeland. Beginning at about the time of the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century, divisions over continued accommodation of encroachments by white settlers, despite repeated violations of previous treaties, caused some Cherokee to begin to leave the Cherokee Nation. Many of these dissidents became known as the Chickamauga. Led by Chief Dragging Canoe, the Chickamauga made alliances with the Shawnee and engaged in raids against colonial settlements (see Cherokee–American wars). Some of these early dissidents eventually moved across the Mississippi River to areas that would later become the states of Arkansas and Missouri. Their settlements were established on the St. Francis and the White Rivers by 1800.

The Trail of tears displaced the Cherokee's from their ancestral lands in North Georgia and the Carolinas to Oklahoma. In 1887 the Dawes Act broke up the tribal land base. Under the Curtis Act of 1898, Cherokee courts and governmental systems were abolished by the U.S. Federal Government. (Read more . . . )

Spotlight city

Sand Springs is a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma and is located predominantly in Tulsa County, with some areas of the city situated in Osage County to the North. The population was 17,451 within the city limits at the 2000 census. Included the unincorporated areas the population is approximately 45,000. The city was founded by Oklahoma philanthropist Charles Page. He envisioned Sand springs as a haven for orphans and widows. He helped found and develop Sand Springs as a model city that included all components of a total community. Today, Sand Springs is ripe with growth and development due to its strategic location near downtown Tulsa and proximity to cultural and recreational opportunities. Numerous private and governmental projects are currently underway to morph Sand Springs from a historically-rich bedroom community into a progressive and complete community. (Read more...)

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People of Oklahoma.jpg
Credit: User:CPacker
The People of Oklahoma exhibit in the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

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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The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

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Charles Haskell.jpg

Charles Nathaniel Haskell (March 13, 1860 – July 5, 1933) was an American lawyer, oilman, and statesman who served as the first Governor of Oklahoma. Haskell played a crucial role in drafting the Oklahoma Constitution as well as Oklahoma's statehood and admission into the United States as the 46th state in 1907. Haskell is also remembered as a prominent resident of Muskogee, Oklahoma and helped to bring the city to prominence throughout Oklahoma.

Throughout his administration as Governor, Haskell’s practical mind, intuitive knowledge of the law, and his insight into what the law should be enabled him to discern the underlying principles of any issue. Though firmly a Democrat, Haskell found the middle ground and usually brought the belligerent bipartisan forces and rival interests into friendly agreement. Charles Haskell Elementary in Edmond, Oklahoma, and Charles N. Haskell Middle School in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma are named in his honor. (Read more...)

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