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About Oklahoma


General Information
Geography
History
Indian Facts
Famous Oklahomans

Fun Facts
Student Guide
Oklahoma Symbols
Official Oklahoma State Song



GENERAL INFORMATION
• Oklahoma's current population is 3,450,654 ( 2000, estimated).
Oklahoma is comprised of 77 counties.
Oklahoma covers 69,919 square miles.
Guthrie was the first state capitol of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma's state capitol is the only one in the world with an oil well drilled beneath it.
Oklahoma is the third largest gas producing state in the nation.
The Nellie Johnstone oil well located at Johnston Park in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, had the first flowing commercial well in the world.
The world's largest air material center is Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City.
Fort Sill at Lawton is the Army's principal artillery school.
Pawhuska, Oklahoma, had the first Boy Scout troop in America (1909).
Sylvan Goldman of Oklahoma created the first rolling supermarket cart.
The first parking meter was created in Oklahoma and installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.
Oklahoma has 43 colleges and universities.
Oklahoma is the winter quarters for more circuses than any other state.
Oklahoma's average annual temperature is a pleasant 60.5 degrees.
 

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GEOGRAPHY
• Oklahoma has four mountain ranges: Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Ozarks
• Forests cover 24 percent of Oklahoma
• The Poteau River is the only river in Oklahoma that flows north.
• The world's largest single deposit of pure alabaster may be found in the Alabaster caverns near Freedom, Oklahoma.
• Oklahoma is linked to the world's waters by the McClellan-Kerr Navigation system--flowing on the Arkansas River through Arkansas to the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
• The highest elevation in the state is Black Mesa, 4,978 feet, in far northwestern Oklahoma.
• The lowest elevation in the state is in the southeast corner near Idabel, at 324 feet
• Oklahoma has the distinction of having the highest hill in the world, Mount Cavanal, at 1,999 feet.
• Oklahoma has more man-made lakes (200) than any other state, over one million surface-acres of water, and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.
• The largest lake in Oklahoma is Lake Eufaula, covering 102,000 surface acres of water.
 

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HISTORY
500-1300AD
Spiro Indians, linked to the Aztecs, thrived and left burial mounds filled with exquisite artwork and clues to their way of life. A museum displaying their artifacts is near Spiro.
1012
Viking explorers visited eastern Oklahoma and left their mark near the town of Heavener.
1541
Oklahoma's recorded history began when Spanish explorer Coronado carved his name and the date on a rock near the Cimarron River in western Oklahoma.
1803
Oklahoma was part of the Louisiana Purchase.
1824
Ft. Gibson was the first fort to be established in Oklahoma.
1889
Land in Indian Territory was opened to white settlement by land runs, lotteries, and auctions. The territory was split in half, and the western half became Oklahoma Territory.
1889
The first land run was held April 22nd. At exactly noon, a cannon boom signaled the start of the run which opened the Unassigned Lands for settlement.
1891
The Sac and Fox, Pottawatomie-Shawnee Lands, located just east of the original run site, were opened on September 21.
1892
The Cheyenne and Arapaho lands in western Oklahoma were opened for run on April 19.
1893
The largest and most spectacular run in northern Oklahoma, the Cherokee Strip, was held on September 16.
1895
On May 23rd, the Kickapoo Land Run was held in central Oklahoma.
1907
November 16, Oklahoma became the 46th state to join the Union.
 

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INDIAN FACTS
• Oklahoma's name is derived from two Choctaw words, "okla" meaning people, and "humma" meaning red; literally meaning "red people."
• The "Trail of Tears" began in the 1830s. It was the journey of the Five Civilized Tribes from the southeastern United States to Indian Territory. The relocation was forced.
• The Five Civilized Tribes attempted statehood in 1905 under the name Sequoyah
• There are 39 tribes and nations of American Indians with headquarters in Oklahoma. Descendants of the original 67 tribes inhabiting Indian Territory still live here.
 

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FAMOUS OKLAHOMANS
Gene Autry, Actor/Musician Mickey Mantle, Baseball
Johnny Bench, Baseball Reba McEntire, Singer/songwriter
Garth Brooks, Musician Roger Miller, Musician
Roy Clark, Musician Tom Mix, Cowboy/actor
Gordon Cooper, Astronaut Patti Page, Singer
James Garner, Actor Wiley Post, Aviator
Geronimo, Apache Warrior Dale Robertson, Actor
Vince Gill, Musician Will Rogers, Humorist/Entertainer
Woody Guthrie, Singer/songwriter Sequoyah, Inventor/Cherokee alphabet
Paul Harvey, Broadcast Journalist Thomas P. Stafford, Astronaut
Tony Hillerman, Author Barry Switzer, Football
Ben Johnson, Actor Jim Thorpe, Athlete
Wilma Mankiller, Chief/Cherokee Nation Dennis Weaver, Actor

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OKLAHOMA SYMBOLS
  State Colors Green and White
  State Grass Indian Grass
  State Insect Honeybee
  State Motto "Labor Omnia Vincit" - Labor conquers all things
  State Nickname Sooner State
  State Song "OKLAHOMA!" from the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical of the same name.
Buffalo Photo State Animal American Buffalo or Bison
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Photo State Bird Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Sand Bass Photo State Fish White or Sand Bass
Mistletoe Photo State Floral Emblem Mistletoe
Fiddle Photo State Musical Instrument Fiddle
Couple of Moutain Boomer's Photo State Reptile Mountain Boomer or Collared Lizard
Rose Rock Photo State Rock Rose Rock
Redbud Photo State Tree Redbud
State Wildflower State Wildflower Indian Blanket/Gallardia
Oklahoma State Flag  The state flag is an Osage warrior shield on a field of blue with the shield crossed by a peace pipe and an olive branch.
State Seal  The state seal shows a pioneer and an Indian shaking hands beneath the Scales of Justice, centered in the star. The star's five rays each contain symbols of the Five Civilized Tribes

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WORDS OF THE OFFICIAL OKLAHOMA STATE SONG
OKLAHOMA!
Brand new state! Brand new state, gonna treat you great!
Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters!
Pasture fer the cattle, spinach and termayters!
Flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom,
Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope!
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain,
And the waivin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk makin' lazy circles in the sky.
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say YEEOW! A-Yip-I-oee-ay!
We're only sayin'
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma--O.K.
 

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