The Oklahoma Portal
Oklahoma () 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. (Full article...)
The Golden Driller is a 76 foot tall (23 meter), 43,500 pound statue of an oil worker, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is claimed to be the "largest free standing statue in the world."
It was originally built in 1953 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth for the International Petroleum Exposition. Six years later, it was temporarily erected again for the 1959 show. Due to the positive attention it attracted, the company donated the statue to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority, which had it permanently installed in front of the Tulsa Expo Center for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition. The statue's right hand rests on an oil derrick which had been moved from a depleted oil field in Seminole, Oklahoma.
An inscription at the base of the statue reads, "The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God's abundance a better life for mankind." (Read more . . . )
Norman, is the county seat and largest city in Cleveland County, and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area. Norman is situated approximately 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City and is the third largest city in the state. As of 2006, the city was estimated to have 102,827 full-time residents. It is the business and employment center of Cleveland County.
Norman is best known as the location of the University of Oklahoma (with about 35,000 full-time students), making it a center of culture, technology, and scientific research. OU is home to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, one of the largest of its kind, and the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art.
Norman is a prominent center of meteorological research, specifically severe weather. The National Weather Center, located on OU's Research Campus near State Highway 9 and Jenkins Avenue, houses several NOAA organizations, including the Storm Prediction Center and the National Severe Storms Laboratory, along with the University's weather-related units including the School of Meteorology. Private sector meteorological companies are located alongside the 2006 facility at "Partners Place". (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
Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was an American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous The Rest of the Story segments. His listening audience was estimated, at its peak, at 24 million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.
The most noticeable features of Harvey's folksy delivery were his dramatic pauses and quirky intonations. His success with sponsors stemmed from the seamlessness with which he segued from his monologue into reading commercial messages. He explained his relationship with them, saying "I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is." (Read more...)
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