November 16 – Oklahoma! Okay, It's a State!

Posted on November 16, 2016

The capital of Oklahoma is Oklahoma City. The largest city of Oklahoma is Oklahoma City. And people who live in Oklahoma are often called “Okies.” License plates from that state say (or used to say) “Oklahoma is OK.”

So...where did the name “Oklahoma” come from?

You've probably guessed that it comes from words from a Native American language. The language is Choctaw, and the words “okla” and “humma” mean “red people.” Which is pretty appalling, isn't it?

Speaking of appalling, Oklahoma was originally Native Territory, set aside by the American government as they passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This horrific law kicked Native Americans out of their ancestral homes and relocated them to Oklahoma – and so many died before reaching their destination, the removal and relocation has been dubbed “the Trail of Tears.”


Despite these terrible beginnings, there are of course beautiful and fun things to see and do in the state of Oklahoma. And there are some not-so-beautiful / fun things associated with the state, as well. First, let's get the negative out of the way, and then we'll turn to the more positive stuff:

When I think of Oklahoma, I think of tornadoes. And I guess Google does, too; when I started to type “tornadoes in...” Google suggested “Oklahoma” before I even had a chance to type the letter “O”!

Oklahoma is part of “Tornado Alley,” a swath of land that gets more tornadoes than anywhere else on Earth. Whereas places like Alaska and Washington and Maine get very, very few tornadoes, Oklahoma gets about 52 a year!

Azalea Festival, above
Natural Falls State Park

Talimena Scenic Highway, above
Turner Falls, below

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, above

Also on this date:

Correction Movement Day in Syria

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