Oklahoma’s recorded history begins in 1541 when Spanish explorer Coronado and his party ventured through the area on his special assignment to discover the treasures of the ‘Lost City of Gold.’
The area that later became the state of Oklahoma was transferred to the Union when the United Stated managed to close one of the nation’s most important real estate deals in its history, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
The southeastern part of the United States housed the so-called ‘Five Civilized Tribes’, but during the early ’20s of the 19th century, these Indian tribes were brutally forced to abandon their properties and lands to relocate to new designated Indian Territory out west.
There were several routes towards their new locations, but the best known is the Cherokee ‘Trail of Tears’. The Indian tribes suffered extreme hardships because federal and state government troops were using excessive force to get the Indians to leave their ancestral lands.
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Tribe members that had survived the cruelties, managed eventually to recover from the brutally forced dislocation through hard work and communal support, and before long, new institutions and cultural adaptations were emerging.
Subsequently, a period of great and important development followed that is generally referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of Indian Territory.
After the terribly destructive period of the Civil War, the economy of Oklahoma was bouncing back rapidly due to the cattle industry that emerged across the region.
This was the time of the American cowboys, and during the end of the 1800s, America’s expansion West had also reached this territory, sparking much controversy regarding the region’s destination.
The Indian Tribes were brutally forced to abandon their lands and communities because treaties that were enacted after the Civil War was over, were allowing the federal U.S. government to continue on the path of large-scale and wide expansion while leaving the Indian Tribes with just some small individual property allotments.
At one time, there were proposals to apply Indian Territory for the settlement of African Americans who were freed out of slavery, but the U.S. government could withstand the pressure that was predominantly coming from so-called ‘Boomers’, a bunch of people who wanted to use all of the Indian lands for purpose of non-Indian settlements.
New settlers came to the region from every part of the nation, and even from as far away countries like Poland, Germany, Ireland, or the Slavic nations. All these people came to claim their land, and even former African American slaves were taking part in these runs or were just accepting their allotments like the members of Indian tribes. In the following years, black pioneers established complete communities in the area of Arcadia, Taft, Boley, and Langston.
On November 16th, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state in the Union, which had posed no problem as the discovery of oil had made Oklahoma the ‘place to be and strike it rich’. People were coming from every corner of our planet to chase their fortunes in the rich Oklahoma oil fields, This boom allowed cities like Tulsa, Ponca City, Oklahoma City, and Bartlesville to thrive like they never did never before.
Oklahoma residents are in general proud of their land that comes with hundreds of scenic rivers and beautiful lakes. The state offers highly diverse cultures, and genuine warmth and friendliness.
This proud Oklahoma spirit can also be seen in the accomplishments of its citizens. Just listen to African-American author Ralph Ellison, ‘Cherokee Cowboy’ and humorist Will Rogers, or American Indian Jim Thorpe.
It also shows in jazz musician Charlie Christian’s tunes, the words of astronaut Thomas Stafford, and the music of country music’s superstars like Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and Vince Gill.