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10 Things Y’all Didn’t Know About Oklahoma

The Name

The name “Oklahoma” comes from two Choctaw words: “okla” meaning people and “humma” meaning red. The state’s name reflects its deep Native American roots, as it’s home to more tribes than any other state.

The Great Land Run

On April 22, 1889, the first “Land Run” took place. Tens of thousands of settlers raced to claim their piece of the available two million acres. This event, and several subsequent ones, were significant in populating Oklahoma.

Capital on the Move

Oklahoma City became the state capital in 1910, taking over from Guthrie. Legend has it that in a covert midnight operation, state seals and documents were taken from Guthrie and moved to solidify Oklahoma City’s status.

A Route to Remember

The iconic Route 66, which starts in Chicago and ends in Santa Monica, runs through Oklahoma. This historic highway has been celebrated in song, story, and film.

Pioneering Parking Meters

The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935. Carl C. Magee, who designed the meter, revolutionized urban parking with his invention.

Major Producer of Natural Gas

Oklahoma ranks among the top natural gas-producing states in the U.S. The state has abundant natural resources, making it a vital player in the country’s energy sector.

Cowboy Culture

Oklahoma is deeply rooted in cowboy culture, with numerous rodeos, western museums, and cowboy festivals. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City showcases the history and culture of the American West.

Weather Extremes

The state experiences a high number of tornadoes, especially in “Tornado Alley.” These extreme weather events have played a pivotal role in shaping the state’s culture and community preparedness.

Native Tongues

Oklahoma recognizes multiple Native American languages as the state’s official languages alongside English. This reflects the state’s commitment to preserving its indigenous heritage.

Musical Legacy

The state’s rich history and diverse culture have been immortalized in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Oklahoma!” The title song, “Oklahoma,” is also the state’s official song.

From its indigenous heritage to its pivotal moments in American settlement and growth, Oklahoma offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural vibrancy that stands out in the heartland of America.

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