The Oklahoma Portal

Oklahoma (/ˌkləˈhmə/ (listen)) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. Partially in the western extreme of the Upland South, it is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially "Okies"), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla, 'people' and humma, which translates as 'red'. Oklahoma is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the 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 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.

With ancient mountain ranges, prairie, mesas, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains, Cross Timbers, and the U.S. Interior Highlands, all regions prone to severe weather. Oklahoma is at a confluence of three major American cultural regions. Historically it served as a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans removed from east of the Mississippi River, a route for cattle drives from Texas and related regions, and a destination for Southern migrant settlers. There are currently twenty-five still spoken in Oklahoma.

A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas. (Full article...)

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Dust Bowl - Dallas, South Dakota 1936.jpg

The Dust Bowl was a series of dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936 (in some areas until 1940), caused by severe drought conditions coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation or other techniques that prevented erosion. The fertile soil of the Great Plains was exposed through removal of grass during plowing. During the drought, soil dried out, became dust, and blew away eastwards and southwards, mostly in large black clouds. At times, the clouds blackened the sky all the way to Chicago, and much of the soil was completely deposited into the Atlantic Ocean.

This ecological catastrophe, which began as the economic effects of the Great Depression were intensifying, caused an exodus from Texas, Oklahoma, and the surrounding Great Plains, with over 500,000 Americans left homeless. (Read more...)

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Shawnee City Hall, December 2016
Shawnee City Hall, December 2016

Shawnee (Meskwaki: Shânîheki) is a city in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 29,857 in 2010, a 4.9 percent increase from the figure of 28,692 in 2000. The city is part of the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area; it is also the county seat of Pottawatomie County and the principal city of the Shawnee Micropolitan Statistical Area.

With access to Interstate 40, Shawnee is approximately 45 minutes east of downtown Oklahoma City. To the east and northeast, Shawnee is 112 miles from the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which provides shipping barge access to the Gulf of Mexico. (Full article...)
See List of municipalities in Oklahoma for more city articles

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Prayer Tower on the campus of Oral Roberts University.jpg

Credit: User:Kralizec!
The Prayer Tower is located in the center of the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird

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Ron Howard.jpg

Ronald William "Ron" Howard, born March 1, 1954 in Duncan, Oklahoma, is an Academy Award-winning American director and producer as well as an actor. Howard came to prominence in the 1960s while playing Andy Griffith's TV son, Opie Taylor, on The Andy Griffith Show (credited as Ronny Howard), and later in the 1970s as Howard Cunningham's son and Arthur Fonzarelli's best friend, Richie Cunningham, on Happy Days (a role he played from 1974 to 1980). Since retiring from acting, he has directed many films including Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, and the upcoming sequel to the The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons. (Read more...)

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