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For alternate meanings: See Oklahoma (disambiguation)

(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: Sooner State

Other U.S. States
Map of Oklahoma
Capital Oklahoma City
Largest City Oklahoma City
Governor Brad Henry
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 20th
181,196 kmē
178,023 kmē
3,173 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 27th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

November 16, 1907
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
The town of Kenton observes Mountain time
33°35'N to 37°N
94°29'W to 103°W
355 km
645 km
1,516 meters
395 meters
88 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-OK

Oklahoma is a southwestern state of the United States and its U.S. postal abbreviation is OK. Oklahoma was the last remnant of the Indian Territory.

USS Oklahoma was named in honor of this state.

Major state designations and symbols include:

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and Government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Demographics
6 Important cities and towns
7 Education
8 Professional sports teams
9 Miscellaneous information
10 External links


Oklahoma was inhabited by Native American tribes including the Caddo. Descendants of these people still live in the state. The name Oklahoma comes from the language of the Choctaw people, who came in the 1830s. "Okla" roughly means "the people" and "homa" means "red".

In the 16th century Spanish explorers became the first Europeans to visit the area.

Later on Oklahoma was part of the vast territorial swapping going on between European powers France and Spain.

In the 1830s Oklahoma, as the Indian Territory, served as the relocation area for the policy of Indian Removal started by Andrew Jackson. The end of the Trail of Tears (Tsa La Gi) was "Indian Territory". There were already many tribes living in the territory, whites, and escaped slaves as well.

The "Five Civilized Tribes" were not the only ones forced to Oklahoma. Nations such as the Delaware, from the northeast US, Kiowa, Comanche, and others were forced to move to Oklahoma. Descendants of these people still live in Oklahoma today. Counties with the names of these tribes also exist. Oklahoma has the second highest number of Native Americans/Amerindians in the country estimated at 395,219 as of 2003. Only California has a higher Amerindian population at 682,720 [1]. Oklahoma also has the second highest concentration of Native Americans/Amerindians in the nation with 11.4% of the state's population, topped only by Alaska at 19% of that state's population. [1].

The five civilized tribes set up towns such as Tulsa, Tahlequah, and Muskogee, which became some of the larger towns in the state. They also brought their African slaves to Oklahoma, which added to African-American population in the region.

During the American Civil War many tribes were internally split between Confederates and Yankees. There were several battles fought in Oklahoma. After the war, the federal government severely punished the tribes for joining the Confederacy.

Furthermore the practice of slavery was outlawed. Some nations were integrated racially and otherwise with their slaves, but other nations were extremely hostile to the former slaves and wanted them exiled from their territory.

In the 1880s, early settlers of the state's very sparsely populated Panhandle region tried to form the Cimarron Territory, but lost a lawsuit against the federal government, prompting a judge in Paris, Texas, to unintentionally create a moniker for the area. "That is land that can be owned by no man," the judge said, and after that the panhandle was referred to as No Man's Land until statehood arrived decades later.

In 1889, the Federal government took back much of the land it had given to the Indians and on March 23 of that year, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation by the United States Congress which would open up 2 million acres (8,000 km²) for white settlement starting on April 22 (it was previously open only to Native Americans who were forced to leave their homelands), and the first of a number of land runs began. This created the short-lived Oklahoma Territory. Some of the state's settlers were called "Sooners" because they had already staked their land claims before the land was officially opened for settlement. On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma Territory combined with Indian Territory and the No Man's Land region to become the 46th U.S. state.

In the early 1900s the oil business began to get underway. Huge pools of underground oil were discovered in places like Glenpool. Many whites flooded into the state to make money. Many of the 'old money' elite families of Oklahoma can date their rise to this time. The prosperity of the 1920s can be seen in the surviving architecture from the period, including one which was converted into the Philbrook Museum.

During the height of the Great Depression, drought and non-ecologically-friendly agricultural practices led to the Dust Bowl, when large tracts of arable land were blown away in massive dust storms. This forced many small farmers to flee the state altogether.

This migration is chronicled in "The Grapes of Wrath", by John Steinbeck, and also in photographs by Dorothea Lange. The negative images of the "Okie" as a sort of rootless migrant laborer living in a near-animal state of scrounging for food greatly offended many Oklahomans. Some politicians of Oklahoma denounced the book (often without reading it) as an attempt to impugn the morals and character of the people of Oklahoma.

For Oklahoma, the early 1900s were also somewhat turbulent politically. Many different groups had flooded into the state and were trying to figure out how to live. There were also "black towns", in which blacks tried to make a life of their own, separate from whites. The white towns were also segregated. Northern Tulsa was known as Black Wall Street because of the vibrant business, cultural, and religious community that had sprung up there.

The Industrial Workers of the World did try to get a little headway, but didn't make it very far. The Ku Klux Klan was also active, denouncing Blacks, Catholics, and Jews. There were several race riots, including the Tulsa Race Riot, one of the worst race riots in American history.

Tensions between whites and Amerindians seem to have been less violent in the 20th century. The various government sponsored arts, community, and tourism programs emphasize Oklahoma's Native American heritage heavily.

In 1995 Oklahoma became the scene of the Oklahoma City bombing, in which a Gulf War veteran named Timothy McVeigh bombed the Alfred Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

Law and Government

The capital of the state is Oklahoma City and its governor is Brad Henry (Democrat). Oklahoma's two U.S. senators are James M. Inhofe (Republican) and Don Nickles (Republican). List of Oklahoma Governors.


See: List of Oklahoma counties

Oklahoma is bounded on the north by Kansas and Colorado, on the west and south by New Mexico and Texas (with part of the Texas border delineated by the Red River (Mississippi watershed), and on the east by Missouri and Arkansas. Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city. As of 2000, the population is 3,450,654. Oklahoma receives much rain in the far eastern part of the state but is very dry in the panhandle and the west.

Interstate highways

United States highways

North-south routesEast-west routes


Oklahoma is a major fuel and food-producing state. Thousands of oil and natural gas wells dot the Oklahoma landscape. Millions of white-faced beef cattle graze on Oklahoma's flat plain and low hills. Fertile fields produce vast crops of wheat. Its 1999 total gross state product was $86 billion, placing it 29th in the nation. Its 2000 Per Capita Personal Income was $23,517, 43rd in the nation. Its agricultural outputs are cattle, wheat, milk, poultry, and cotton. Its industrial outputs are transportation equipment, machinery, electric products, rubber and plastic products, and food processing.

Oklahoma City is the principle economy of the state, centred on the Finance, Retail, Governance, Entertainment, and Tourism sectors. The city has numerous manufacturing and processing plants as well as a growing Biotech centre and a large Aviation market.

Oklahoma City is home to many corporate and regional headquarters including international giants Devon Energy, Kerr McGee, OGE Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Six Flags, Sonic, Local Financial, and Dobson Communications. The Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area is a growing Hi-Tech region and a major Distribution and Shipping point.

Tulsa is an Energy and Trade centre and is a major Aerospace and Telecommunications market. The city has many large factories and numerous small businesses.


As of the 2000 census, the population of Oklahoma is 3,450,654. Its population grew 9.7% (305,078) from its 1990 levels. According to the 2000 census,

6.8% of its population were reported as under 5, 25.9% under 18, and 13.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.9% of the population.

Important cities and towns

See also: List of cities in Oklahoma


Colleges and universities

Professional sports teams

The Minor League Baseball Teams are:

Other Oklahoma City teams include

Miscellaneous information

See List of Oklahoma State Symbols

http://meta.wikipedia.com/upload/us-ok.gif (Oklahoma Flag)


Home to the Worlds Tallest Hill

External links

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Oklahoma Attractions

Oklahoma City's Bricktown Entertainment District

Six Flags Frontier City

White Water Bay

Oklahoma City Zoological Park

Oklahoma Wineries List

Nuyaka Creek Winery

Natura Winery

Tidal School Vineyards

Sparks Vineyard & Winery

Summerside Vineyards

Vinoglo Wine Lamp Kits

Oklahoma Web Portals

Frontier Country

Oklahoma City Visitors Centre

Oklahoma City Online

Oklahoma City Live

Tulsa's Visitor Centre

Urban Tulsa