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Portal:Oklahoma

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Oklahoma /ˌkləˈhmə/ (About this sound listen) (Cherokee: Asgaya gigageyi / ᎠᏍᎦᏯ ᎩᎦᎨᏱ;[1] or translated ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ (òɡàlàhoma), Pawnee: Uukuhuúwa, Cayuga: Gahnawiyoˀgeh) is a state located in the South Central United States. Oklahoma is the 20th most extensive and the 28th most populous of the 50 United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, The Sooner State, in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on the choicest pieces of land before the official opening date, and the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which opened the door for white settlement in America's Indian Territory. The name was settled upon statehood, Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged and Indian was dropped from the name. 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. In 2007, it had one of the fastest-growing economies in the United States, ranking among the top states in per capita income growth and gross domestic product growth. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.

Selected article

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The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival is an annually festival held in mid-July to commemorate the life and music of Woody Guthrie. The festival starts on the weekend closest to July 14 - the date of Guthrie's birth - in Guthrie's hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. Daytime main stage performances are held inside at the Brick Street Cafe and the Crystal Theater. Evening main stage performances are held outdoors at the Pastures of Plenty. The festival is planned and implemented annually by the Woody Guthrie Coalition, a non-profit corporation, whose goal is simply to ensure Guthrie's musical legacy. The event is made possible in part from a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council. Mary Jo Guthrie Edgmon, Woody Guthrie's younger sister, is the festival's perennial guest of honor.

The festival, which over the years has morphed into being called "WoodyFest" by attendees, was founded in 1998 and the inaugural festival included performances by Guthrie's son Arlo Guthrie, British folk-punk-rock artist Billy Bragg, Ellis Paul, Jimmy LaFave, Joel Rafael, and The Red Dirt Rangers. For the festival's founding, the Woody Guthrie Coalition commissioned a local Creek Indian sculptor to cast a full-body bronze statue of Guthrie and his guitar, complete with the guitar's well-known inscription: "This machine kills fascists". (Read more . . . )

Spotlight city

Edmond is a rapidly growing suburban city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma in the central part of the state. It is the sixth largest city in the state of Oklahoma and is part of the Greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area. As of July 2006, the city had 76,644 residents.

Being the highest point along the Santa Fe rail line in Oklahoma Territory, Edmond was originally named "Summit" and was a watering and sanding point for the railroad in the 1880s. The town was given its current name (after an engineer on the railroad) by the Santa Fe railroad headquarters in Topeka after the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. Though most of the remnants of the old railroad infrastructure are gone, the Santa Fe, now BNSF, line still runs through the same course.(Read more...)

Selected picture

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Credit: Jack Dykinga
Oklahoma's state mammal, the American Bison.

Did you know...

Oklahoma State Highway 66.svg
  • ...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?

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State facts

State symbols

The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

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Julius Caesar "J. C." Watts, Jr. (born November 18, 1957) is an American politician from Oklahoma who was a college football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners and professionally in the Canadian Football League. Watts served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican, representing the 4th congressional district in south-central Oklahoma. After leaving Congress he established a lobbying and consulting firm, served on corporate boards, and worked as a political commentator.

Watts was born and raised in Eufaula, Oklahoma, in a rural impoverished neighborhood. After being one of the first children to attend an integrated elementary school, he became a high school quarterback and gained a football scholarship for the University of Oklahoma. He graduated 1981 with a degree in journalism and became a football player in the Canadian Football League until his retirement in 1986.

Watts became a Baptist minister and was elected in 1990 to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as the first African American in Oklahoma to win statewide office. He successfully ran for Congress in 1994 and was reelected to three additional terms with increasing vote margins. Watts delivered the Republican response to Bill Clinton's 1997 State of the Union address and was elected Chair of the House Republican Conference in 1998. He retired in 2003 and turned to lobbying and business work. (Read more...)

Oklahoma news

2016
  • May
    • Lawmakers approve a bill that would make performing abortions a felony, and revoke the medical license of most assisting physicians, the first such proposed law in the US [1]

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