The Oklahoma Portal
Oklahoma () is a
state in the
South Central region of the
United States, bordered by the state of
Texas on the south and west,
Kansas on the north,
Missouri on the northeast,
Arkansas on the east,
New Mexico on the west, and
Colorado on the northwest. Partially in the western extreme of the
Upland South, it is the
20th-most extensive and the
28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially "
Okies"), and its capital and largest city is
The state's name is derived from the
okla and humma, meaning "honored people". Although "humma" can be defined as "red",
Cyrus Byington stressed that the word is usually applied as an honorific that denotes courage and bravery. Oklahoma 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 increased European-American settlement in the eastern
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.
With ancient mountain ranges, prairie,
mesas, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the
Cross Timbers, and the
U.S. Interior Highlands, all regions prone to severe weather. Oklahoma is on a confluence of three major American
cultural regions and historically served as a route for
cattle drives, a destination for Southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned
territory for Native Americans. Twenty-five Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma.
A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Oklahoma City and
Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their
metropolitan statistical areas. (
The Trail of Tears refers to the
forced relocation in 1838 of the
Native American tribe to the
Western United States, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,000 Cherokees. In the
Cherokee language, the event is called Nunna daul Isunyi—“the Trail Where They Cried”. The Cherokees were not the only Native Americans forced to emigrate as a result of the
Indian Removal efforts of the United States, and so the phrase, “Trail of Tears”, is sometimes used to refer to similar events endured by other Indian people, especially among the
Five Civilized Tribes. The phrase originated as a description of the forcible removal of the
Choctaw nation in 1831.
The Cherokee Trail of Tears resulted from the enforcement of the
Treaty of New Echota, an agreement signed under the provisions of the
Indian Removal Act of 1830, which exchanged Native American land in the East for lands west of the
Mississippi River, but which was never accepted by the elected tribal leadership or a majority of the Cherokee people. Nevertheless, the treaty signed into law by
Andrew Jackson, was imposed by his successor President
Martin Van Buren who allowed
Georgian state troops to round up about 17,000 Cherokees in
concentration camps before being sent to the West. Most of the deaths occurred from disease in these camps. After the initial roundup, the U.S. military played a limited role in the journey itself, with the Cherokee Nation taking over supervision of most of the emigration.
(Read more . . . )
Edmond is a rapidly growing suburban city in
Oklahoma in the central part of the state. It is the sixth largest city in the state of Oklahoma and is part of the
Greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area. As of July 2006, the city had 76,644 residents.
Being the highest point along the
Santa Fe rail line in
Oklahoma Territory, Edmond was originally named "Summit" and was a watering and sanding point for the railroad in the 1880s. The town was given its current name (after an engineer on the railroad) by the Santa Fe railroad headquarters in
Topeka after the
Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Though most of the remnants of the old railroad infrastructure are gone, the Santa Fe, now
BNSF, line still runs through the same course.
Did you know...
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:
Kevin Stitt (
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union:
November 16, 1907
Jim Inhofe (R),
James Lankford (R)
Markwayne Mullin (R),
Frank Lucas (R),
Tom Cole (R),
Kendra Horn (
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
decathlon, starred in college and professional
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.
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