Battle of Round Mountain

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 "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. These cities, collectively known as the Oklahoma Metropolitan Corridor, are included in the Texas Triangle megaregion. (Full article...)

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Oklahoma State Capitol.jpg

The Oklahoma State Capitol is the house of government of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is the building that houses the Oklahoma Legislature, and the meeting place of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. It is located along Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City. The present structure includes a dome that was completed during 2002. The building is a National Historic Landmark.

The state capitol campus is famous for its oil wells and remains the only state capitol grounds in the United States with active oil rigs. The capitol building is directly atop the Oklahoma City Oil Field.

Oklahoma's first capitol was originally located in the city of Guthrie. At noon on April 22, 1889 cannons sounded the start of the Oklahoma land run. In only six hours about 10,000 people had settled in what would soon become the capital city. Within only months Guthrie became a modern brick and stone town with municipal water, electricity, a mass transit system and underground parking garages for horses and carriages.

Oklahoma's newly established state government had an election to decide where the capitol should be located. As a result, on June 11, 1910, the state seal was taken from Guthrie and moved south to Oklahoma City, the present site of the state capitol. For several years the capitol offices were housed in the Huckins Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. (Read more . . . )

Spotlight city

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Bartlesville is a city in Washington County, Oklahoma. The population was 34,748 at the 2000 census. Bartlesville is located forty-seven miles north of Tulsa and very close to Oklahoma's northern border with Kansas. It is the county seat of Washington County, and the city's west side lies partially in Osage County.

Bartlesville is notable as the longtime home of Phillips Petroleum Company, now merged with Conoco as ConocoPhillips. Frank Phillips, who has a principal street named after him (the hospital is named after his wife Jane), founded Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville in 1905 when the area was still Indian Territory. Phillips has always been the largest employer. Chiefly white-collar workers are employed by ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville, as the industrial extraction and refining work is done elsewhere in the state and throughout the world.

The city has one daily newspaper and several radio stations. It is one of two places in Oklahoma where a Lenape tribe lives, the other being Anadarko. (Read more...)

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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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The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

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Julius Caesar "J. C." Watts, Jr. (born November 18, 1957) is an American politician from Oklahoma who was a college football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners and professionally in the Canadian Football League. Watts served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican, representing the 4th congressional district in south-central Oklahoma. After leaving Congress he established a lobbying and consulting firm, served on corporate boards, and worked as a political commentator.

Watts was born and raised in Eufaula, Oklahoma, in a rural impoverished neighborhood. After being one of the first children to attend an integrated elementary school, he became a high school quarterback and gained a football scholarship for the University of Oklahoma. He graduated 1981 with a degree in journalism and became a football player in the Canadian Football League until his retirement in 1986.

Watts became a Baptist minister and was elected in 1990 to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as the first African American in Oklahoma to win statewide office. He successfully ran for Congress in 1994 and was reelected to three additional terms with increasing vote margins. Watts delivered the Republican response to Bill Clinton's 1997 State of the Union address and was elected Chair of the House Republican Conference in 1998. He retired in 2003 and turned to lobbying and business work. (Read more...)

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