Oklahoma is a landlocked state in the south central region of the United States, north of the Red River that forms the border of the state with its neighbor, Texas.
Date first visited by Europeans: It is uncertain who the first European was in the area that would become Oklahoma, but it was likely either Hernado de Soto, or Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, both of whom were Spanish Explorers. Either one of the explorers possibly entered the borders of the state sometime around 1541.
Date admitted to US: 1907
Capital: Oklahoma City
Largest City: Oklahoma City
Landscape: Most of the state is a part of the Great Plains region of the United States, which as the name describes, is a large flat plain. The general elevation of the state tends to be higher in the western portion and slope downwards in the more eastern sections.
Area: 69,898 square miles
Area Rank: 20th
Population rank: 28th
Electoral Votes: 7
In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which forcibly moved Native Americans off of land desired by white settlers in the Southeast. They were relocated to Oklahoma along what would become known as the Trail of Tears. By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans had been removed from their land by the United States Government. Estimates vary as to exactly how many people died on the route, but the death toll of the various tribes reached several thousand people, possibly more than ten thousand.
When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, the Union was forced to abandon the territory and relocated soldiers elsewhere. The Confederacy quickly seized control of the region and took control of several forts in the area. Negotiations followed, but there were many Native Americans who chose to fight for the Confederacy, while others fought for the Union.. At the time, slavery was legal in the territory and there were over 8,000 slaves owned by Native Americans in the territory.
Oklahoma, along with many other states is a part of ‘Tornado Alley’, where tornados are more frequent than anywhere else in the United States. The term was coined by U.S. Air Force meteorologists Major Ernest J. Fawbush and Captain Robert C. Miller in 1952.
A Broadway musical by Roger and Hammerstein, appropriately titled “Oklahoma” tells the story of frontier Oklahoma.
Oklahoma lies in “Tornado Alley”, an area where tornados are more frequent than elsewhere.
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