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 Outsiders is a novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she began writing the novel and 18 when it was published. The Outsiders is an account of a traumatic time in the life of fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis. Hinton explores the themes of class conflict, brotherly love, friendship, and coming of age by following two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs(pronounced “soashes”short for “Socials”), who are separated by social-economic status and political beliefs.
The main characters in The Outsiders are Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, Dallas “Dally” Winston, Darrel “Darry” Curtis, Sodapop Curtis, Keith “Two-Bit” Mathews, and Steve Randle, a gang of Greasers in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The story is narrated by Ponyboy, younger brother of both Sodapop and Darrel, or Darry. The three boys are orphaned after a car accident that kills their parents. Darry assumes the parental role to keep them from getting sent to different homes. Darry feels overly burdened and cannot provide all of the things they need. Although he is smart, he didn’t pursue college so he could get a job and provide food for the other two boys, Sodapop and Ponyboy. Sodapop dropped out of high school in favor of employment. (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…)
Credit: Jack Dykinga
Oklahoma’s state mammal, the American Bison.
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
Mickey Charles Mantle was born October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, Mantle was an American baseball player who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. He played his entire 18-year major-league professional career for the New York Yankees, winning 3 American League MVP titles and playing for 16 All-Star teams. Mantle played on 12 pennant winners and 7 World Championship clubs. He still holds the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBIs (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123).
Mickey had played shortstop in the minor leagues. His first semi-professional team was the Baxter Springs (Kan.) Whiz Kids. In 1948, Yankees’ scout Tom Greenwade came to Baxter Springs to watch Mickey’s teammate, third baseman Billy Johnson, in a Whiz Kids game. During the game Mickey hit two homers, one righty and one lefty, into a river well past the ballpark’s fences. Greenwade wanted to sign Mickey on the spot but, upon finding out that he was only 16 and still in high school, told him he would come back to sign him with the Yankees on his graduation day in 1949. Good to his word, Greenwade was there right on schedule, signing Mickey to a minor-league contract with the Yankees Class D team in Independence, Kan. Mickey signed for $400 to play the remainder of the season with an $1,100 signing bonus. Tom Greenwade was quoted in the press release announcing Mickey’s signing as saying that Mickey was the best prospect he’d ever seen. Because of his blinding speed, he was dubbed “The Commerce Comet.” (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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