is one of the top drawing festivals
of Oklahoma. Tribes from all over America
come here to compete and show off.
A Brief History of the StateWhen the man in the moon was just a little boy Oklahoma was home to ancient mound builders with cultural contacts as far off as the Aztecs and as far north as the Great Lakes. In fact, if this had been the United States back then, Oklahoma would be known for housing the biggest politicians in Washington D.C. That community flourished for nigh unto six hundred years.
Following that period Oklahoma hosted a few nomadic tribes. The United States first acquired a claim to most of the state as part of the "almost legal" Louisiana Purchase; A hundred Native Nations who had never heard of Napoleon had their lands sold out from under them.
Within a year of being elected President, Andrew Jackson opened Oklahoma up as "Indian Territory" in 1830. The five civilized tribes of Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw nations were invited to head west.
Many of the Seminole went south for about nine years in an agreement with Mexico that had them protecting that country from the murderous Texans. They were also relatively successful at fighting off some of the Apache and Comanche that were raiding Mexico. Unfortunately, you can't trust Mexican politicians then or now.
As a result of the Mexican War the U.S. had also acquired what is now known as the Panhandle.
As a reward for siding with the Confederacy, after the American Civil War, the Federal Government forced the civilized tribes into new treaties that ceded most of the land in central and western Indian Territory to the government.
After the Civil War many factions back east decided that this area should be a refuge for former slaves. Their lot was good here. The promise was that ex-slaves could even OWN their own land without needing some white man to act as proxies as was done in most western states and some back east as well. There was a movement to make this a BLACK state that even offered monetary inducements. So many ex-slaves moved in this direction that they left a labor shortage behind them. By 1897 huge blocks of Oklahoma blacks had come to realize that not even Oklahoma would treat them fairly and they began lobbying for "large" settlements of cash as recompense for the 240 years served as slaves. Beer bottle murmuring demanded to know why blacks hadn't been made to pay for the lives, time and money expended to make them free. The intensity of that mood increased, and the first law passed by the Oklahoma Legislature invoked segregated transportation. The Native Americans suffered right along with them -- Legendary athlete Jim Thorpe was even denied the privilege of being buried in Oklahoma.
Now the wheel has turned
It is important to remember that Indian territory was a wild and wooly place for a long time. Teddy Roosevelt tried to appoint Bat Masterson as a U.S. Marshal to the area. Brother Bat decided to stay outside the sporting rings and bet from the sidelines.
By the end of the century the railroads were clicking all across the state, and land runs had basically filled the whole territory up. Soon the labor needs of the oil exploration had brought in immigrants from around the world.
In 1902, the leaders of Indian Territory met in what is now called the Sequoyah convention. They drafted a constitution, established an organizational plan for the government, set up county boundaries and named them for the establishment of a new state, to be named, Sequoyah. Then they elected delegates to go to the United States Congress to petition for statehood. Their proposals were overwhelmingly endorsed by the residents of Indian Territory in a referendum election in 1905.
Most of the constitution from the Sequoyah convention ended up paraphrased and used as bracing for Oklahoma's constitution when it became a state in 1907
At that time, Congress moved to combine Indian Territory, Oklahoma Territory, and the Cimarron Strip into the single state of Oklahoma. Cimarron County now touches Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas and Texas. By this time, Oklahoma history was replete with Indians, buffalo, horses, slaves, freemen, cowboys, pioneers and other mixed cultures. It was ready for the movies!
Some of Gene Autry's movies were made near Ardmore. Roy and Dale Rogers were married on the Healy Ranch just south of Davis. Gene Autry gave Roy his second big role in movies. Like Jimmy Stewart, Gene went to war. Roy grabbed opportunity by the horns and started making a cross of the two kinds of western movies made by his two biggest mentors, John Wayne and Gene Autry. After the war Gene and Roy tended to avoid each other when inadvertently invited to the same party. They must have made up later because the Gene Autry Museum now contains more Roy Rogers memorabilia than it does for Gene Autry.
When the famous "dust bowl" conditions sent so many Oklahomans scurrying off to California, Will Rogers said the average IQ of both states went UP, -- Oklahoma by the people dumb enough to leave -- and California by the quality of people it gained. Today a dust storm is seldom seen, although virtually all youth (and visitors) have to be taught the huge difference between dust blowing and a dust storm.
Today the state hosts a full calendar of huge festivals, rodeos, powwows and celebrations. Parks are maintained with hiking, biking, canoeing, boating and camping foremost in the plans. There are so many lakes here it is said that there is more shoreline in Oklahoma than there is on the East Coast, and Gulf Coast combined. The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center are here too.
Best of all, the business environment is second to none in the State of Oklahoma. The population here is 3,579,212. Cows outnumber the people almost two to one. There are 4,590,000 chickens here too. Swine is a controversial subject and won't be mentioned by this timid reporter.
Download a short Red Earth Dance movie to enjoy.
Oklahoma has had its share of peculiar characters. Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray for example, went together with Texas to make a bridge across the Red River. Each state was to pay half the cost. After the bridge was built Texas insisted on making it a toll bridge and thus get their money back for building the bridge. Governor Murray sent the National Guard down to take control of Oklahoma's half of the bridge. “Let's divide this bridge right down the middle." With the bridge thus divided lengthwise the people going to Texas were allowed to go there for free while Texas could only charge people for the privilege of escaping to Oklahoma.
Alfalfa was compelled to meet a group of farmers in his office to hear their request for drought assistance. He called for Oklahoma weather maps and stabbed his finger at their region. "It says right here that you have already received a whole year's worth of rain."
Several of the farmers nodded, and one said: "Well, you can't deny facts and I even remember the night it happened."
In 1973 Enid recorded twelve inches of rain in three hours. Eastern Oklahoma gets an annual average of fifty six inches of rain. Western Oklahoma averages seventeen inches. Oklahoma City has recordable rain about eighty five times a year, on the average.
The Spirit of Oklahoma
On July 23rd, 1925 police officers poured 250 gallons of whiskey into the Hobart sewer. History does not record if it did any good.
Davis? How did Davis get its name? Back east you probably have a town named first and then bring in a post office that gets named after the town, but out west of the Mississippi it was usually the post office that was established first and as a town grew up around the post office it was named after the post office. The U.S. Postmaster in Washington has the responsibility for approving the final name for any post office. Once upon a time a request was received to name a post office to be established in a remote area in Oklahoma. "We have a prominent Indian near here name of Chigley and we would like to name the post office after him. But if that name is taken already we also have the Davis Brothers who are prominent citizens in this area."
This was in a time before even good Indians were popular with the Great White Father. Consequently, Chigley was thoroughly scratched out and the name Davis put in. Shortly thereafter the town acquired the name of Davis after its post office.
Would you believe it? There still isn't any post office named Chigley in the state of Oklahoma. Fortunately the Chigley family has overlooked the slight and continues to do much good in this region.
To make up for so many people being economically forced to take their kids out of school in the fall to bring the crops in, Oklahoma arranged a free school guarantee for anyone up to 23 years old. Jim Davis was one Korean veteran that played high school football AFTER coming back home.
In the middle 1950s the coach for Purcell high school decided it was time for integration. He actively pursued any black students that even looked like they could play ball someday. One potential student lived way, way out. He refused to travel that far just for school. "How about moving in with your cousin in Purcell?" The boy protested, "But I don't have one." The coach assured him they would find a cousin for him before he could get half way there. With this kind of Go-Get-Em attitude it wasn't long before Purcell High School could play ball on equal terms with most of the colleges in the state.
Will you be visiting Oklahoma City or Tulsa soon? Need directions to a great place to stay for business or leisure? There is an Oklahoma City hotels directory where you can book a reservation near the center of Oklahoma City. Each web site is updated every day and will provide you with the most accurate information about hotels in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Browse through their websites and book online.
Must See Sites
You may leave our web site someday; we want you to visit the very best web sites Oklahoma has to offer when you do. Every site on our pages has been personally evaluated and found in the top 10% of their area. Any site linked to from a page on Oklahoma Super Site has the right to display the OKLAHOMA Super Site AWARD emblem from their web site page we link to.
They are the best of the best when it comes to making Oklahoma a darn site better; they deserve special attention.
Black Alabaster is a rare form of alabaster found only in three veins in the world, one of course, is here in Oklahoma
On the negative side
of the ledger:
Boise City (in the Panhandle) was hit by SIX practice bombs on July 5, 1943.
Oklahoma records an average of 84 tornadoes per year.
A friend of mine was so worried about tornadoes here that he almost didn't come. "Don't worry, there's never been a major tornado in Moore," I told him.
Within two months his whole block was torn up, every house on it (except his, thank goodness) looked like the Big Bad Wolf had made a personal house call.
Seems like when he left here he moved to San Francisco, no tornadoes there to worry about. We no longer write or call each other, for some reason; and I often wonder why..
Great minds, it is said, travel in the same circles. My site organization is circular too. Oklahoma Super Site is organized into regions, like the state. To learn more about The Red Carpet Country, you start with that region and go to cities or regions. The Cities Page is also divided up into regions with back links to the specific region page so you can return after reading. This lets you work either way, from the city, or from the region, from the event or from the area.
Everything is linked back and forth so you can pursue your own agenda. The Business section, for example, will provide you with links to the regions of the state, to the city, to national help, to the events, to the schools, etc. Navigation is designed to be smooth and easy.
When the link you pursue is off-site, just use your Back button to return to the Oklahoma Super Site pages. Netscape browsers may have to use their History file to return.
The big difference between (some other state) and Oklahoma is that here it is where the hand of man has tamed the land and stamped an indelible personality upon it that has more beauty and majesty reigning. The farms here look better than the rolling hills. The shady homes look better than a sweeping forest. The older shops have a grandeur all their own.
In fact, seeing a street full of similarly clad houses is a thoroughly modern event Oklahoma has only recently acquired from the Kansas wheat fields. The reaction against conformity is so strong in some areas there almost seems to be a law against any two houses looking like any other one on that street.
The Immanuel Baptist Church on Main Street of Shawnee, for example, defies all my powers of description. I suspect there are many more beautiful homes in Shawnee which would go on the National Register if anyone knew how to classify them. Most older towns in Oklahoma follow a similar pattern, but just a little less religiously than Shawnee does.
So, as you drive through Oklahoma, be alert for the beautiful older homes that fit no pattern but their own, and they look beautiful because of it.
We stopped in at the downtown Braum's store in McAlester one recent weekend and inadvertently left a coin purse behind. Three days later we came back through and asked if anyone had found the purse. They had indeed -- and the diamond ring was still in it, along with the coins. We offered a hundred dollar reward to the owner for the finder -- but were turned down "since all of our employees are that honest."
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National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman Oklahoma.
Agricultural Weather Observations (Panhandle)
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Area Extended Forecast (Norman)
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Statewide Sites You May Need
The Will Rogers World Airport. The Museum of Women Pilots is located on the grounds of Will Rogers World Airport at 4300 Amelia Earhart Lane. The museum is open six days a week! Find out more at www.museumofwomenpilots.com
Surf Oklahoma is the Oklahoma State Library Association page
Have you read these books? Tales of the Tepee by Edward Everett Dale. This is a wonderful reprint of the 1920 classic. See the lodge bonfires in this book covering territorial days and early statehood. Dale rode, hunted and visited the Kiowas, Commanche, and Wichitas. Later he taught Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Sac and Fox, and Delaware at the state university.
Exploring the Indian Country by noted authority San Hoig
The Cherokee Indians by Bill Lund, an overview of past and present, of daily life and customs.
The Last days of Geronimo are chronicled in the book The Chiricahua Apache Prisoners of War, includes the 27 years of forgotten history after Geronimo's final surrender.
Five Civilized Tribes by Grant Foreman
Friends of Thunder, Folktales of the Oklahoma Cherokees, a collection of animal tales, Cherokee mythology and legends and stories of the little people in the hills of eastern Oklahoma
Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma by Muriel H. Wright
The Indians in Oklahoma by Renard Strickland
Click here to find thousands more books about Oklahoma
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