Oklahoma (pronounced: /ˌoʊkləˈhoʊmə/) is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With 3,579,212 residents in 2006, it is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state by land area. Its name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people," and is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner State. Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory on November 16, 1907, it was the 46th state to enter the union. Its people are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
A major producer of oil and food, Oklahoma is also an important manufacturer of aircraft parts and a leader in biotechnology. It has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, leading in gross domestic product growth and ranking third among states in per capita income growth. Nearly 65 percent of Oklahomans live in the metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and the cities serve as primary economic centers of the state. Six universities ranked high for academic achievement are located in the state, and two rate among the best college sports programs in American history.
Made up of small mountain ranges, prairie, and eastern forests, Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains and Ozark Highlands in a region prone to severe weather, holding the most ecologically diverse terrain in the nation, with more ecoregions per mile than any other state. With a prevalence of German, Irish, and Native American ancestry, more than 25 native languages are spoken in the state, the most in the nation. It is located at a confluence of three major cultural regions, historically serving as a route for cattle drives, a destination for southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Part of a strip of conservative political views and widespread beliefs in Christianity known as the Bible Belt.
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist attack on April 19, 1995 aimed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, a U.S. government office complex in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The attack claimed 168 lives and left over 800 injured. Until the September 11, 2001 attacks, it was the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil. It remains as the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.
Just 90 minutes after the explosion, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer pulled over 27-year old Timothy McVeigh for driving without a license plate. Within days after the bombing, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were both arrested for their roles in the bombing. Investigators determined that McVeigh and Nichols were sympathizers of an anti-government militia movement and that their motive was to avenge the government's handling of the Waco and Ruby Ridge incidents. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001; Nichols was sentenced to life in prison. A third conspirator, Michael Fortier, who testified against the two conspirators, was imprisoned for failing to warn the U.S. government. As with other large-scale terrorist attacks, conspiracy theories dispute the official claims and point to additional perpetrators involved.
The attacks led to the U.S. government passing legislation designed to increase protection around federal buildings and to thwart future terrorist attacks. Under these measures, law enforcement has since foiled over fifty domestic terrorism plots. On April 19, 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building to commemorate the victims of the bombing. (Read more...)
- ...that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
- ...that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
- ...that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the "Father of Route 66," proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
- ...that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization's headquarters in Tulsa?
- Nickname: The Sooner State
- Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City
- Governor: Mary Fallin (R)
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union: November 16, 1907
- Senators: James M. Inhofe (R), Tom Coburn (R)
- Representatives: John Sullivan (R), Dan Boren (D), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), James Lankford (R)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird
William "Bill" Hader, born June 7, 1978 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an Emmy- and Peabody award-winning American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and repertory player on Saturday Night Live.
He first appeared alongside Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon in You, Me and Dupree. Since then he's had a wide range of roles such as Katherine Heigl's editor at E! in Knocked Up, the acid-taking mechanic Dave in Hot Rod (alongside SNL castmate Andy Samberg), a recumbent biker in The Brothers Solomon (which featured SNL castmate Will Forte in one of the film's co-leading roles) and, most famously, as Officer Slater in the Judd Apatow produced Superbad. His role in Superbad helped boost his public awareness and allowed him to appear on mainstream programs like Total Request Live, The Tonight Show, and MTV's Video Music Awards.
Hader appeared in two other Apatow projects: Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express (with Seth Rogen). He appeared alongside Ben Stiller, Brandon T. Jackson, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr., Matthew McConaughey, Steve Coogan, Jay Baruchel, Tom Cruise, and Nick Nolte in Tropic Thunder.
Hader lent his voice to the critically acclaimed 2009 Sony Pictures Animation film Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, playing the lead role of Flint Lockwood. He voiced a gazelle in "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. (Read more...)
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