64 Interesting Facts about Oklahoma, The Sooner State

Oklahoma, often referred to as the “Sooner State,” is located in the south-central region of the United States. It is characterized by diverse landscapes, including vast prairies, forests, mountains, and mesas. The state is deeply rooted in Native American history and culture, with a significant population of Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole, among others.

The history of Oklahoma is marked by the forced relocation of several Native American tribes, known as the Trail of Tears, to present-day Oklahoma in the 1830s. This event shaped the state’s demographic and cultural makeup. Oklahoma later became a hub for cattle ranching in the late 19th century, earning it the nickname “Cowboy Country.”

The state’s economy is diverse, with contributions from oil and gas production, agriculture, aerospace, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Tulsa, in northeastern Oklahoma, is often called the “Oil Capital of the World” due to its historical association with the oil industry. Oklahoma City, the capital, is a major economic and cultural center. Oklahoma is renowned for its severe weather, experiencing frequent tornadoes during the spring and early summer. The state is part of “Tornado Alley,” a region in the central United States known for its frequent tornado activity.

Culturally, Oklahoma is celebrated for its rich musical heritage, particularly in the realms of country, jazz, and blues. It gave birth to the musical genre called Western Swing, blending country, jazz, and blues influences. The state also hosts numerous festivals and events, such as the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival and the Oklahoma State Fair, showcasing its diverse cultures and traditions.

Education is a significant focus in Oklahoma, with notable institutions like the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Tulsa University contributing to the state’s intellectual growth. Despite the challenges faced historically, Oklahoma stands as a state with a rich cultural tapestry, striving for progress and embracing its diverse heritage.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City (Wikimedia)

What about Oklahoma interesting facts? Here are 64 interesting facts about Oklahoma.

  1. Statehood: Oklahoma became the 46th state of the United States on November 16, 1907.
  2. Cherokee Outlet: Enid, Oklahoma, was once known as “Queen Wheat City” due to its prominence in wheat production during the late 19th century.
  3. Will Rogers World Airport: Named after the famous humorist and Oklahoma native Will Rogers, this is the busiest commercial airport in the state.
  4. World Championship Cow Chip Throw: Beaver, Oklahoma, hosts an annual “World Championship Cow Chip Throw” event.
  5. Wichita Buffalo: The Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma are home to a wild population of American bison (buffalo).
  6. Cimarron County: This county in Oklahoma is the only county in the United States that touches four other states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas.
  7. Spiro Mounds: The Spiro Mounds archaeological site in Oklahoma was once a significant center for the Mississippian culture.
  8. “Oklahoma!” Musical: The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!” is based on the state and was named the state’s official musical in 1993.
  9. Tulsa Port of Catoosa: It’s the most inland port in the U.S.
  10. Famous Birthplace: Oklahoma is the birthplace of several notable figures, including Brad Pitt, Kristin Chenoweth, and Chuck Norris.
  11. Guthrie: The city of Guthrie was once the capital of Oklahoma Territory before the capital moved to Oklahoma City.
  12. Oil Boom: The 1920s oil boom in Oklahoma led to the birth of numerous oil millionaires and billionaires.
  13. Sam Noble Museum: The Sam Noble Museum in Norman houses one of the world’s largest Apatosaurus fossils.
  14. Dolese Brothers Building: It was Oklahoma’s first skyscraper, completed in 1912 and standing in Oklahoma City.
  15. Devon Tower: The Devon Energy Center in Oklahoma City is the tallest building in the state, standing at 844 feet.
  16. Gilcrease Museum: Located in Tulsa, it holds one of the world’s most extensive collections of Western American art.
  17. Hollywood Reporter: It was founded in 1930 by William R. Wilkerson, a native of Hinton, Oklahoma.
  18. Tinker Air Force Base: One of the largest military air depots in the U.S., it’s located in Midwest City.
  19. “Route 66”: The iconic highway passed through Oklahoma, and the state hosts the longest drivable stretch of the original Route 66.
  20. Pioneer Woman: A 17-foot statue of a pioneer woman stands in Ponca City, symbolizing the strength of Oklahoma’s pioneer women.
  21. Hanson: The popular band Hanson, known for their hit “MMMBop,” hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  22. “The Outsiders”: The popular novel “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton is set in Tulsa, where the author grew up.
  23. Pawhuska: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, a famous destination, is located in Pawhuska.
  24. Gil Morgan: This golfer, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, was born in Wewoka, Oklahoma.
  25. Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum: Located in Woodward, it showcases the history of the Plains Indians and pioneers.
  26. Bartlesville: The first commercial oil well in Oklahoma, the Nellie Johnstone No. 1, was drilled near Bartlesville.
  27. Sand Springs: This city is the birthplace of Olympic gold medalist and professional wrestler Jack Van Bebber.
  28. “The Grapes of Wrath”: The novel by John Steinbeck is partly set in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.
  29. National Softball Hall of Fame: It’s located in Oklahoma City, showcasing the history of softball.
  30. Philbrook Museum of Art: Based in Tulsa, it’s renowned for its art collection and beautiful gardens.
  31. Route 66 Museum: Located in Clinton, it’s a tribute to the famous highway.
  32. Oklahoma Aquarium: Situated in Jenks, it’s home to thousands of aquatic creatures.
  33. Dead Women Crossing: This unusual name is a location in Oklahoma with a grim history.
  34. Poteau: The world’s tallest hill, Cavanal Hill, is located near this city.
  35. Gloss Mountains: Located in Major County, they create an illusion of a glassy or glossy appearance.
  36. Swan Lake Historic District: It’s a historic district in Tulsa known for its unique architectural styles.
  37. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum: Located in Oklahoma City, it’s dedicated to preserving Western heritage.
  38. Annual Rattlesnake Derby: Mangum hosts an annual event celebrating the state’s official reptile.
  39. University of Oklahoma: Founded in 1890, it’s a major public research university located in Norman.
  40. Football Legacy: The University of Oklahoma has a rich football legacy and is home to the Oklahoma Sooners football team.
  41. National Weather Center: Located in Norman, it’s one of the world’s leading weather and climate research facilities.
  42. Oklahoma State University: Founded in 1890, it’s a leading research institution and home to the Cowboys.
  43. Boone Pickens Stadium: This stadium, located in Stillwater, is where the OSU Cowboys play their home football games.
  44. Biosphere Reserve: Oklahoma hosts one of the U.S. Biosphere Reserves, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
  45. “Land Run” Statue: In Oklahoma City, there’s a bronze statue commemorating the Land Run of 1889.
  46. National Wrestling Hall of Fame: It’s located in Stillwater, honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to wrestling.
  47. Will Rogers Memorial Museum: Located in Claremore, it’s dedicated to the life and legacy of Will Rogers.
  48. Rodeo Capital of the World: Oklahoma is often considered the Rodeo Capital of the World.
  49. Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame: Located in Tulsa, it honors the jazz music heritage of the state.
  50. Famous Watermelons: Rush Springs, Oklahoma, is famous for its annual watermelon festival.
  51. Gilmore Dairy Bar: Located in Pauls Valley, it’s famous for its delicious fried pies.
  52. McClain County: It’s the “Fried Pie Capital of the World.”
  53. Famous American Authors: Oklahoma is the birthplace of famous authors Ralph Ellison and Tony Hillerman.
  54. Heavener Runestone: It’s an inscribed stone in Heavener, Oklahoma, with unknown origins and potentially Viking runes.
  55. Home of Chuck Norris: Chuck Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma.
  56. State Poet Laureate: Oklahoma has a State Poet Laureate position to promote poetry and literature.
  57. Picher: Picher, a former mining town, is now a ghost town due to environmental pollution.
  58. National Aviation Hall of Fame: The museum, located in Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City, celebrates aviation pioneers.
  59. Tallest Building in Oklahoma: Devon Tower in Oklahoma City is the tallest building in the state.
  60. Oklahoma Sooners: The University of Oklahoma’s athletic teams are known as the Sooners.
  61. OSU Cowboys: Oklahoma State University’s athletic teams are known as the Cowboys.
  62. Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History: Located in Norman, it’s dedicated to the history of the state.
  63. Famous Oil Capital: Tulsa was once considered the “Oil Capital of the World.”
  64. “Oklahoma!” State Song: “Oklahoma!” is the official state song of Oklahoma.

As the winds sweep across the vast plains and the sun sets behind the rugged landscapes, Oklahoma stands as a testament to resilience, diversity, and the enduring spirit of its people. From the historic echoes of Native American heritage to the melodies of country music resonating through the air, this state offers a tapestry of experiences. Whether it’s the thundering cheers at a college football game, the tranquil beauty of its parks and lakes, or the warmth of its communities, Oklahoma leaves an indelible mark on those who venture into its embrace.

In the heart of the Sooner State lies a unique blend of culture, history, and a promising future. It’s a place where tales of cowboys and oil barons intertwine with the voices of Native traditions. The enduring allure of Route 66, the roar of the crowds at the Cotton Bowl, and the soft whispers of the prairies at dusk all sing a song of a place that holds tight to its roots while reaching for the stars. Oklahoma, with its storied past and boundless horizons, continues to inspire, welcoming all who are eager to discover its hidden gems and embrace the winds of opportunity that blow across its plains.