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Oklahoma (/ˌkləˈhmə/ (About this soundlisten); 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.

Selected article

Totem Pole Park.jpg

Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park consists of eleven objects and one building on 14 acres (57,000 m²) in Rogers County, Oklahoma. The park is ten miles (16 km) north-east of Claremore and is located 3.5 miles (6 km) east of historic U.S. Route 66 and Foyil. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 30 March 1999 and is currently owned and operated by the Rogers County Historical Society and the Foyil Heritage Association. The park's main totem pole is claimed to be the "World’s Largest Concrete Totem Pole."

After more than 20 years as a manual arts teacher at the Children’s Home orphanage in Sand Springs, OK, in 1937 Ed Galloway retired and moved his family to a small farm near Foyil. Shortly afterwards he embarked on an ambitious folk art project to create a three-dimensional totem pole using modern building materials. After eleven years of work, Galloway’s totem pole was completed in 1948 and topped out at approximately 90 ft (27 m) in height. The totem pole’s construction took six tons of steel, 28 tons of cement, and 100 tons of sand and rock. The base is 30 ft (9 m) wide and rests on the back of a colourfully painted turtle. It is decorated with approximately 200 bas relief images of brightly colored Native American portraits, symbols, and animal figures that cover the entire totem pole from the base to its pinnacle. (Read more...)

Spotlight city

Muskogee is located in Muskogee County, Oklahoma and is the county seat of Muskogee County. The population was 38,310 at the 2000 census, making it the eleventh largest city in Oklahoma.

Muskogee first received recognition when in 1805 US President Thomas Jefferson addressed the United States Congress seconding the recommendation of Meriwether Lewis that a trading post be established near the modern day city. French fur traders had already existed in the area for some time before the American acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase. The French were believed to have established a temporary village near Muskogee in 1806, but the first permanent settlement was established in 1817 on the south bank of the Verdigris River, north of Muskogee. (Read more...)

Selected image

Automobile Alley in Oklahoma City.jpg
Credit: Katsrcool [1]
Automobile Alley Historic District, an upscale urban neighborhood in Oklahoma City.

Did you know...

Oklahoma State Highway 66.svg
  • ...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?

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State facts

State symbols

The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

Ralph Ellison photo portrait seated.jpg

Ralph Waldo Ellison (March 1, 1914 – April 16, 1994) was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act (1964), a collection of political, social and critical essays, and Going to the Territory (1986).

Ralph Ellison, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lewis Alfred Ellison and Ida Millsap. Research by Lawrence Jackson, one of Ellison's biographers, has established that he was born a year earlier than had been previously thought. He had one brother named Herbert Millsap Ellison, who was born in 1916. Lewis Alfred Ellison, a small-business owner and a construction foreman, died when Ralph was three years old from stomach ulcers he received from an ice-delivering accident. Many years later, Ellison would find out that his father hoped he would grow up to be a poet. (Read more...)

Oklahoma news

2016
  • May
    • 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 [2]

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