This midwestern American state is home to roughly 4 million people, sorted into roughly four groupings: hillbillies, meth heads, ultra-Conservative protestants and normal folk. As the normal folk narrowly outnumber the other three groups, the average hitchhiker should be perfectly safe travelling through. It is best known for its list of actors, living and dead - famous performer Brad Pitt is from Shawnee, OK; Ron Howard, A-list director of such cinematographic masterpieces as Frost/Nixon and The Da Vinci Code is from a little community called Duncan - road-choice - Historic Route 66 passes through the north-centre of the state, parallel to Interstate 40 - and for its perceived lack of anything noticeably enjoyable to do, a sentiment that, if anything, is actively perpetuated by the occupants. (It should be said, however, that this Researcher has had no problem finding a good time in Oklahoma that didn't involve a hit of codeine or MDMA - one simply must know where to look.)
Table of Contents
History of Oklahoma, 1830-2009 Must-See Hotspots Strange Laws That Shouldn't Be Broken Whilst Visiting Musical Culture How to "Fit In" in the Suburbs College Towns - We Has Them Myths Debunked
History of Oklahoma, 1830-2009
Oklahoma has an illustrious history of being a state of utter rascals and, accordingly, screwing over the Native population. It was originally the designated home of displaced Choctaw Natives and other tribes after that icky bit involving American President Andrew Jackson, racist residents of the state of Georgia and the Trail of Tears from roughly 1830 until 1862, the height of the Civil War. (Oklahoma literally means "Red People" in Choctaw.) 1862 is the year white people began to want to "settle" the "Unassigned lands," much to the chagrin of the assorted Native groups now living semi-comfortable lives who were (quite understandably) not too welcoming to the prospect of moving again. Much later, the Natives would get revenge, creating a national system of casinos that enthralled and bankrupted thousands of white folk.
The prospective settlers ignored the complaints of the indignant "Indians" and began to move all over the future state in 1872. They were called "Boomers," presumptively due to their uncanny ability to make their voices carry over long distances in a marked attempt to shout down their opponents' legitimate arguments concerning trespass law. 1889 saw its first land run (yay!) when President Ben Harrison gave everyone the go-ahead for 2 million acres of land to be settled.
Statehood and, Well, Not-Statehood
Before Oklahoma was a true state, it wasn't. Actually, it was almost two states - Oklahoma and "Sequoyah," had the Sequoyah Constitutional Convention of 1905 (a petition for the creation of a majority-Native "official" state) succeeded. Needless to say, the United States government, on a roll after years of subjugating and stealing things from the Natives, wasn't about to let that happen, and it was suggested that the two existing territories joined forces and made one "unified" state. This happened in 1907, with Theodore "Teddy Bear" Roosevelt ratifying the statehood proclamation on 16 November of that year.
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