oklahoma

On this day in 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state in these United States of America!

Happy Birthday Oklahoma!

108 years of statehood, and 108 years of American Pride!  Located in the southern center of the United States, Oklahoma is a proud and patriotic state.  The people are resilient and take pride in that resiliency.  From the 1930s Dust Bowl to the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Building — and all of the tornados and disasters in between — Oklahomans have held strong and overcome…and in the process have contributed some of the best and brightest the world has to offer.  Among the famous Oklahomas are:

Garth Brooks
Reba McIntire
Brad Pitt
Chuck Norris
Carrie Underwood
Blake Shelton
Kristen Chenoweth
Ron Howard
Woody Guthrie
James Garner
Vince Gill
Toby Keith
Shannon Miller
Tony Randall
Will Rogers
Jim Thorpe
The Oklahoma Sooners!

Oklahoma is home to the the “Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, Creek and Chickasaw) and was the last stop on the Trail of Tears.  Probably as a result, it is home to some of the most unique sounding towns and streets:  Tahlequah, Chautauqua, Oologah, Nowata and Quapaw to name only a few.

Statue by James Earle Fraser depicts the exhausted warrior as he completes his treacherous journey in the
Statue by James Earle Fraser depicts the exhausted warrior as he completes his treacherous journey in the “Trail of Tears”

Oklahoma was home to Sequoyah, the Cherokee leader who created the Cherokee Syllabary, which was the first written language for the Cherokee People.

Sequoyah
Sequoyah

We are proud to claim Wilma Mankiller who, in 1985, was the first woman to serve as principal chief of the Cherokee Tribe.

Former Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller
Former Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller

Twenty-three years ago next month, I moved to Minnesota from my childhood home in Oklahoma; but I will always be an Oklahoma girl. My heart aches for the beautiful prairie of my childhood home, and the rich rust color of the earth. I miss the Native American culture.  But more than anything, I miss the people. While it may sound cliche, it’s nonetheless true:  You can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can’t take the Oklahoma out of the girl.

So on this day — November 16, 2015 — I send Happy Birthday wishes to my Oklahoma, with much love and hope for another 108 more years!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OKLAHOMA!

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Embedded Music:  “Oklahoma” by the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band.
To purchase this music, click on the image to the left.