One of the largest U.S. cities in area (650 sq mi/1,683 sq km), the city extends into three neighboring counties of Oklahoma co. and has many parks. Of interest are the capitol, the state historical museum, the city art museum, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the civic center buildings and monuments, a theater complex, a convention center, the state library, and a zoo. Educational institutions include the Univ. of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City Univ., and Oklahoma Christian Univ. The city also has a symphony orchestra and a professional basketball team (the Thunder).
Oklahoma City was quickly settled in a land rush after the area was opened to homesteaders on Apr. 22, 1889. It became the state capital in 1910. In 1995 a terrorist bomb destroyed a downtown federal office building, killing 168 people; the site is now a national memorial (see National Parks and Monuments (table)).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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