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 Trail of Tears refers to the forced relocation in 1838 of the Cherokee Native American tribe to the Western United States, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,000 Cherokees. In the Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—“the Trail Where They Cried”. The Cherokees were not the only Native Americans forced to emigrate as a result of the Indian Removal efforts of the United States, and so the phrase, “Trail of Tears”, is sometimes used to refer to similar events endured by other Indian people, especially among the Five Civilized Tribes. The phrase originated as a description of the forcible removal of the Choctaw nation in 1831.
The Cherokee Trail of Tears resulted from the enforcement of the Treaty of New Echota, an agreement signed under the provisions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which exchanged Native American land in the East for lands west of the Mississippi River, but which was never accepted by the elected tribal leadership or a majority of the Cherokee people. Nevertheless, the treaty signed into law by President Andrew Jackson, was imposed by his successor President Martin Van Buren who allowed Georgian state troops to round up about 17,000 Cherokees in concentration camps before being sent to the West. Most of the deaths occurred from disease in these camps. After the initial roundup, the U.S. military played a limited role in the journey itself, with the Cherokee Nation taking over supervision of most of the emigration. (Read more . . . )
Credit: Jon Sullivan
Oklahoma’s state insect, the Honeybee.
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: Mary Fallin (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: Vacant seat 1, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Steve Russell (R)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
Allie Pierce Reynolds (February 10, 1917 – December 26, 1994) was an American professional baseball pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). Reynolds pitched in MLB for the Cleveland Indians (1942–1946) and New York Yankees (1947–1954). A member of the Creek nation, Reynolds was nicknamed “Superchief”.
Reynolds attended Capitol Hill High School and the Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College (A&M), where he was a multi-sport athleted. Henry Iba, baseball coach of the Oklahoma A&M baseball team, discovered Reynolds while he was practicing his javelin throws. After excelling at baseball and American football at Oklahoma A&M, Reynolds chose to turn professional in baseball.
In his MLB career, Reynolds had a 182–107 win–loss record, 3.30 earned run average, and 1,423 strikeouts. Reynolds was a six-time MLB All-Star (1945, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954) and six-time World Series champion (1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953). He won the Hickok Belt in 1951 as the top American professional athlete of the year. He has also received consideration for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, though he has not been elected. (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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