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Oklahoma (/ˌkləˈhmə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty 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 land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, "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. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.

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Selenite Crystals.jpg

Great Salt Plains Lake is a reservoir located within the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma in the United States named because of the salt flats in the area and for the Salt Fork Arkansas River, which is dammed to form the lake.

Created in 1940, the lake, along with Ralstin Island, is home to heron, egret and ibis. Great Salt Plains Lake expands across 8,690 acres (35.2 km2), has 41 miles (66 km) of waterfront and is shallow and salty. The average depth of the lake is only 3 feet (1 m) at normal pool. The sodium content of the lake is approximately 50% that of the ocean. The fish vary from catfish, saugeye, sandbass and hybrid striper.

On the west edge of the lake, visitors can dig for selenite crystals. These crystals feature an hourglass inclusion which is unique to the Great Salt Plains. Scientists believe that salt was deposited during repeated water-level rises of a shallow sea millions of years ago. The supply of salt is kept intact by saline groundwater that flows just a few feet below the surface. When the water evaporates, a layer of salt remains on the surface. This process also plays a role in the formation of selenite crystals that visitors covet. (Read more . . . )

Spotlight city

Main Street downtown Broken Arrow Oklahoma.jpg

Broken Arrow is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, primarily in Tulsa County with an extension into western Wagoner County. It is the largest suburb of Tulsa and the 4th largest city in the state. As of the 2006 census estimates, the city had a total population of 88,314 while the city's current estimate puts the population at just over 97,000. It is estimated that at the 2010 census, the population will well exceed 100,000.

The name comes from an old Creek community in Alabama. When they moved to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, they started a new community named after the original settlement in Alabama. The town's Creek name was Rekackv (pronounced thlee-Kawtch-kuh), meaning broken arrow. This new settlement was located several miles south of present-day downtown Broken Arrow. In the 1960s, Broken Arrow began to grow from a small town into a suburban city. The Broken Arrow Expressway (Highway 51) was constructed in the mid-1960s and connected the city with downtown Tulsa, fueling growth in Broken Arrow. The population swelled from a little above 11,000 in 1970 to more than 50,000 in 1990, and then more than 74,000 by the year 2000. During this time, the city was more of a bedroom community. In recent years, city leaders have pushed for more economic development to help keep more Broken Arrowans shopping and dining in town rather than going to other cities. (Read more...)

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People of Oklahoma.jpg
Credit: User:CPacker
The People of Oklahoma exhibit in the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

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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The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

Selected biography

Francis Clement Kelley.jpg

Francis Clement Kelley (October 23, 1870 - February 1, 1948) was the second Roman Catholic Bishop of Oklahoma. He was a Catholic Priest for 54 years, and Bishop for 23 years.

Kelley was consecrated Bishop of Oklahoma in 1924. During his years as Bishop, he successfully resisted the agitation of the KKK and continued his work as the "Extension Bishop." Like other missionary dioceses in the country, Oklahoma received funds from the Extension Society to build and to furnish churches. In 1932 Bishop Kelley succeeded Bishop Joseph H. Conroy of Ogdensburg as Chairman of the Bishops Catholic Committee on Scouting. Under his leadership the Catholic Committee expanded to include 22 Archbishops and Bishops, one from each Ecclesiastical Province in the United States.

In 1934 the American hierarchy approved a "Plan of Cooperation" recognizing Scouting as serving the church's interest in the spiritual welfare of Catholic youth, and approving it as an approved youth program in the Church. Bishop Kelly was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Buffalo Award in 1939, the first member of the catholic clergy to be so recognized. (Read more...)

Oklahoma news

  • 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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