Oklahoma is a midwestern state featuring hills, lakes, forests, and the Great Plains. In many areas, the state has a classic western look, with red dirt and buffalo roaming the plains.
In other areas, Oklahoma is more refined, with museums, art galleries, and scenic gardens. It’s also a popular road trip destination, especially along the famous stretch of highway known as Route 66.
- Capital: Oklahoma City
- Population: 4 million
- Nickname: Sooner State
- Key Cities: Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Lawton
- Postal Abbreviation: OK
- Major Industries: Aviation/aerospace, biotechnology, energy, transportation and logistics, business services
- How did Oklahoma get its name: Oklahoma was named for the Choctaw phrase “okla humma,” which roughly means Native American. The name was suggested by a Choctaw chief during treaty negotiations.
- Date admitted to the Union: Saturday, November 16, 1907
- Size: 69,960 sq. miles
- Lowest point: Little River at 289 ft.
- Highest point: Black Mesa at 4,973 ft.
- Counties: 77
- Famous locations: Turner Falls, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Ouachita National Forest, Philbrook Museum of Art, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
- Blake Griffin- basketball player
- Brad Pitt- actor
- Phil- television personality/author/psychologist
- Mickey Mantle- baseball player
- Blake Shelton- singer
- Garth Brooks- singer
- The first tornado forecast and tornado warning occurred in Oklahoma on March 25, 1948 when a tornado touched down at the Tinker Air Force Base. Partly thanks to the warning, no one was injured. Today, Oklahoma has more major tornadoes per square mile than any other state in the country.
- Oklahoma City is only one of two U.S. capital cities whose name includes the name of the state. The other is Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Oklahoma is tribal headquarters for 39 Native American tribes and has a larger population of Native Americans than any other U.S. state. Many of the 250,000 American Indians living in Oklahoma are descended from the 67 tribes who inhabited the Indian Territory.
- Oklahoma has an official state meal, decided in 1988 by House Concurrent Resolution 1083. The meal consists of black-eyed peas, chicken-fried steak, okra, squash, corn on the cob, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, strawberries, and pecan pie. Wow!
- Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in the production of wheat, fourth in cattle and calf production, fifth in the production of pecans, sixth in peanuts and eighth in peaches.
- The state earned its “Sooner” nickname during the land rush of 1889. About 2 million acres of land had been opened for settlement by the United States government, and thousands of people traveled to Oklahoma to claim the land. No one was supposed to enter the area and claim land before noon on April 22nd, but some people snuck in early to get a head start. Since they rushed to grab land “sooner” than others, the state nickname was born.