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Oklahoma City History

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History Information

  • 1541
    Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored western Oklahoma
  • 1682
    Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle claimed Oklahoma for France
  • 1803
    The U.S. bought the Oklahoma region as part of the Louisiana Purchase
  • 1819
    Oklahoma became part of the Territory of Arkansas
  • 1830-1842
    The Five Civilized Tribes are forcibly moved to Oklahoma by way of the Trail of Tears
  • 1834
    Congress creates the Indian Territory
  • 1866
    Congress punishes the Oklahoma Indians for helping the South by taking away some of their land and giving it to other tribes
  • 1889
    The U.S. opens some of Oklahoma to white settlement
  • 1890
    Congress established the Territory of Oklahoma; together with the Indian Territory they are known as the “Twin Territories”
  • 1892
    The University of Oklahoma opens at Norman
  • 1893
    The largest Oklahoma land run occurs at Cherokee Outlet
  • 1901
    Oil is discovered in Tulsa
  • 1907
    Oklahoma became the 46th state
  • 1928
    The Oklahoma City oil field opens
  • 1953
    The Turner Turnpike from Oklahoma City to Tulsa is completed
  • 1970
    The McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System opens
  • 1986
    Flooding causes over $140 million in damage

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History


In 1899, the Territorial Legislature of the future state of Oklahoma mandated the founding of a natural history museum on the campus of the University of the Territory of Oklahoma in Norman, now the University of Oklahoma. Since that time, the existing museum has had a long and distinguished history, acquiring over 5,000,000 objects that belong to the people of the state of Oklahoma.

The curators and staff of the museum conduct scientific investigations to preserve and develop a greater understanding and appreciation of natural resources and human cultural heritage; they develop exhibitions and conduct educational programs that illustrate, interpret, and explain the natural history of the state and region to bring a greater understanding of our world to the people of Oklahoma and others.


Oklahoma Historical Society


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