Pioneer of the Plains
|Welcome to Oklahoma, a land once dubbed "Indian Country," with a past as complex as the network of streams that cut through its grasses. When it joined the nation as part of the Louisiana Purchase, Oklahoma (then only a territory) was assigned to the Five Civilized Tribes in exchange for their traditional lands in the east. Between 1830 and 1846, U.S. troops forced over 16,000 Creeks, Choctaws, Chicasaws, Seminoles, and Cherokees to march into Oklahoma along the "trail of tears." Only 12,000 survived the journey, but their legacy still remains - today Oklahoma has the largest population of Native Americans in the nation.|
|In 1889, prospective homesteaders gathered on the Kansas border, awaiting a gigantic race for claims. Those who jumped the gun, called "Sooners," often lathered their horses with soap to make it seem like they'd rushed there fairly (they often lost their land later, in court). The rest took parcels of excellent farmland, where wheat, corn, and livestock are grown today. Much of this land also hid rich preserves of oil and natural gas. |
Explore Oklahoma's wonders, from the gypsum hills and high plains of the panhandle region, to the forests of the east. In between you'll find wildlife in the buffalo grass, rock formations, mesas, and lakes. Play in the sand dunes, fish in the waters, and keep your eyes open for deer, rabbits, skunks, armadillos, and birds of all kinds.
|images courtesy of Oklahoma Tourism|