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 Cherokee are a people from North America, who at the time of European contact in the 1600s, inhabited what is now the Eastern and Southeastern United States. Most were forcibly moved westward to the Ozark Plateau. They were one of the tribes referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, they are the most numerous of the 563 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.
Of the southeastern Indian confederacies of the late 1600s and early 1700s (Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, etc), the Cherokee were one of the most populous and powerful, and were relatively isolated due to their hilly and mountainous homeland. Beginning at about the time of the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century, divisions over continued accommodation of encroachments by white settlers, despite repeated violations of previous treaties, caused some Cherokee to begin to leave the Cherokee Nation. Many of these dissidents became known as the Chickamauga. Led by Chief Dragging Canoe, the Chickamauga made alliances with the Shawnee and engaged in raids against colonial settlements (see Cherokee–American wars). Some of these early dissidents eventually moved across the Mississippi River to areas that would later become the states of Arkansas and Missouri. Their settlements were established on the St. Francis and the White Rivers by 1800.
The Trail of tears displaced the Cherokee’s from their ancestral lands in North Georgia and the Carolinas to Oklahoma. In 1887 the Dawes Act broke up the tribal land base. Under the Curtis Act of 1898, Cherokee courts and governmental systems were abolished by the U.S. Federal Government. (Read more . . . )
Broken Arrow is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, primarily in Tulsa County with an extension into western Wagoner County. It is the largest suburb of Tulsa and the 4th largest city in the state. As of the 2006 census estimates, the city had a total population of 88,314 while the city’s current estimate puts the population at just over 97,000. It is estimated that at the 2010 census, the population will well exceed 100,000.
The name comes from an old Creek community in Alabama. When they moved to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, they started a new community named after the original settlement in Alabama. The town’s Creek name was Rekackv (pronounced thlee-Kawtch-kuh), meaning broken arrow. This new settlement was located several miles south of present-day downtown Broken Arrow. In the 1960s, Broken Arrow began to grow from a small town into a suburban city. The Broken Arrow Expressway (Highway 51) was constructed in the mid-1960s and connected the city with downtown Tulsa, fueling growth in Broken Arrow. The population swelled from a little above 11,000 in 1970 to more than 50,000 in 1990, and then more than 74,000 by the year 2000. During this time, the city was more of a bedroom community. In recent years, city leaders have pushed for more economic development to help keep more Broken Arrowans shopping and dining in town rather than going to other cities. (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
Jacobus “Jim” Thorpe born May 28, 1887 in Prague, Oklahoma, is considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports. He won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon, starred in college and professional football, played Major League Baseball and also had a career in basketball. He subsequently lost his Olympic titles when it was found he had played two seasons of minor league baseball prior to competing in the games (thus violating the amateur status rules). In 1978, Thorpe was given his own national holiday, which is still celebrated on May 28.
Thorpe was named the greatest athlete of the first half of the twentieth century by the Associated Press (AP) in 1950, and ranked third on the AP list of athletes of the century in 1999. After his professional sports career ended, Thorpe lived in abject poverty. In 1983, thirty years after his death, his medals were restored. (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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