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, 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 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 . . . )
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: James M. Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Kendra Horn (D)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
Carrie Underwood, born March 10, 1983 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is an American country music singer who won the fourth season of American Idol. She has since become a multi-platinum selling recording artist. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was certified 6x platinum and is the fastest selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history. Underwood is the first American Idol winner to sweep up honors at all three major music awards in the same awards show season (06-07), including one American Music Award, five Billboard Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards (including Best New Artist). Her critically acclaimed debut album is the best selling album of any American Idol contestant in the U.S. to date.
Her album, Some Hearts, has yielded five number one hits to date on various charts in the United States and Canada, including “Inside Your Heaven“, “Jesus, Take the Wheel“, and “Before He Cheats“. Her second album, Carnival Ride, has already produced a top 10 hit, “So Small“. (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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