Capital: Oklahoma City
State abbreviation/Postal code: Okla./OK
Governor: Mary Fallin, R (to Jan. 2019)
Lieut. Governor: Todd Lamb, R (to Jan. 2019)
Senators: Tom Coburn, R (to Jan. 2017); James Inhofe, R (to Jan. 2021)
U.S. Representatives: 5
Historical biographies of Congressional members
Secy. of State: Chris Benge, R (to Jan. 2019)
Treasurer: Ken A. Miller, R (to Jan. 2019)
Atty. General: Scott Pruitt, R (to Jan. 2019)
Organized as territory: May 2, 1890
Entered Union (rank): Nov. 16, 1907 (46)
Present constitution adopted: 1907
Motto: Labor omnia vincit (Labor conquers all things)
|bird||scissor-tailed flycatcher (1951)|
|reptile||mountain boomer lizard (1969)|
|stone||rose rock (barite rose) (1968)|
|colors||green and white (1915)|
|fish||white or sand bass|
|folk dance||square dance|
|game animal||white-tailed deer|
|poem||“Howdy Folks,” David Randolph Milsten|
Nickname: Sooner State
Origin of name: From two Choctaw Indian words meaning “red people”
10 largest cities (2010 est.): Oklahoma City, 579,999; Tulsa, 391,906; Norman, 110,925; Lawton, 96,867; Broken Arrow, 98,850; Edmond , 81,405; Moore, 55,081; Midwest City, 54,371; Enid, 49,379; Stillwater, 45,688
Land area: 68,667 sq mi. (177,848 sq km)
Geographic center: In Oklahoma Co., 8 mi. N of Oklahoma City
Number of counties: 77
Largest county by population and area: Oklahoma, 718,633 (2010); Osage, 2,251 sq mi.
State parks: 50
2015 resident population: 3,911,338
2010 resident census population (rank): 3,751,351 (28). Male: 1,856,977 (49.5%); Female: 1,894,374 (50.5%). White: 2,706,845 (72.2%); Black: 277,644 (7.4%); American Indian: 321,687 (8.6%); Asian: 65,076 (1.7%); Other race: 154,409 (4.1%); Two or more races: 221,321 (5.9%); Hispanic/Latino: 332,007 (8.9%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 75.2; 65 and over: 13.5; median age: 36.2.
See additional census data
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado first explored the region for Spain in 1541. The U.S. acquired most of Oklahoma in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase from France; the Western Panhandle region became U.S. territory with the annexation of Texas in 1845.
Set aside as Indian Territory in 1834, the region was divided into Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory on May 2, 1890. The two were combined to make a new state, Oklahoma, on Nov. 16, 1907.
On April 22, 1889, the first day homesteading was permitted, 50,000 people swarmed into the area. Those who tried to beat the noon starting gun were called “Sooners,” hence the state's nickname.
Oil made Oklahoma a rich state, but natural-gas production has now surpassed it. Oil refining, meat packing, food processing, and machinery manufacturing (especially construction and oil equipment) are important industries. Minerals produced in Oklahoma include helium, gypsum, zinc, cement, coal, copper, and silver.
Oklahoma's rich plains produce bumper yields of wheat, as well as large crops of sorghum, hay, cotton, and peanuts. More than half of Oklahoma's annual farm receipts are contributed by livestock products, including cattle, dairy products, swine, and broilers.
Tourist attractions include the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, the Cherokee Cultural Center with a restored Cherokee village, the restored Fort Gibson Stockade near Muskogee, the Lake Texoma recreation area, pari-mutuel horse racing at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, and Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw.
During the first half of the 1900s, Oklahoma was a stronghold for the Democrats. In fact, the Republican Party only won the state in two presidential elections, 1920 and 1928. However, since 1952, Oklahoma has become increasingly conservative and Republican presidential candidates have carried the state in every election except one, in 1964. Moreover, no Democratic presidential candidate has won a single county in the state since 2000.
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