Oklahoma ( ( listen)) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. 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 dramatically 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. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, “Okies”), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma’s primary economic anchors, with nearly two thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.
Northeastern State University (NSU) is a public university with its main campus located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, at the foot of the Ozark Mountains. Northeastern’s home, Tahlequah, is also the capital of The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The university also has two other campuses in Muskogee and Broken Arrow.
The school was founded on May 7, 1851, as the Cherokee National Female Seminary. On March 6, 1909, the State Legislature of Oklahoma passed an act providing for the creation and location of Northeastern State Normal School at Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and for the purchase from the Cherokee Tribal Government of the building, land, and equipment of the Cherokee Female Seminary. In the 1950s Northeastern emerged as a comprehensive state college, broadening its curriculum at the baccalaureate level to encompass liberal arts subjects and adding a fifth year program designed to prepare master teachers for elementary and secondary schools. In 1974, the Oklahoma Legislature authorized that the name of the institution be changed from Northeastern State Normal School to Northeastern Oklahoma State University and then again in 1985 to Northeastern State University. (Read more . . . )
Ponca City is a city located in north central Oklahoma, 18 miles south of the Kansas border and is the most populous city in Kay County. The population was 25,596 at the 2000 census.
Ponca City was founded in 1893 after the Cherokee Outlet was opened for settlement in the Cherokee Strip land run and is named after the Ponca Tribe, which relocated from Nebraska to northern Oklahoma from 1877 to 1880. The site for Ponca City was selected because of its proximity to the Arkansas River and a fresh water spring near the river. The city was founded by Burton Barnes who drew up the first survey of the city and sold lottery tickets for the lots he had surveyed. After the drawing for lots in the city was completed, Barnes was elected the city’s first mayor.
Ponca City’s history has been shaped for the most part by the ebb and flow of the petroleum industry. The Marland Oil Company, which once controlled approximately 10 percent of the world’s oil reserves, was founded by eventual Oklahoma governor and U.S. congressman E. W. Marland, who founded the 101 Ranch Oil Company located on the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch and drilled his first successful oil well on land he leased from the Ponca Tribe of American Indians in 1911. (Read more…)
Did you know…
- …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?
- Nickname:The Sooner State
- Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City
- Governor: Mary Fallin (R)
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union: November 16, 1907
- Senators: James M. Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Vacant seat 1, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Steve Russell (R)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
Ralph Waldo Ellison (March 1, 1914 – April 16, 1994) was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act (1964), a collection of political, social and critical essays, and Going to the Territory (1986).
Ralph Ellison, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lewis Alfred Ellison and Ida Millsap. Research by Lawrence Jackson, one of Ellison’s biographers, has established that he was born a year earlier than had been previously thought. He had one brother named Herbert Millsap Ellison, who was born in 1916. Lewis Alfred Ellison, a small-business owner and a construction foreman, died when Ralph was three years old from stomach ulcers he received from an ice-delivering accident. Many years later, Ellison would find out that his father hoped he would grow up to be a poet. (Read more…)
- Lawmakers approve a bill that would make performing abortions a felony, and revoke the medical license of most assisting physicians, the first such proposed law in the US 
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