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Oklahoma is a state located in the southern Great Plains and Eastern Woodlands regions of the United , and is part of a region commonly known as the American "Heartland." The Congressional Quarterly and Census report place Oklahoma in the Southern United . The regional influences are readily apparent in the state's largest urban areas, adding to Oklahoma's unique character. Southern influence and its charm are most notable in southeastern Oklahoma. This part of the state was earlier settled by many Southerners displaced by reconstruction during the Post-Civil War era, and is commonly known as Little Dixie.

Oklahoma became the 46th state in the Union on November 16th, 1907. The state's name comes from the Choctaw words okla meaning people and humma meaning red, literally meaning "red people"[2] and was chosen by Allen Wright, Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation between 1866 and 1870. [3] It is a state with a colorful history, including its days as a frontier state, it being a destination of recently freed slaves looking for opportunity and equality, and being at the heart of the oil boom in the early 20th Century. Individuals from Oklahoma are known as Oklahomans or "Okies" (though the latter phrase is considered mildly offensive).

Most notably, Oklahoma has the nation's second largest American Indian population. In honor of its large American Indian population, and for tourism purposes, Oklahoma is called "Native America." Oklahoma's early history is forever tied to the Trail of Tears, which was the forced removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from the southeastern United to present-day Oklahoma. As a testament to the state's western and American Indian heritage, Oklahoma (Tulsa) is the home of the world-renowned Gilcrease Museum, which houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of American Western and American Indian art, artifacts, manuscripts, documents, and maps.

Contents [hide]
1 Geography
1.1 Regions of Oklahoma
2 History
2.1 American Indians
2.2 Land runs
2.3 20th Century
2.4 Dust Bowl Era
2.5 Alcoholic beverages
2.6 Oklahoma City bombing
3 Law and Government
3.1 State Government
3.2 Local Governance
3.3 National Politics
4 Economy
5 Transportation
6 Education
7 Culture
8 Sports
9 Important Cities and Metropolitan Areas
9.1 Oklahoma City
9.2 Tulsa
9.3 Other important cities
10 Miscellaneous Topics
10.1 Religion
10.2 Oklahoma state symbols
11 Demographics
12 Trivia
13 See also
14 Further reading
15 References

Oklahoma Portal
See also: list of Oklahoma counties, list of Oklahoma townships, and lakes in Oklahoma

The Ouachita Mountains dominate the southeastern quarter of OklahomaOklahoma is one of the six on the Frontier Strip. It is bounded on the east by Arkansas and Missouri, on the north by Kansas and northwest by Colorado (both at 37°N), on the far west by New Mexico (at 103°W), and on the south and near-west by Texas. The panhandle's southern boundary is at 36.5°N, then turning due south along 100°W to the southern fork of the Red River), completing the round trip back to Arkansas.

Oklahoma's four main mountain ranges include the Ouachitas, Arbuckles, Wichitas, and the Kiamichis. In addition to several smaller ranges, Oklahoma also notably encompasses a portion of the Ozarks.

The state's highest peak, 4,973 feet (1,515 m) Black Mesa, resides in the far northwestern corner of the panhandle near the town of Kenton. The lowest elevation in the state is in the far southeastern corner, near Idabel, at 324 feet (99 m). Oklahoma also has what is officially considered the highest hill in the world, Cavanal Hill, at 1,999 feet (609 m); this is considering the fact that a "mountain" is anything 2,000 feet or higher. It is located in Poteau, Oklahoma.[4]

With 200 man-made lakes, Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state and boasts over one million surface-acres of water and 2,000 more miles (3,200 km) of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined. Lake Eufaula is the largest lake in the state, covering 102,000 surface acres (413 km²) of water. [4]

Map of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Population Density Map
Regions of Oklahoma
From an ecoregional perspective, Oklahoma is recognized by the EPA as having 11 different ecoregions (one of only four U.S. to have more than 10 ecoregions). These ecoregions are: Western high plains, Southwestern Tablelands, Central Great Plains, Tall Grass Prairie, Cross Timbers, Caves & Prairie, Ozark Highlands, Ozark Forest, Hardwood Forest, Ouachita Mountains, and Cypress Swamps & Forests.

The Oklahoma Tourism Department divides the state down into six "countries" for tourism promotion purposes: Red Carpet Country (Northwestern Oklahoma and The Panhandle), Great Plains Country (Southwestern Oklahoma), Frontier Country (Central Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City Metropolitan area), Green Country (Northeastern Oklahoma, including the Tulsa Metropolitan area), Kiamichi country (Southeastern Oklahoma), and Lake & Trail Country (South Central Oklahoma).

Popular but "unofficial" regional designations include Green Country (most often used to refer to Northeastern Oklahoma, but used by some to refer to either all of Eastern Oklahoma or just the Tulsa Metropolitan Area), Little Dixie (Southeastern Oklahoma), Western Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Oklahoma has some of the strongest thunderstorms in the world because of cold and warm airmasses colliding east of the Rocky Mountains plus added force from the Jet Stream, making the state the heart of Tornado Alley.

It has been suggested that this section be split into a new article entitled History of Oklahoma. (Discuss)
American Indians
Main articles: Indian Removal and Indian Removal Act
Oklahoma was inhabited by American Indian tribes including the Wichita, Quapaw, Caddo and Osage.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was signed by President Andrew Jackson within a year of taking office. This act gave the President the power to negotiate treaties for removal with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi River. The treaty called for the Indians to give up their eastern land for land in the west. Those who wished to stay behind were allowed to stay and become citizens in their state. For the tribes that agreed to Jackson's terms, the removal was peaceful; however, those who resisted were forced to leave. [5]

The northern Indian tribes included Shawnee, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Sauk, and Foxes. Because of their size and fragmentation, relocation was easier than that of the southern tribes.

The Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes (the Five Civilized Tribes) living in the Southern United were considered civilized because of their adoption of Western customs and in the case of the Cherokee, the development of a written language, as well as having good relationships with their neighbors. [6]

The Choctaws signed relocation treaties in September 1830. Those Choctaws that decided to stay in Mississippi were soon cheated of their lands and eventually sold their land and moved west. [5]
The Creek also refused to relocate and signed a treaty in March 1832 to open up a large portion of their land in exchange for protection of ownership of their remaining lands. The United failed to protect the Creeks, and in 1837, they were militarily removed without ever signing a treaty. [5]
The Chickasaws saw the relocation as inevitable and signed a treaty in 1832 which included protection until their move. The Chickasaws were forced to move early as a result of white settlers and the War Department's refusal to protect the Indian's lands. [5]
In 1833, a small group of Seminoles signed a relocation treaty; however, the treaty was declared illegitimate by a majority of the tribe. The result was the Second and Third Seminole Wars. Those that survived the wars eventually were paid to move west. [5]
The Cherokee were tricked with an illegitimate treaty, the Treaty of New Echota of 1833. The Cherokee were given two years to move west or else be forced to move. At the end of the two years only 2,000 Cherokees had migrated westward and 16,000 remained on their lands. The U.S. sent 7,000 soldiers to force the Cherokee to move without the time to gather their belongings. This march westward is known as the Trail of Tears in which 4,000 Cherokee died. [5]
After the American Civil War, in 1866, the federal government forced the tribes into new treaties. Most of the land in central and western Indian Territory was ceded to the government. Some of the land was given to other tribes, but the central part, the so-called Unassigned Lands, remained with the government. Another concession allowed railroads to cross Indian lands.

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 1870s, a movement began by people wanting to settle the government lands in the Indian Territory under the Homestead Act of 1862. They referred to the Unassigned Lands as Oklahoma and to themselves as Boomers.

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. This prompted 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 1884, in United v. Payne, the United District Court in Topeka, Kansas, ruled that settling on the lands ceded to the government by the Indians under the 1866 treaties was not a crime. The government at first resisted, but Congress soon enacted laws authorizing settlement.

Congress passed the Dawes Act, or General Allotment Act, in 1887 requiring the government to negotiate agreements with the tribes to divide Indian lands into individual holdings. Under the allotment system, tribal lands left over would be surveyed for settlement by non-Indians. Following settlement, many whites accused Republican officials of giving preferential treatment to ex-slaves in land disputes.

Land runs
Main articles: Land run and Land Run of 1889
Following the Civil War, the United entered into two new treaties with the Creeks and the Seminoles. Under these treaties, tribes would sell at least part of their land in Oklahoma to the U.S. to settle other Indian tribes and freemen.[7][8] This land would be widely called the Unassigned Lands or Oklahoma Country in the 1880s due to it remaining uninhabited for over a decade.[9]

In 1879, part-Cherokee Elias C. Boudinot argued that these Unassigned Lands be open for settlement because the title to these lands belonged to the United and "whatever may have been the desire or intention of the United Government in 1866 to located Indians and negroes upon these lands, it is certain that no such desire or intention exists in 1879. The Negro since that date, has become a citizen of the United , and Congress has recently enacted laws which practically forbid the removal of any more Indians into the Territory".[3]

On March 23, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation which opened up the two million acres (8,000 km²) of the Unassigned Lands for settlement on April 22, 1889. It was to be the first of many land runs, but later land openings were conducted by means of a lottery because of widespread cheating—some of the settlers were called Sooners because they had already staked their land claims before the land was officially opened for settlement.

The Organic Act of 1890 created the Oklahoma Territory out of the Unassigned Lands and the area known as No Man's Land.

In 1893, the government purchased the rights to settle the Cherokee Outlet, or Cherokee Strip, from the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Outlet was part of the lands ceded to the government in the 1866 treaty, but the Cherokees retained access to the area and had leased it to several Chicago meat-packing plants for huge cattle ranches. The Cherokee Strip was opened to settlement by land run in 1894. Also, in 1893, Congress set up the Dawes Commission to negotiate agreements with each of the Five Civilized Tribes for the allotment of tribal lands to individual Indians. Finally, the 1898 Curtis Act abolished tribal jurisdiction over all of Indian Territory.

20th Century
In the early 20th century, the oil business began to get underway. Huge pools of underground oil were discovered in places like Glenpool near Tulsa. 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, such as the Tulsa mansion which was converted into the Philbrook Museum of Art or the art deco architecture of downtown Tulsa.

For Oklahoma, the early quarter of the 20th century was politically turbulent. Many different groups had flooded into the state; "black towns", or towns made of groups of African Americans choosing to live separately from whites, sprouted all over the state, while most of the state abided by the Jim Crow laws within each individual city, racially separating people with a bias against any non-White race. Greenwood, a neighborhood in Northern Tulsa, was known as Black Wall Street because of the vibrant business, cultural, and religious community there. The area was the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race War, one of the United ' deadliest race riots.

The Oklahoma Socialist Party achieved a small degree of success in this era (the small party had its highest per-capita membership in Oklahoma at this time with 12,000 dues paying members in 1914), including the publication of dozens of party newspapers and the election of several hundred local elected officials. Much of their success came from their willingness to reach out to Black and American Indian voters (they were the only party to continue to resist Jim Crow laws), and their willingness to alter traditional Marxist ideology when it made sense to do so (the biggest changes were the party's support of widespread small-scale land ownership, and their willingness to use religion positively to preach the "Socialist gospel"). The state party also delivered presidential candidate Eugene Debs some of his highest vote counts in the nation.

The party was later crushed into virtual non-existence during the "white terror" that followed the ultra-repressive environment following the Green Corn Rebellion and the World War I era paranoia against anyone who spoke against the war or capitalism.

The Industrial Workers of the World tried to gain headway during this period but achieved little success. The Ku Klux Klan was also particularly active but was virtually eliminated following a major campaign by the state government in the 1950s.

Dust Bowl Era
During the height of the Great Depression, drought and poor agricultural practices led to the Dust Bowl, when massive dust storms blew away the soil from large tracts of arable land and deposited it on nearby farms and ranches, distant , the Atlantic Ocean, and even occasionally Great Britain. The resulting crop failures forced many small farmers to flee the state altogether. Although the most persistent dust storms primarily affected the Panhandle, much of the state experienced occasional dusters, intermittent severe drought, and occasional searing heat. Towns such as Alva, Altus, and Poteau each recorded temperatures of 120°F (49°C) during the epic summer of 1936.

Advances in agro-mechanical technology simultaneously enabled less labor-intensive crop production. Many large landowners and planters had more labor than they needed with the new technology, and the federal Agricultural Adjustment Act paid them to reduce production. Plantation owners throughout the American South and much of eastern and southern Oklahoma released their sharecroppers of their debts and evicted them. With few or no local opportunities available for them, many emancipated, but destitute blacks and whites fled to the relative prosperity of California to work as migrant farm workers and, after the onset of World War II, in factories.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, photographs by Dorothea Lange, and songs of Woody Guthrie tell tales of woe from the era. 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. These works often mix the experiences of former sharecroppers of the western American South with those of the exodusters fleeing the fierce dust storms of the High Plains. Although they primarily feature the extremely destitute, the vast majority of the people, both staying in and fleeing from Oklahoma, suffered great poverty in the Depression years. Some Oklahoma politicians denounced The Grapes of Wrath (often without reading it) as an attempt to impugn the morals and character of Oklahomans.

The term "Okie" in recent years has taken on a new meaning in the past few decades, with many Oklahomans (both former and present) wearing the label as a badge of honor (as a symbol of the Okie survivor attitude). Others (mostly alive during the Dust Bowl era) still see the term negatively because they see the "Okie" migrants as quitters and transplants to the West Coast.

Major trends in Oklahoma history after the Depression era included the rise again of tribal sovereignty (including the issuance of tribal automobile license plates, and the opening of tribal smoke shops, casinos, grocery stores, and other commercial enterprises), the building of Tinker Air Force Base, the rapid growth of suburban Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the drop in population in Western Oklahoma, the oil boom of the 1980s and the oil bust of the 1990s.

Alcoholic beverages
The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.

Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

Oklahoma has some of the strictest liquor laws in the country. This began with the state's constitution including total prohibition of alcoholic beverages. In 1959, voters repealed total prohibition and liquor-by-the-drink bars were not allowed until 1985.[1] Since 1985, liquor-by-the-drink is decided on a county-by-county basis, with approximately half allowing it. Currently, liquor stores are required to close on Sundays, may not be open past 9:00 pm, and may not refrigerate alcohol. (Warehouses and shipping companies are also prohibited from using refrigeration.) Some bars are also restricted from selling beverages in excess of 3.2% alcohol. Persons under twenty-one years of age are prohibited from being in a bar area of a restaurant. Some breweries, such as New Belgium Brewing Company, will not ship to Oklahoma because these laws degrade the quality of beer by the time it reaches the consumer.

Despite being illegal, some state residents cross into Texas to purchase high-point beer and transport it back into Oklahoma—though high-point beer may be purchased legally in liquor stores. This trend has prompted several Texas border-counties to prohibit the sale of alcohol in order to discourage would-be bootleggers.

In April 2005, the state's House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 518, banning happy hour and drown nights. Since the use of the phrase "happy hour" was restricted, many bars and pubs began using alternative phrases, such as "Hour of Happiness" or "Hour of Joy."

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

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Law and Government

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Minor parties

Federal government
United Senate
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John Sullivan (R)
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State Government
Main article: Government of Oklahoma
The capital of the state is Oklahoma City and the Governor of Oklahoma is Brad Henry (Democrat). Other Executive Branch elected officials include Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma Mary Fallin (Republican), Secretary of State of Oklahoma M. Susan Savage (Democrat), State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan (Democrat), Attorney General Drew Edmondson (Democrat), State Treasurer Scott Meacham (Democrat), Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett (Democrat), Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau (Republican), Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland (Democrat), and the three member State Corporation Commission which currently consists of Bob Anthony (Republican), Jeff Cloud (Republican), and Denise Bode (Republican).

The state capitol building of Oklahoma, located in eastern Oklahoma City.The Legislature of Oklahoma consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has 48 members serving four-year terms, while the House has 101 members with two year terms. The state has term limits for their legislature that restrict any one person to a total of twelve years service in both the House and Senate. In the 2005–2006 state legislature, control is split between the major parties, the Democrats control the Senate (26 to 22) while the Republicans control the House (57 to 44). This changes the government's make-up; before the 2004 election the Democrats had controlled both chambers since 1921. Republicans have never controlled the State Senate.

The state's judicial branch consists of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and 77 District Courts which serve one county apiece. The Oklahoma judiciary also contains two independent courts: a Court of Impeachment (which is the Senate sitting) and the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary. Oklahoma is unusual in that it has two courts of last resort, the state Supreme Court hears civil cases, and the state Court of Criminal Appeals hears criminal cases (the state of Texas uses a similar system). Judges of those two courts, as well as the Court of Civil Appeals are appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the state Judicial Nominating Commission, and are subject to a non-partisan retention vote on a six-year rotating schedule.

Due to Oklahoma's restrictive ballot access laws (deemed by many to be the most restrictive in the nation), no third parties have access to the primary ballots, however the state does have the following active third parties: Oklahoma Libertarian Party, Green Party of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Constitution Party. There are also organizers from the Communist Party USA working in the state.

See also: Governor of Oklahoma
See also: Oklahoma Legislature
See also: Oklahoma Supreme Court

Local Governance
The state is divided into 77 counties which deliver local government. Each is governed by a three member commission. Other county elected officials are the tax assessor, clerk, court clerk, treasurer, and sheriff.

Cities and towns are established under the rights granted in the Oklahoma statutes (in comparison, Oklahoma gives municipal governments a great deal of latitude in chartering new governments). Towns are municipalities of under 1000 residents, while cities have more than 1000 residents. Major cities are also allowed to form "charter governments," in which the voters choose the form of government they want to use in place of the statutory forms.

Other local government units in Oklahoma include independent and dependent school districts, Technology Center Districts (once known as VOTECH), community college districts, rural fire departments, rural water districts, and other special use districts.

National Politics
After the 2000 census the Oklahoma delegation to the U.S. House was reduced from six to five representatives. For the 109th Congress (2005–2006) there are no changes in party strength, and the delegation has four Republicans and one Democrat. Oklahoma's two U.S. senators are James M. Inhofe (Republican) and Tom Coburn (Republican). The U.S. Representatives are John Sullivan (Republican) of District 1, Dan Boren (Democrat) of District 2, Frank D. Lucas (Republican) of District 3, Tom Cole (Republican) of District 4, and Ernest Istook (Republican) of District 5.

Although there are more registered Democrats in Oklahoma than registered Republicans, it has become a solid Republican state in presidential elections, voting for the Republican in every election since 1968. (The 1976 Carter-Ford race was close). In 2004, George W. Bush carried every county in the state and 65.6% of the vote.

Oklahoma is a major fuel and food-producing state; thousands of oil and natural gas wells dot the Oklahoma landscape, and the state is among the highest food producing in the nation. Its main agricultural outputs are soy, wheat, cattle, dairy, poultry, and cotton. Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in the production of all wheat, fourth in cattle and calf production; fifth in the production of pecans; sixth in peanuts and eight in peaches. Its industrial outputs are transportation equipment, machinery, electric products, rubber and plastic products, and food processing. 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. Oklahoma City suburb Nichols Hills is ranked first on Oklahoma locations by per capita income at $73,661.

Oklahoma City is a primary economic engine of the state, centered on the finance, retail, governance, entertainment, and tourism sectors. The city has numerous manufacturing and processing plants as well as a growing biotech research and health center. Oklahoma City has a large aviation market and its location at the intersection of I-35, I-40, and I-44 makes Oklahoma City an important distribution point.

Oklahoma City is home to many corporate and regional headquarters including Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy, Sonic, SBC, The Hertz Corporation, BancFirst, OGE Energy, Midfirst Bank, Hobby Lobby, Dobson Communications, Express Personnel Services, Oklahoma Publishing Company, Globe Life and Accident Insurance, AOL, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., Sonic Drive-In, and Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce.

Tulsa is a major economic center for the state.Tulsa is another primary economic engine of the state, centered on energy, aerospace, telecommunications, and transportation. The city has the nation's most inland sea port and Oklahoma's only connection to the ocean, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa [2], which connects the state with international ocean trade routes through the Arkansas River and Mississippi River. Despite an oil bust that plagued the entire state in the 1980's, Tulsa is still among the top cities in the nation for the number of oil and energy related company headquarters. Tulsa is also home to an extensive aviation market, exemplified by its American Airlines maintenance center, the largest airline maintenance base in the world.

Recently, Forbes magazine rated Tulsa as second in the nation in job income growth, and one of the best 50 cities to do business in the country. [10]

Companies based in Tulsa include The NORDAM Group, BOK Financial Corporation (BOKF), Bank of Oklahoma, Williams Companies, Oneok, Wiltel, QuikTrip, Public Service of Oklahoma, Mazzio's Corporation, Dollar-Thrifty, Hilti USA, and Vanguard.

Both of Oklahoma's major metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, are engaged in large-scale economic development and tourism initiatives.

Primary interstate highways in Oklahoma include I-35, which traverses the state from north to south, I-40, which traverses the state from east to west, and I-44, which enters Oklahoma in the southwest and leaves the state in the northeast corner. These highways all run through Oklahoma City.

The state's other interstate highways are Inter 235, 240, 244 and (unsigned) 444. I-235 (Centennial Expressway) is a north-south freeway connecting I-35 and I-44 through the center of Oklahoma City. I-240 (South Bypass) is an east-west freeway serving as a southern bypass of Oklahoma City. I-244 (Crosstown Expressway/MLK Expressway) is a loop that connects downtown Tulsa to I-44, and I-444, which is unsigned, forms the south and east sides of the "Inner Dispersal Loop" in downtown Tulsa.

Oklahoma is served by two major airports:

Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City
Tulsa International Airport
There are also numerous other regional and general aviation airports:

See: List of airports in Oklahoma

Amtrak also operates a daily train between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas, the Heartland Flyer.

Heartland Flyer Official Website

Main articles: List of Oklahoma school districts by county, List of school districts in Oklahoma, List of private schools in Oklahoma, List of vocational technical schools in Oklahoma, and List of colleges and universities in Oklahoma


Oklahoma PrairieThe various government sponsored arts, community, and tourism programs emphasize Oklahoma's Native American heritage heavily. There are many central areas of Native American heritage in Oklahoma, including one of the most notable, Tahlequah, which is near Muskogee in Eastern Oklahoma. Native American culture runs deep in the lives of Oklahomans and one may experience it through various cultural programs including pow wows, the Tsa-La-Gi village in Tahlequah, OK and the International Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Other ethnic celebrations include those of Yukon & Prague (celebrating the Czech heritage of some early immigrants), Tulsa's Greek Holiday, the Tulsa Scottish Games, Shalomfest (in Tulsa), Tulsa's German Oktoberfest, the Mennonite Relief Sale (in Enid, OK), Italian festivals and neighborhoods in the McAlester and Krebs area, traditional Asian, African American, and Hispanic celebrations in Oklahoma City as well as the pride parade and festival in the city's GLBT district, and the Juneteenth Celebrations found all across the state.

Because of the devastation of New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005, the NBA's New Orleans Hornets relocated to Oklahoma City and are currently known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. The Hornets are the first major professional sports league franchise to play in the state.

The minor league baseball teams are:

Oklahoma RedHawks (AAA in Oklahoma City)
Tulsa Drillers (AA in Tulsa)
Other Oklahoma City teams include

Oklahoma City Blazers (Ice Hockey: CHL)
Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (Arena Football League: AF2)
Oklahoma City Lightning (Women's Football: NWFA)
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (National Basketball Association)
Other Enid teams include

Oklahoma Storm (Basketball: United Basketball League)
Other Tulsa teams include

Tulsa Oilers (Ice Hockey: CHL)
Tulsa Talons (Arena Football: AF2)
Tulsa 66ers (Basketball: NBA Development League)
Oklahoma's major college teams are

the Oklahoma State Cowboys (Oklahoma State University)
the Oklahoma Sooners (University of Oklahoma)
the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (University of Tulsa)

Important Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Oklahoma City
Main article: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, with a population of 523,303 in the immediate city limits[11] and 1.3 million in the metro area,[12] is the principal city of the eight-county Oklahoma City Metroplex and is the Oklahoma's largest urbanized area. As of 2000, it was the 47th largest metro in the nation, with 1.3 million people.[13] Some of the major cities comprising the Oklahoma City Metro include Norman, Edmond, Guthrie, Moore, Mustang, Yukon, and Shawnee.

Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma, as well as its main civic, business, and entertainment hub. Oklahoma City is steadily recovering from the oil bust that destroyed the city's identity.

Main article: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is the second largest city in Oklahoma, with 387,807 within the city limits[11] and 890,000 in the statistical metropolitan area.[14]. The city is an important Southern and Midwest regional economic hub, is the architectural and arts center of the state. It is Oklahoma's second largest urbanized area. As of 2000, it was the 53rd largest metropolitan area in the nation.[13]

Other important cities
Broken Arrow
Sand Springs
Ponca City
See also: List of cities in Oklahoma and List of towns in Oklahoma

Miscellaneous Topics

The people of Oklahoma participate in 73 major religious affiliations ranging from the Southern Baptist Convention with 1578 churches and 967,223 members to the Holy Orthodox Church in North America, 1 church, 6 members.

The 10 most popular religious affiliations (including "none") account for more than 90% of all Oklahomans:[15]

No religious affiliation - 39.24%
Southern Baptist – 28.03%
United Methodist Church – 9.35%
Catholic Church – 4.89%
Assemblies of God – 2.56%
Church of Christ – 2.41%
Disciples of Christ - 1.56%
Evangelical Christian Churches - 1.24%
Church of the Nazarene - 1.06
Presbyterian Church (USA) - 1.02%
Note: Terms shown are the ones used by ARDA; Catholic Church, for instance, versus Roman Catholic Church. The ARDA also notes that their data undercounts traditionally-black churches.

Oklahoma state symbols
Floral emblem Mistletoe
Wildflower Indian Blanket Gaillardia pulchella 1910
Tree Redbud Cercis canadensis 1971
Grass Indian Grass Sorghastrum nutans 1972
Flower Oklahoma Rose 2004
Bird Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Muscivora forficata 1951
Reptile Collared Lizard (Mountain Boomer) Crotaphytus collaris) 1969
Animal Bison Bison bison 1972
Fish White bass (Sand bass) Morone chrysops 1974
Furbearer Animal Common Raccoon Procyon lotor 1989
Insect Honeybee Apis millifera 1992
Game Animal White-tail deer Odocoileus virginians 1990
Game Bird Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo 1990
Butterfly Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes 1996
Amphibian Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana 1997
Fossil Allosaurid dinosaur Saurophaganax maximus 2000
waltz "Oklahoma Wind"
Anthem "Oklahoma!"
lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
music: Richard Rodgers 1953
Song "Oklahoma Hills"
lyrics: Woody Guthrie
music: Woody Guthrie
Musical Instrument Fiddle 1984
Country and Western Song "Faded Love"
by John Willis
and Bob Wills 1988
Folk Dance Square Dance 1988
Percussive Musical Instrument Drum 1993
Children's Song "Oklahoma, My Native Land"
by Martha Kemm Barrett 1996
Western Band The Sounds of the Southwest 1997
Folk Song "Oklahoma Hills"
by Woody Guthrie
and Jack Guthrie 2001
Colors Green and White 1915
Rock Rose Rock (Barite rose) 1968
Theatre Lynn Riggs Players of Oklahoma, Inc. 1971
Poem "Howdy Folks" by David Randolph Milsten 1973
Pin "OK" pin 1982
Beverage Milk 1985
Soil Port Silt Loam Cumulic haplustolls 1987
Meal Fried okra,
barbecue pork,
sausage and gravy,
chicken fried steak,
pecan pie,
and black-eyed peas. 1988
Poet Laureate biennial gubernatorial appointment 1994
Tartan Oklahoma Tartan 1999

Historical populations
year Population Change Percent


1890 258,657 - -
1900 790,391 531,734 206%
1910 1,657,155 866,764 110%
1920 2,028,283 371,128 22%
1930 2,396,040 367,757 18%
1940 2,336,434 -59,606 -2%
1950 2,233,351 -103,083 -4%
1960 2,328,284 94,933 4%
1970 2,559,229 230,945 10%
1980 3,025,290 466,061 18%
1990 3,145,585 120,295 4%
2000 3,450,654 305,069 10%
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2005, Oklahoma has an estimated population of 3,547,884, which is an increase of 24,338, or 0.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 97,232, or 2.8%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 80,753 people (that is 264,324 births minus 183,571 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 21,128 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United resulted in a net increase of 36,546 people, and migration within the country produced a net decrease of 15,418 people.

Demographics of Oklahoma (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 82.59% 8.31% 11.39% 1.71% 0.15%
2000 (hispanic only) 4.73% 0.19% 0.37% 0.05% 0.02%
2005 (total population) 82.20% 8.55% 11.31% 1.92% 0.16%
2005 (hispanic only) 6.10% 0.24% 0.35% 0.06% 0.03%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 2.33% 5.76% 2.04% 15.49% 9.51%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) 0.50% 5.17% 2.22% 15.19% 9.47%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 32.58% 31.44% -3.27% 25.17% 9.69%

The five largest ancestry groups in Oklahoma are German (14.5%), American (13.1%), Irish (11.8%), English (9.6%), Native American (7.9%, with Cherokees as the largest tribe).

German-Americans are present in the northwestern part of the state. American Indians predominate in eastern Oklahoma. Oklahomans of British ancestry dominate Tulsa and some other areas. Americans of African descent are a plurality in Lawton and Oklahoma City, while Pittsburg county has many Irish-Americans. Oklahoma City has the largest Asian and Asian American populations. A few western counties have significant Mexican American populations.

6.8% of Oklahoma's population was reported as under 5, 25.9% under 18, and 13.2% was 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.9% of the population.

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 [3]. 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. [4]. 39 of the Amerindian tribes currently living in Oklahoma are headquartered in the state.

Oklahoma is one of only two whose capital city's name includes the state name. The other is Indianapolis, Indiana.
The first YIELD sign was used in a trial bases in Tulsa.
Oklahoma was the last state in the Union to legalize tattooing (Bill passed in June 2006, and officially becomes legal November 1, 2006)
The world's first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City, on July 16, 1935. Carl C. Magee, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is generally credited with originating the parking meter. He filed for a patent for a "coin controlled parking meter" on May 13, 1935.
Vinita is the oldest incorporated town on Oklahoma Route 66 being established in 1871. Vinita was the first town in Oklahoma to enjoy electricity. Originally named Downingville. The town's name was later changed to Vinita, in honor of Vinnie Ream, the sculptress who created the life-size statue of Lincoln at the United Capitol.
Rural Oklahoma, similar to problems faced by other Plains (Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa), is seeing populations fall in many communities. Between 1996 and 2004 nearly 500,000 people, half of them with college degrees, left the six . The effects of rural flight in Oklahoma have mostly been felt in Western Oklahoma.
The Amateur Softball Association of America - a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, OK - was founded in 1933 and has evolved into the strongest softball organization in the country.
Boise City, Oklahoma was the only city in the United to be bombed during World War II. On Monday night, July 5, 1943, at approximately 12:30 a.m., a B-17 Bomber based at Dalhart Army Air Base (50 miles to the south of Boise City) dropped six practice bombs on the sleeping town.
An Oklahoman, Sylvan Goldman, invented the first shopping cart.
Bob Dunn, a musician from Beggs, invented the first electric guitar in 1935.
In Guthrie, nearly 20,000 lighters and "fire starters" are displayed at the National Lighter Museum. It is the nation's only museum devoted to the collection of lighters.
Oklahoma has approximately 11,611 miles of shoreline, slightly less than the estimated combined general (nontidal) coastline of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, and Arctic Coasts which has 12,383 miles.[16]
In recent years, Oklahoma has become the second largest natural gas-producing state in the nation. Only Texas surpasses Oklahoma in natural gas production.
See also:

More Oklahoma Trivia
Full Auto Shoot

See also
Cavanal Hill, World's tallest hill
List of people from Oklahoma
Partial list of Oklahoma casinos
List of Oklahoma numbered highways
Scouting in Oklahoma

Further reading
Baird, W. David and Danney Goble. Story of Oklahoma (1994)
Dale, Edward Everett and Morris L. Wardell. History of Oklahoma (1948)
Gibson, Arrell Morgan. Oklahoma: A History of Five Centuries (1981).
Goble, Danney. Progressive Oklahoma: The Making of a New Kind of State (1979)
Jones, Stephen. Oklahoma Politics in State and Nation Volume I: 1907-1962 (1974).
Morgan, David R. et al. Oklahoma Politics & Policies: Governing the Sooner State (1991)
Morgan, Anne Hodges and H. Wayne Morgan, eds., Oklahoma: New Views of the FortySixth State (1982), essays by scholars
Morris, John W. et al., Historical Atlas of Oklahoma 3d ed. (1986).
Wishart, David J. ed. Encyclopedia of the Great Plains (2004)
Joyce, David D. An Oklahoma I Had Never Seen Before: Alternative Views of Oklahoma History (1994).

^ a b Oklahoma QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau (English). State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau (2006-01-12). Retrieved on 2006-06-06.
^ Oklahoma State History and Information. A Look at Oklahoma. Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation. Retrieved on 2006-06-07.
^ a b Merserve, John (December 1941). Chief Allen Wright (English). Chronicles of Oklahoma. Retrieved on 2006-06-07.
^ a b About Oklahoma (English). Retrieved on 2006-07-10.
^ a b c d e f Indian removal (English). PBS. Retrieved on 2006-06-06.
^ Five Civilized Tribes (English). Retrieved on 2006-06-06.
^ Treaty with the Seminole, 1866 (English). Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Volume II, Treaties. Oklahoma State University. Retrieved on 2006-06-08.
^ Treaty with the Creek, 1866 (English). Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties Volume II, Treaties. Oklahoma State University. Retrieved on 2006-06-08.
^ Unassigned Lands (English). Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved on 2006-06-08.
^ Tulsa, OK: Best Places to do Business 2006 (English) (web). Forbes Magazine pp. 1. Forbes Magazine (2006). Retrieved on 2006-07-23.
^ a b Oklahoma City (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau (English). State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau (2006-01-12). Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
^ Population and Housing Profile: Oklahoma City, OK MSA (2003) Retrieved September 16, 2006
^ a b Population in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Population for the United and Puerto Rico: 1990 and 2000 (English) (PDF). United Census 2000 pp. 3. United State Census Bureau (2003-12-30). Retrieved on 2006-06-08.
^ Population and Housing Profile: Tulsa, OK MSA (2003) Retrieved September 16, 2006
^ Association of Religion Data Archives
^ Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Oklahoma Water Facts: "Oklahoma has approximately 11,611 miles of shoreline ...". (Retrieved August 3, 2006)
U.S. Census Bureau.
Oklahoma QuickFacts. Geographic and demographic information.
Oklahoma - Race and Hispanic Origin: 1890 to 1990 (PDF)


Oklahoma travel guide from Wikitravel
Oklahoma's Official Web Site
U.S. Census Bureau
Oklahoma State Facts
Oklahoma Tourism Official Website
State of Oklahoma
Capital Oklahoma City

Regions Arklatex - Central - Cherokee Outlet - Flint Hills - Green Country - Little Dixie - Northeastern - Panhandle - Ouachita Mountains - The Ozarks - Southeastern - Southwestern

Largest cities Broken Arrow - Edmond - Enid - Lawton - Midwest City - Moore - Norman - Oklahoma City - Stillwater - Tulsa

Counties Adair - Alfalfa - Atoka - Beaver - Beckham - Blaine - Bryan - Caddo - Canadian - Carter - Cherokee - Choctaw - Cimarron - Cleveland - Coal - Comanche - Cotton - Craig - Creek - Custer - Delaware - Dewey - Ellis - Garfield - Garvin - Grady - Grant - Greer - Harmon - Harper - Haskell - Hughes - Jackson - Jefferson - Johnston - Kay - Kingfisher - Kiowa - Latimer - Le Flore - Lincoln - Logan - Love - Major - Marshall - Mayes - McClain - McCurtain - McIntosh - Murray - Muskogee - Noble - Nowata - Okfuskee - Oklahoma - Okmulgee - Osage - Ottawa - Pawnee - Payne - Pittsburg - Pontotoc - Pottawatomie - Pushmataha - Roger Mills - Rogers - Seminole - Sequoyah - Stephens - Texas - Tillman - Tulsa - Wagoner - Washington - Washita - Woods - Woodwards