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Oklahoma, US (Population: 3,579,212)

State Capitol: Oklahoma City

Major Cities: Tulsa, Norman, Lawton, Broken Arrow, Edmond, Midwest City, Enid, Moore, Stillwater

State Nickname/Motto: Sooner State – Labor omnia vincit: Labor Conquers All Things

Statehood Granted: November 16, 1907

History: Oklahoma has a diverse history as home for American Indian people, a frontier state, a destination for freed slaves, and as the heart of the oil boom in the early 20th century. As Indian Territory, the state was the new home for thousands of American Indian people removed from their homes in the East and who survived the Trail of Tears. Situated along the routes of cattle drives and a destination for white settlers during the Oklahoma Land Runs, the state developed a combination of Western and American Indian heritage that played a large part in its cultural development. Today, the state contains more American Indian tribal headquarters than any other state, as well as the nation's largest American Indian population.

Geography: Highest point: Black Mesa 4,973 feet. Oklahoma’s three primary mountain ranges are the Ouachitas, Arbuckles, and the Kiamichis. In addition to several smaller ranges, Oklahoma also notably encompasses a portion of the Ozarks. Along with the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains are the only major highland regions between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (94.3%), White (75.4%), Black or African American (7.1%), American Indian and Alaska Native (7.4%), Asian (1.6%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.1%), Some other race (2.7%), Two or more races (5.7%), Hispanic or Latino (6.6%)*

Famous State People:

  • Woody Guthrie (1912 - 1967) Folk singer, guitarist, and composer. He published over 1,000 songs of social commentary; born in Okemah.
  • Mickey Mantle (1931 - 1995) Baseball player. He was a star player for the New York Yankees; born in Spavinaw.
  • Garth Brooks (1962 - ) Famous Country/Western singer who has sold over 104 million albums; born in Tulsa.
  • L. Gordon Cooper Jr. (1927 - ) Astronaut; born in Shawnee.
  • Vince Gill(1957 - ) Famous singer; born in Norman.
  • James Francis "Jim" Thorpe (1888 - 1953) An Olympic champion and professional football legend; born near Prague.
  • Patti Page (1927 - ) Famous singer; born in Claremore.
  • Chuck Norris (1940 - ) Famous martial arts star and action movie star; born in Ryan.
  • John Hope Franklin (1915 - ) Author, born in Rentiesville.
  • James Garner (1928 - ) Famous actor; born in Norman.
  • Jeremy Castle (1974 - ) Country music singer/songwriter; born in Oklahoma City, raised in Blanchard.
  • Maria Tallchief (1925 - ) Classical dancer and prima ballerina for the New York City Ballet; born in Fairfax.
  • Paul Harvey (1918 - ) Broadcaster; born and raised in Tulsa.
  • Reba McEntire (1955 - ) Famous Country music singer; born in Chockie.
  • Brad Pitt (1963 - ) Actor, famous for movies such as Legends of the Fall, Seven Years in Tibet and Meet Joe Black; born in Shawnee.
  • Troy Aikman (1966 - ) Football player who led the Dallas Cowboys to 3 Super Bowl titles (1992,93,95); lived in Henryetta.
  • Alice Mary Robertson (1854-1931) Educator and social worker. She was the first woman from Oklahoma to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1921-1923).
  • Toby Keith (1961 - ) Famous Country Western Singer; born in Clinton..li>
  • Blake Shelton (1976 - ) Famous Country/Western singer; grew up in Ada.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Cameron University, East Central University, Langston University, Northeastern State University-Tahlequah, Northeastern State-Broken Arrow, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University, Rogers State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Carl Albert State College, Connors State College, Murray State College, Northern Oklahoma College, Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma State University, Redlands Community College, Tulsa Community College, Western Oklahoma State College

    State Parks: Adair, Alabaster Caverns, Arrowhead, Beaver Dunes, Beavers Bend, Bernice, Black Mesa, Boggy Depot, Boiling Springs, Brushy Lake, Cherokee Landing, Cherokee, Clayton Lake, Crowder Lake, Disney/Little Blue, Dripping Springs, Fort Cobb, Foss, Gloss Mountain, Grand Cherokee, Great Salt Plains, Greenleaf, Heavener Runestone, Hochatown, Honey Creek, Hugo Lake, Keystone, Lake Eucha, Lake Murray, Lake Texoma, Lake Thunderbird, Lake Wister, Little Sahara, McGee Creek, Natural Falls, Okmulgee, Osage Hills, Quartz Mountain, Raymond Gary, Red Rock Canyon, Robbers Cave, Sequoyah Bay, Snowdale, Spavinaw, Talimena, Tenkiller, Twin Bridges, Wah-Sha-She

    Misc: Because of Oklahoma's central location in the United States, the cultures of the Midwest, the Southwest, the West, and the Southeast all have had an impact on activities and tourist destinations. For example, Guymon, in the state's panhandle, hosts one of the largest rodeos in the nation, typifying western Oklahoma's Southwest cultural influence. Northeast Oklahoma is influenced by Midwestern and Western cultures, while Southeast Oklahoma is known as Little Dixie because of its heavy southern cultural influence. Most of Oklahoma shares some degree of American Indian cultural influence, dating to pre-statehood. The various government sponsored arts, community, and tourism programs emphasize Oklahoma's American Indian heritage including one of the most notable, Tahlequah, the Capitol of the Cherokee Nation, which is near Muskogee in eastern Oklahoma American Indian culture runs deep in the lives of Oklahomans and one may experience it through various cultural programs including Pow wows at the Tsa-La-Gi village in Tahlequah, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Oklahoma strongly embraces its native roots, and celebrates and supports its more than 10 American Indian languages and the over 10,000 speakers.

    *U.S. Census - 2005