Oklahoma ( (listen); Cherokee: ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ, ogalahoma; Choctaw: Oklahumma) 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 and west, 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.
The Dust Bowl was a series of dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936 (in some areas until 1940), caused by severe drought conditions coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation or other techniques that prevented erosion. The fertile soil of the Great Plains was exposed through removal of grass during plowing. During the drought, soil dried out, became dust, and blew away eastwards and southwards, mostly in large black clouds. At times, the clouds blackened the sky all the way to Chicago, and much of the soil was completely deposited into the Atlantic Ocean.
This ecological catastrophe, which began as the economic effects of the Great Depression were intensifying, caused an exodus from Texas, Oklahoma, and the surrounding Great Plains, with over 500,000 Americans left homeless. (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: Kevin Stitt (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: Jim Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Kendra Horn (D)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
- 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 
Select [+] to view subcategories
Things you can do