Happy Birthday Oklahoma!

The Sooner State became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907.

The struggles of our state – the Tulsa Massacre – the Dust Bowl – the Trail of Tears – have created strong Oklahomans.  We put aside our differences and lend a helping hand to friends and strangers when Mother Nature sends a tornado in our path.  We remember the innocent lives lost in the Oklahoma City bombing and we love to spar with our neighbors during Bedlam.  

We are not perfect and in some ways, we have a long way to go – but today let’s celebrate what makes our state a wonderful place to call home.

An informal sampling of social media posts suggests some of the state’s best qualities.

  • American Indian culture, heritage and historical significance
  • Landscape diversity
  • Food – BBQ, Chicken Fried Steak, Fish
  • Oklahoman Standard, faith and values – its citizens always helping each other
  • Oklahoma Lakes – Grand, Cedar
  • Sunrises and sunsets
  • Oklahoma – the musical
  • Red dirt
  • Garth Brooks, Reba McIntire, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Toby Keith
  • Oklahoma, Oklahoma State football and OKC Thunder

Some interesting facts about Oklahoma.

  • There are currently 25 American Indian languages still spoken in Oklahoma. The two most commonly spoken American Indian languages are Cherokee and Choctaw with 10,000 Cherokee speakers living within the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction area of eastern Oklahoma, and another 10,000 Choctaw speakers living in the Choctaw Nation directly south of the Cherokees.
  • The state’s name is derived from the Choctaw words ‘okla’, ‘people’ and ‘humma’, which translates as ‘red’.
  • “The Sooner State” is a reference to the settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening. The land was open to settlers on a first come first served basis.
  • Oklahomans don’t mind being called Okies.
  • A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology.
  • Oklahoma has four primary mountain ranges: the Ouachita Mountains, the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, and the Ozark Mountains
  • Over 500 named creeks and rivers and 200 lakes make up Oklahoma’s waterways
  • State Flower – Oklahoma rose. It was designated in 2004.
  • State Floral emblem – The mistletoe.  It was adopted in 1893 (14 years before statehood) as the oldest state symbol of the state.
  • State Animal – American Buffalo
  • State Bird – Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • State Tree  – Redbud 

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