State of Oklahoma
Flag of Oklahoma State seal of Oklahoma
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): Sooner State; Land of the Red Man; Native America
Motto(s): Labor omnia vincit (Latin: Work conquers all)
Map of the United States with Oklahoma highlighted
Official language

English

(Cherokee official within Cherokee Nation and UKB)
Demonym Oklahoman; Okie (colloq.)
Capital
(and largest city)
Oklahoma City
Largest metro Oklahoma City-Shawnee
Area Ranked 20th
 - Total 69,897 sq mi
(181,295 km2)
 - Width 230 miles (450 km)
 - Length 465 miles (750 km)
 - % water 1.8
 - Latitude 33°37' N to 37° N
 - Longitude 94° 26' W to 103° W
Number of people Ranked 28th
 - Total 3,923,561 (2016 est)
 - Density 55.2/sq mi  (21.3/km2)
Ranked 35th
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Black Mesa
4,975 ft (1516 m)
 - Average 1,300 ft  (400 m)
 - Lowest point Little River at Arkansas border
289 ft (88 m)
Became part of the U.S. November 16, 1907 (46th)
Governor Mary Fallin (R)
U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R)
James Lankford (R)
U.S. House delegation 5 Republicans (list)
Time zones  
 - all of the state (legally) Central: UTC -6/-5
 - Kenton (informally) Mountain: UTC -7/-6
Abbreviations OK, Okla. US-OK
Website www.ok.gov
Oklahoma State symbols
Flag of Oklahoma.svg
The Flag of Oklahoma.

Seal of Oklahoma.svg
The Seal of Oklahoma.

Animate insignia
Amphibian Bullfrog
Bird(s) Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Fish White Bass
Flower(s) Oklahoma Rose
Grass Indian Grass
Insect European honey bee
Mammal(s) American Bison (State symbol)
Reptile Collared Lizard
Tree Redbud

Inanimate insignia
Colors White and green (vice versa)
Dinosaur Acrocanthosaurus
Fossil Saurophaganax
Soil Port Silt Loam
Song(s) "Oklahoma!"
Tartan Oklahoma Tartan

Route marker(s)
Oklahoma Route Marker

State Quarter
Quarter of Oklahoma
Released in 2008

Lists of United States state insignia

Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central United States.

The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the union. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, or informally "Okies", and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology.

With small mountain ranges, prairie, mesas, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains, Cross Timbers and the U.S. Interior Highlands—a region especially prone to severe weather. In addition to having a prevalence of English, German, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and Native American ancestry, more than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, third only to Alaska and California.

Oklahoma is located 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.

Geography

Rose rocks
State rock (rose rock) specimens from Cleveland County, with a US quarter for size reference.
Elk Mountain, OK
Elk Mountain, in the eastern Wichita Mountains

Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States, covering an area of 69,898 square miles (181,035 km2), with 68,667 square miles (177847 km2) of land and 1,281 square miles (3,188 km2) of water. It is one of six states on the Frontier Strip and lies partly in the Great Plains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states. It is bounded on the east by Arkansas and Missouri, on the north by Kansas, on the northwest by Colorado, on the far west by New Mexico, and on the south and near-west by Texas. Much of its border with Texas lies along the Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen, a failed continental rift. The geologic figure defines the placement of the Red River.

The Oklahoma panhandle's Western edge is out of alignment with its Texas border. The Oklahoma/New Mexico border is actually 2.1 to 2.2 miles east of the Texas line. The border between Texas and New Mexico was set first as a result of a survey by Spain in 1819. It was then set along the 103rd Meridian. In the 1890s, when Oklahoma was formally surveyed using more accurate surveying equipment and techniques, it was discovered the Texas line was not set along the 103rd Meridian. Surveying techniques were not as accurate in 1819, and the actual 103rd Meridian was approximately 2.2 miles to the east. It was much easier to leave the mistake than for Texas to cede land to New Mexico to correct the surveying error. The placement of the Oklahoma/New Mexico border represents the true 103rd Meridian.

Cimarron County in Oklahoma's panhandle is the only county in the United States that touches four other states: New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas.

Topography

See also: Lakes in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is between the Great Plains and the Ozark Plateau in the Gulf of Mexico watershed, generally sloping from the high plains of its western boundary to the low wetlands of its southeastern boundary. Its highest and lowest points follow this trend, with its highest peak, Black Mesa, at 4,973 feet (1,516 m) above sea level, situated near its far northwest corner in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The state's lowest point is on the Little River near its far southeastern boundary near the town of Idabel, Oklahoma, which dips to 289 feet (88 m) above sea level.

Waterfall at Medicine Park Creek, OK IMG 6987
The lower dam on Medicine Creek in Medicine Park, below Lake Lawtonka, built c. 1901 to serve the nearby city of Lawton. Medicine Park was one of the first resort communities established in the Wichita Mountains.
Wichita Mountains Narrows
Wichita Mountains Narrows

Among the most geographically diverse states, Oklahoma is one of four to harbor more than 10 distinct ecological regions, with 11 in its borders – more per square mile than in any other state. Its western and eastern halves, however, are marked by extreme differences in geographical diversity: Eastern Oklahoma touches eight ecological regions and its western half contains three. Although having fewer ecological regions Western Oklahoma contains many rare, relic species.

Talimenavista1
The Ouachita Mountains cover much of southeastern Oklahoma.
McIntosh County (Oklahoma)
Grave Creek in McIntosh County, Oklahoma

Oklahoma has four primary mountain ranges: the Ouachita Mountains, the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, and the Ozark Mountains. Contained within the U.S. Interior Highlands region, the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains mark the only major mountainous region between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians. A portion of the Flint Hills stretches into north-central Oklahoma, and near the state's eastern border, Cavanal Hill is regarded by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department as the world's tallest hill; at 1,999 feet (609 m), it fails their definition of a mountain by one foot.

The semi-arid high plains in the state's northwestern corner harbor few natural forests; the region has a rolling to flat landscape with intermittent canyons and mesa ranges like the Glass Mountains. Partial plains interrupted by small, sky island mountain ranges like the Antelope Hills and the Wichita Mountains dot southwestern Oklahoma; transitional prairie and oak savannahs cover the central portion of the state. The Ozark and Ouachita Mountains rise from west to east over the state's eastern third, gradually increasing in elevation in an eastward direction.

Turner falls ok
Turner Falls

More than 500 named creeks and rivers make up Oklahoma's waterways, and with 200 lakes created by dams, it holds the nation's highest number of artificial reservoirs. Most of the state lies in two primary drainage basins belonging to the Red and Arkansas rivers, though the Lee and Little rivers also contain significant drainage basins.

Flora and fauna

Tallgrass Prairie Nature Preserve in Osage County
Populations of American bison inhabit the state's prairie ecosystems.

Due to Oklahoma's location at the confluence of many geographic regions, the state's climatic regions have a high rate of biodiversity for their size. Forests cover 24 percent of Oklahoma and prairie grasslands composed of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and tallgrass prairie, harbor expansive ecosystems in the state's central and western portions, although cropland has largely replaced native grasses. Where rainfall is sparse in the state's western regions, shortgrass prairie and shrublands are the most prominent ecosystems, though pinyon pines, red cedar (junipers), and ponderosa pines grow near rivers and creek beds in the panhandle's far western reaches. Southwestern Oklahoma contains many rare, disjunct species including sugar maple, bigtooth maple, nolina and southern live oak.

Marshlands, cypress forests and mixtures of shortleaf pine, loblolly pine, blue palmetto, and deciduous forests dominate the state's southeastern quarter, while mixtures of largely post oak, elm, red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and pine forests cover northeastern Oklahoma.

The state holds populations of white-tailed deer, mule deer, antelope, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, elk, and birds such as quail, doves, cardinals, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and pheasants. In prairie ecosystems, American bison, greater prairie chickens, badgers, and armadillo are common, and some of the nation's largest prairie dog towns inhabit shortgrass prairie in the state's panhandle. The Cross Timbers, a region transitioning from prairie to woodlands in Central Oklahoma, harbors 351 vertebrate species. The Ouachita Mountains are home to black bear, red fox, grey fox, and river otter populations, which coexist with a total of 328 vertebrate species in southeastern Oklahoma. Also, in southeastern Oklahoma lives the American alligator.

Protected lands

Gloss Mountains
Mesas rise above one of Oklahoma's state parks.

Oklahoma has 50 state parks, six national parks or protected regions, two national protected forests or grasslands, and a network of wildlife preserves and conservation areas. Six percent of the state's 10 million acres (40,000 km2) of forest is public land, including the western portions of the Ouachita National Forest, the largest and oldest national forest in the Southern United States.

With 39,000 acres (158 km2), the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in north-central Oklahoma is the largest protected area of tallgrass prairie in the world and is part of an ecosystem that encompasses only 10 percent of its former land area, once covering 14 states. In addition, the Black Kettle National Grassland covers 31,300 acres (127 km2) of prairie in southwestern Oklahoma. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the oldest and largest of nine national wildlife refuges in the state and was founded in 1901, encompassing 59,020 acres (238.8 km2).

Of Oklahoma's federally protected park or recreational sites; the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is the largest, with 9,898.63 acres (18 km2). Other sites include the Santa Fe and Trail of Tears national historic trails, the Fort Smith and Washita Battlefield national historic sites, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Climate

Lightning over Tulsa cropped
Oklahoma's climate is prime for the generation of thunderstorms
OBU Campus oval fountain in 2011 snowstorm.
Winter at the Oklahoma Baptist University campus

Oklahoma is located in a humid subtropical region. Oklahoma lies in a transition zone between humid continental climate to the north, semi-arid climate to the west, and humid subtropical climate in the central, south and eastern portions of the state.

Most of the state lies in an area known as Tornado Alley characterized by frequent interaction between cold, dry air from Canada, warm to hot, dry air from Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., and warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The interactions between these three contrasting air currents produces severe weather (severe thunderstorms, damaging thunderstorm winds, large hail and tornadoes) with a frequency virtually unseen anywhere else on planet Earth. An average 62 tornadoes strike the state per year — one of the highest rates in the world.

Because of Oklahoma's position between zones of differing prevailing temperature and winds, weather patterns within the state can vary widely over relatively short distances and can change drastically in a short time. As an example, on November 11, 1911, the temperature at Oklahoma City reached 83 °F (28 °C) in the afternoon (the record high for that date), then an Arctic cold front of unprecedented intensity slammed across the state, causing the temperature to crash 66 degrees, down to 17 °F (−8 °C) at midnight (the record low for that date); thus, both the record high and record low for November 11 were set on the same date. This type of phenomenon is also responsible for many of the tornadoes in the area, such as the 1912 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, when a warm front traveled along a stalled cold front, resulting in an average of about one tornado per hour over the course of a day.

Over almost all of Oklahoma, winter is the driest season. Average monthly precipitation increases dramatically in the spring to a peak in May, the wettest month over most of the state, with its frequent and not uncommonly severe thunderstorm activity. Early June can still be wet, but most years see a marked decrease in rainfall during June and early July. Mid-summer (July and August) represents a secondary dry season over much of Oklahoma, with long stretches of hot weather with only sporadic thunderstorm activity not uncommon many years. Severe drought is common in the hottest summers, such as those of 1934, 1954, 1980 and 2011, all of which featured weeks on end of virtual rainlessness and high temperatures well over 100 °F (38 °C). Average precipitation rises again from September to mid-October, representing a secondary wetter season, then declines from late October through December.

All of the state frequently experiences temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C) or below 0 °F (−18 °C), though below-zero temperatures are rare in south-central and southeastern Oklahoma. Snowfall ranges from an average of less than 4 inches (10 cm) in the south to just over 20 inches (51 cm) on the border of Colorado in the panhandle.

History

Oklahoma1885
Map of Indian Territory (Oklahoma) 1889. Britannica 9th ed.

Evidence exists that indigenous peoples traveled through Oklahoma as early as the last ice age. Ancestors of the Wichita, Kichai, Teyas, Escanjaques, and Caddo lived in what is now Oklahoma. Southern Plains Villagers lived in the central and west of the state, with a subgroup, the Panhandle culture people living in panhandle region. Caddoan Mississippian culture peoples lived in the eastern part of the state. Spiro Mounds, in what is now Spiro, Oklahoma, was a major Mississippian mound complex that flourished between AD 850 and 1450.

The Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado traveled through the state in 1541, but French explorers claimed the area in the 1700s. In the 18th century, Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche entired the region from the west and Quapaw and Osage peoples moved into what is now eastern Oklahoma. French colonists claims the region until 1803, when all the French territory west of the Mississippi River was purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

The territory now known as Oklahoma was first a part of the Arkansas Territory from 1819 until 1828.

During the 19th century, thousands of Native Americans were expelled from their ancestral homelands from across North America and transported to the area including and surrounding present-day Oklahoma. The Choctaw was the first of the Five Civilized Tribes to be removed from the southeastern United States. The phrase "Trail of Tears" originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831, although the term is usually used for the Cherokee removal.

A total of 17,000 Cherokees and 2,000 of their black slaves were deported. The area, already occupied by Osage and Quapaw tribes, was called for the Choctaw Nation until revised Native American and then later American policy redefined the boundaries to include other Native Americans. By 1890, more than 30 Native American nations and tribes had been concentrated on land within Indian Territory or "Indian Country".

All Five Civilized Tribes supported and signed treaties with the Confederate military during the American Civil War. The Cherokee Nation had an internal civil war. Slavery in Indian Territory was not abolished until 1866.

In the period between 1866 and 1899, cattle ranches in Texas strove to meet the demands for food in eastern cities and railroads in Kansas promised to deliver in a timely manner. Cattle trails and cattle ranches developed as cowboys either drove their product north or settled illegally in Indian Territory. In 1881, four of five major cattle trails on the western frontier traveled through Indian Territory.

Increased presence of white settlers in Indian Territory prompted the United States Government to establish the Dawes Act in 1887, which divided the lands of individual tribes into allotments for individual families, encouraging farming and private land ownership among Native Americans but expropriating land to the federal government. In the process, railroad companies took nearly half of Indian-held land within the territory for outside settlers and for purchase.

Dust storm CimarronCounty OK
The Dust Bowl sent thousands of farmers into poverty during the 1930s.

Major land runs, including the Land Run of 1889, were held for settlers where certain territories were opened to settlement starting at a precise time. Usually land was open to settlers on a first come first served basis. Those who broke the rules by crossing the border into the territory before the official opening time were said to have been crossing the border sooner, leading to the term sooners, which eventually became the state's official nickname.

Deliberations to make the territory into a state began near the end of the 19th century, when the Curtis Act continued the allotment of Indian tribal land.

20th and 21st centuries

Attempts to create an all-Indian state named Oklahoma and a later attempt to create an all-Indian state named Sequoyah failed but the Sequoyah Statehood Convention of 1905 eventually laid the groundwork for the Oklahoma Statehood Convention, which took place two years later. On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was established as the 46th state in the Union.

The new state became a focal point for the emerging oil industry, as discoveries of oil pools prompted towns to grow rapidly in population and wealth. Tulsa eventually became known as the "Oil Capital of the World" for most of the 20th century and oil investments fueled much of the state's early economy. In 1927, Oklahoman businessman Cyrus Avery, known as the "Father of Route 66", began the campaign to create U.S. Route 66. Using a stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa, Oklahoma to form the original portion of Highway 66, Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to oversee the planning of Route 66, based in his hometown of Tulsa.

Oklahoma also has a rich African American history. There were many black towns that thrived in the early 20th century because of black settlers moving from neighboring states, especially Kansas. The politician Edward P. McCabe encouraged black settlers to come to what was then Indian Territory. He discussed with President Theodore Roosevelt the possibility of making Oklahoma a majority-black state.

By the early 20th century, the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa was one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the United States. Jim Crow laws had established racial segregation since before the start of the 20th century, but the blacks had created a thriving area.

During the 1930s, parts of the state began suffering the consequences of poor farming practices, extended drought and high winds. Known as the Dust Bowl, areas of Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and northwestern Oklahoma were hampered by long periods of little rainfall and abnormally high temperatures, sending thousands of farmers into poverty and forcing them to relocate to more fertile areas of the western United States. Over a twenty-year period ending in 1950, the state saw its only historical decline in population, dropping 6.9 percent as impoverished families migrated out of the state after the Dust Bowl.

Soil and water conservation projects markedly changed practices in the state and led to the construction of massive flood control systems and dams; they built hundreds of reservoirs and man-made lakes to supply water for domestic needs and agricultural irrigation. By the 1960s, Oklahoma had created more than 200 lakes, the most in the nation.

On May 31, 2016, several cities experienced record setting flooding.

Demographics

Oklahoma population map
Oklahoma population density map.

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Oklahoma was 3,923,561 on July 1, 2016.

At the 2010 Census, 68.7% of the population was non-Hispanic White, down from 88% in 1970, 7.3% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 8.2% non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.7% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 5.1% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 8.9% of Oklahoma's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race). As of 2008 Oklahoma had a population of 3,642,361 with an estimated 2005 ancestral makeup of 14.5% German, 13.1% American, 11.8% Irish, 9.6% English, 8.1% African American, and 11.4% Native American (including 7.9% Cherokee) though the percentage of people claiming American Indian as their only race was 8.1%. Most people from Oklahoma who self-identify as having American ancestry are of overwhelmingly English ancestry with significant amounts of Scottish and Welsh inflection as well.

The state had the second-highest number of Native Americans in 2002, estimated at 395,219, as well as the second highest percentage among all states. As of 2006, 4.7% of Oklahoma's residents were foreign born, compared to 12.4% for the nation. The center of population of Oklahoma is located in Lincoln County near the town of Sparks.

Language

Cherokee stop sign
Bilingual stop sign in English and the Cherokee syllabary, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

The English language has been official in the state of Oklahoma since 2010. The variety of North American English spoken is called Oklahoma English, and this dialect is quite diverse with its uneven blending of features of North Midland, South Midland, and Southern dialects.

The most commonly spoken native North American language is Cherokee, with 10,000 speakers living within the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction area of eastern Oklahoma. Cherokee is an official language in the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction area and in the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

Cities and towns

Major cities

Skyline of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is the state's capital and largest city.
Tulsa Skyline
Tulsa is the state's second-largest city by population and land area.

Oklahoma"s Most Populous Cities

Economy

The BOK Building
The BOK Tower of Tulsa, Oklahoma's second tallest building, serves as the world headquarters for Williams Companies.

Oklahoma is host to a diverse range of sectors including aviation, energy, transportation equipment, food processing, electronics, and telecommunications. Oklahoma is an important producer of natural gas, aircraft, and food. The state ranks third in the nation for production of natural gas, is the 27th-most agriculturally productive state, and also ranks 5th in production of wheat.

Industry

Tulsa is home to the largest airline maintenance base in the world, which serves as the global maintenance and engineering headquarters for American Airlines.

The state is the top manufacturer of tires in North America and contains one of the fastest-growing biotechnology industries in the nation.

Energy

Oil well
A major oil producing state, Oklahoma is the fifth-largest producer of crude oil in the United States.

Oklahoma is the nation's third-largest producer of natural gas, fifth-largest producer of crude oil, and has the second-greatest number of active drilling rigs, and ranks fifth in crude oil reserves.

As a whole, the oil energy industry contributes $35 billion to Oklahoma's gross domestic product, and employees of Oklahoma oil-related companies earn an average of twice the state's typical yearly income.

Agriculture

NRCSOK07033 - Oklahoma (716958)(NRCS Photo Gallery)
Cattle grazing - Oklahoma

The 27th-most agriculturally productive state, Oklahoma is fifth in cattle production and fifth in production of wheat.

Approximately 5.5 percent of American beef comes from Oklahoma, while the state produces 6.1 percent of American wheat, 4.2 percent of American pig products, and 2.2 percent of dairy products.

The state had 85,500 farms in 2012, collectively producing $4.3 billion in animal products and fewer than one billion dollars in crop output with more than $6.1 billion added to the state's gross domestic product.

Poultry and swine are its second and third-largest agricultural industries.

Culture

Pioneer Woman Statue
Oklahoma's heritage as a pioneer state is depicted with the Pioneer Woman statue in Ponca City.

Because many Native Americans were forced to move to Oklahoma when White settlement in North America increased, Oklahoma has high levels of language endangerment.

Six governments have claimed the area now known as Oklahoma at different times, and 67 Native American tribes are represented in Oklahoma, including 39 federally recognized tribes, who are headquartered and have tribal jurisdictional areas in the state. Western ranchers, Native American tribes, southern settlers, and eastern oil barons have shaped the state's cultural predisposition, and its largest cities have been named among the most underrated cultural destinations in the United States.

Residents of Oklahoma are associated with traits of southern hospitality – the 2006 Catalogue for Philanthropy (with data from 2004) ranks Oklahomans 7th in the nation for overall generosity. The state has also been associated with a negative cultural stereotype first popularized by John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, which described the plight of uneducated, poverty-stricken Dust Bowl-era farmers deemed "Okies". However, the term is often used in a positive manner by Oklahomans.

Arts and theater

Philbrook
Philbrook Museum is one of the top 50 fine art museums in the United States.

In the state's largest urban areas, pockets of jazz culture flourish, and Native American, Mexican American, and Asian American communities produce music and art of their respective cultures. The Oklahoma Mozart Festival in Bartlesville is one of the largest classical music festivals on the southern plains, and Oklahoma City's Festival of the Arts has been named one of the top fine arts festivals in the nation.

The state has a rich history in ballet with five Native American ballerinas attaining worldwide fame.

The Philbrook Museum of Tulsa is considered one of the top 50 fine art museums in the United States, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, one of the largest university-based art and history museums in the country, documents the natural history of the region. The collections of Thomas Gilcrease are housed in the Gilcrease Museum of Tulsa, which also holds the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West.

The Egyptian art collection at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee is considered to be the finest Egyptian collection between Chicago and Los Angeles. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art contains the most comprehensive collection of glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly in the world, and Oklahoma City's National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum documents the heritage of the American Western frontier. With remnants of the Holocaust and artifacts relevant to Judaism, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art of Tulsa preserves the largest collection of Jewish art in the Southwest United States.

Festivals and events

National Powwow dancer 2007
National Powwow dancer of the Cherokee of Oklahoma, 2007.

Oklahoma's centennial celebration was named the top event in the United States for 2007 by the American Bus Association, and consisted of multiple celebrations saving with the 100th anniversary of statehood on November 16, 2007. Annual ethnic festivals and events take place throughout the state such as Native American powwows and ceremonial events, and include festivals (as examples) in Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Czech, Jewish, Arab, Mexican and African-American communities depicting cultural heritage or traditions.

During a 10-day run in Oklahoma City, the State Fair of Oklahoma attracts roughly one million people along with the annual Festival of the Arts. Large national pow-wows, various Latin and Asian heritage festivals, and cultural festivals such as the Juneteenth celebrations are held in Oklahoma City each year. The Tulsa State Fair attracts over one million people during its 10-day run, and the city's Mayfest festival entertained more than 375,000 people in four days during 2007. In 2006, Tulsa's Oktoberfest was named one of the top 10 in the world by USA Today and one of the top German food festivals in the nation by Bon Appetit magazine.

Norman plays host to the Norman Music Festival, a festival that highlights native Oklahoma bands and musicians. Norman is also host to the Medieval Fair of Norman, which has been held annually since 1976 and was Oklahoma's first medieval fair. The Fair was held first on the south oval of the University of Oklahoma campus and in the third year moved to the Duck Pond in Norman until the Fair became too big and moved to Reaves Park in 2003. The Medieval Fair of Norman is Oklahoma's "largest weekend event and the third-largest event in Oklahoma, and was selected by Events Media Network as one of the top 100 events in the nation".

Transportation

Will Rogers Turnpike
One of ten major toll highways in Oklahoma, the Will Rogers Turnpike extends northeast from Tulsa.
National-atlas-oklahoma
A map of Oklahoma showing major roads and thoroughfares.

Transportation in Oklahoma is generated by an anchor system of Interstate Highways, intercity rail lines, airports, inland ports, and mass transit networks.

More than 12,000 miles (19,000 km) of roads make up the state's major highway skeleton, including state-operated highways, ten turnpikes or major toll roads, and the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation.

Oklahoma's largest commercial airport is Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma is connected to the nation's rail network via Amtrak's Heartland Flyer, its only regional passenger rail line.

Two inland ports on rivers serve Oklahoma: the Port of Muskogee and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. The only port handling international cargo in the state, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the most inland ocean-going port in the nation and ships over two million tons of cargo each year. Both ports are located on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which connects barge traffic from Tulsa and Muskogee to the Mississippi River via the Verdigris and Arkansas rivers, contributing to one of the busiest waterways in the world.

State symbols

American bison k5680-1
The American bison, Oklahoma's state mammal
2008 OK Proof
Oklahoma's quarter, released in 2008 as part of the state quarters series, depicts Oklahoma's state bird flying above its state wildflower.
See also: List of Oklahoma state symbols

State law codifies Oklahoma's state emblems and honorary positions; the Oklahoma Senate or House of Representatives may adopt resolutions designating others for special events and to benefit organizations. Currently the State Senate is waiting to vote on a change to the state's motto. The House passed HCR 1024, which will change the state motto from "Labor Omnia Vincit" to "Oklahoma-In God We Trust!" The author of the resolution stated that a constituent researched the Oklahoma Constitution and found no "official" vote regarding "Labor Omnia Vincit", therefore opening the door for an entirely new motto.

State symbols:

Images


Oklahoma Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.