Battles of Cabin Creek

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. 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.

Selected article

Oklahoma! is the first musical play written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. A special Pulitzer Prize award was given to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for Oklahoma! in the category of "Special Awards And Citations - Letters" in 1944.

The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943. It was a box-office smash and ran for a then unprecedented 2,212 performances, later enjoying award-winning revivals, national tours and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation. Originally entitled Away We Go, the musical is based on Lynn Riggs's 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farmer girl Laurey Williams. Their love is challenged by Laurey's threatening farmhand, Jud Fry, and much of the play follows the tension generated by this conflict. (Read more...)

Spotlight city

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Cushing is a city in Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 8,371 at the 2000 census.

Cushing is a major hub in oil supply connecting the Gulf Coast suppliers with northern consumers. Cushing is famous as a price settlement point for West Texas Intermediate on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and has been cited as the most significant trading hub for crude oil in North America. As of 2007, Cushing holds 5% to 10% of the total U.S. crude inventory. Signs made of a pipe and valve on the major highways near town proclaim Cushing to be the "Pipeline Crossroads of the World", and the town is surrounded by several tank farms. Most storage tanks are owned by four entities: oil giant BP, and energy-transport and logistics firms Enbridge Energy Partners, Plains All American Pipeline, and SemGroup Energy Partners. (Read more...)

Selected image

OK-Winnie-Mae-replica.jpg
Credit: User:Logawi
A replica of Oklahoma aviator Wiley Post's Winnie Mae hanging in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center.

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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State facts

State symbols

The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

Speaker Albert - portrait.jpg

Carl Bert Albert (May 10, 1908 – February 4, 2000) was a lawyer and a Democratic American politician from Oklahoma.

Albert represented the southeastern portion of Oklahoma (Congressional District 3) as a Democrat for 30 years, starting in 1947. He is best known for his service as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1977. When Speaker John W. McCormack retired in January 1971, during the second half of Richard Nixon's first term as president, Albert was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. Albert's Chief of Staff was Charles Ward, a respected Washington DC leader and former newspaper editor from Oklahoma. As the Watergate scandal developed in 1973, Albert, as Speaker, referred some two dozen impeachment resolutions to the House Judiciary Committee for debate and study.

At 5 feet 4 inches tall, Albert was often affectionately known as the "Little Giant from Little Dixie", and held the highest political office of any Oklahoman in American history. (Read more...)

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