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.
The Comanche are a Native American group whose historical range (the Comancheria) consisted of present-day Eastern New Mexico, Southern Colorado, Southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of Northern and Southern Texas. There might once have been as many as 20,000 Comanches. Today, the Comanche Nation consists of approximately 10,000 members, about half of whom live in Oklahoma (centered at Lawton), with the remainder concentrated in Texas, California, and New Mexico.
There are various accounts of the origin of the name Comanche. Perhaps the most widely accepted is that it derives from Komantcia, a Spanish corruption of “Kohmahts”, the Ute name for the people. “Kohmahts” is variously translated as “enemy”, “those who want to fight (us)”, “those who are against us”, or “strangers”. Alternatively the name may come from the Spanish camino ancho, meaning “wide trail”. Early French and American explorers knew the Comanche as Padouca (or Paducah), their Siouan name. The Comanches’ own preferred name is N
um un uu, meaning “the People”. (Read more…)
Durant is located in Bryan County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 15,050 at the July 2006 census. The Durant Micropolitan Area has approximately 39,000 residents, the city also lies in Speairs Township. Durant is the county seat of Bryan County.
Durant was ranked as the fastest growing rural city in Oklahoma in 2004, having the fastest growth rate outside of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas. Today, the city is ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Less than ten miles away, Lake Texoma has between 8-10 million tourists every year and is the 12th largest lake in the United States, and also one of the largest reservoirs in the country, contributing to Durant’s economic and population growth.
Durant is home to Southeastern Oklahoma State University and also the Headquarters of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, though the historic capital building is in Tuskahoma. Durant ranks as the second largest city within the Choctaw Nation, following McAlester, while Poteau is the third largest city. The city has officially been recognized as the Magnolia Capital of Oklahoma, and the SOSU campus is known as the “Campus of 1,000 Magnolias”. (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
Carlos “Chuck” Norris, born March 10, 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma, is an American martial artist, action star, and Hollywood actor who is best known for playing Cordell “Cord” Walker on Walker, Texas Ranger, his training with Bruce Lee and for his iconically tough image.
After High School Norris joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was in South Korea that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo), an interest that would lead to black belts in that art and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do (“Universal Way”) form. He also created the education associations United Fighting Arts Federation and “KickStart” (formerly “Kick Drugs Out of America”), a middle school and high school–based program intended to give at-risk children a focus point in life through the martial arts. When he returned to the United States, he continued to act as an AP at March Air Force Base California. Norris was discharged in August of 1962. He worked for the Northrop Corporation and opened a chain of karate schools, which Chad McQueen, Steve McQueen’s son, attended. (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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