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 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 . . . )
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…)
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
Hoyt Wayne Axton (March 25, 1938 – October 26, 1999) was an American folk music singer-songwriter, and a film and television actor. He became prominent in the early 1960s, establishing himself on the West Coast as a folk singer with an earthy style and powerful voice.
Axton wrote several songs made famous by others: “Joy to the World” and “Never Been to Spain” (Three Dog Night), “Greenback Dollar” (Kingston Trio), “The Pusher” and “Snowblind Friend” (Steppenwolf), “No-No Song” (Ringo Starr), and an array of others, covered by singers such as Joan Baez, Guthrie Thomas, John Denver, Waylon Jennings, and Anne Murray. Axton also sang a couple of duets with Linda Ronstadt, including “Lion in Winter” and “When the Morning Comes” (a top 40 country hit). His most popular and signature song, “Joy to the World”, as performed by Three Dog Night, was number 1 on the charts for six straight weeks in 1971, making it the top hit of the year. (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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