Oklahoma, with its rich history and unique culture, is a travel destination for tourists from all over the world.
Over 11.6 million people visited Oklahoma state parks alone in 2021.
Is there anything going on in Oklahoma? I get this question a lot from people who have doubts about visiting Oklahoma.
Oklahoma boasts some of the most scenic landmarks you’ll love to see in this south-central region of the United States.
Let’s learn some fun Oklahoma facts you may not know.
The Best Fun Facts About Oklahoma
- Oklahoma is called the Sooner State after the settlers who arrived in the area earlier than the stipulated time during the Land Run of 1889.
- Voice mail service was invented by an Oklahoman – Gordon Matthews.
- Oklahoma is located right in the Tornado Alley where 62 tornadoes occur on average per year.
- It’s no surprise that Oklahoma is the first state that received the first Tornado warning in the USA.
- Shopping cart was invented by Sylvan Goldman in Oklahoma.
- Oklahoma was mistakenly bombed in 1943 by our own American military during a training mission.
- Oklahoma has a state meal that consists of fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries (state fruit), chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas.
- Oklahoma City was settled in one day during the Land Run.
Oklahoma Facts – Politics And Government
- Oklahoma is a conservative state. Republicans are the supermajority in both of the houses of the legislature.
- Oklahoma is the only state other than West Virginia where former president Donald Trump won all counties in the 2020 presidential election.
- Oklahoma voters have cast their majority votes for the Republican presidential aspirants since 1968.
- Lyndon B. Johnson is the last Democratic Presidential candidate to win Oklahoma.
- Even though Democratic Party has since lost ground in Oklahoma, they enjoyed a period of dominance from 1932-1994–of the 27 Oklahoma governors, 22 were Democrats.
- Did you know that Oklahoma has had up to nine Congressional Districts? Slow population growth is the reason for the reduction to five.
- Oklahoma has seven electoral votes in the electoral college.
- The governor of Oklahoma is the head of the executive and state.
- The executive, legislature, and judiciary work by a “checks and balances system.”
- The Oklahoma Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are the topmost courts in Oklahoma.
- The current and the 28th governor of Oklahoma is a Republican, Kevin Stitt.
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Oklahoma Facts – History
- The Oklahoma name means red people. It originated from Native American words (Choctaw words) Okla for red and “humma” for people.
- This state’s nickname is the Sooner State.
- Indigenous People were already living in present-day Oklahoma during the last glacial period.
- In 1541, the Spanish expedition led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado passed through the Oklahoma territory.
- The Quapaw, Osage, Comanche, and Kiowa made up the Native American tribes in Oklahoma territory during the 18th century.
- Oklahoma territory became part of the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana purchase. The purchase allowed the US to expand to all French territories west of the Mississippi River.
- This state remained part of the Arkansas territory between 1819 to 1829.
- Oklahoma territory is one of the territories where the US Federal government resettled the Native Americans they removed from other territories in North America.
- Trail of Tears is often associated with removing the Native Americans, the Cherokee, from their homes. Some people use it to refer to the removal of another Native American tribe, the Choctaw.
- Choctaw is part of the five Native Americans removed from the southwestern US.
- In the wake of the American civil war, all the five Native American tribes supported the Confederate military. They signed treaties with the army, too.
- The slave trade in the Indian Territory was abolished in 1866.
- Out of the five main cattle trails on the western frontier, four traveled through the Indian Territory in 1881.
- The Indian Appropriation Act of 1889 marked the beginning of the Land Rush into the Indian Territory.
- There was legal time for entry into this region during this land rush. However, some settlers crossed early and hid to wait for an opening. They later became known as the Sooners— this name later became the state’s nickname.
- President Theodore Roosevelt admitted Oklahoma into the Union via the Presidential Proclamation no. 780 of 1907. Oklahoma became the 46th state to achieve statehood.
- Oklahoma state has had two capital cities–Guthrie and the current Oklahoma City.
- This state has a rich African American history as Edward McCabe encouraged blacks into it.
- The Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s destroyed most of the Oklahoma panhandle, creating the Dust Bowl desert.
Oklahoma Facts – Geography
- Oklahoma ranks 20th by area —69,898 square miles.
- Oklahoma lies in the south-central part of the United States.
- It neighbors six states, namely, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Missouri.
- A portion of this state is located near the geographic center of the lower 48 states.
- The Sooner state is located between the Great Plains and the Ozark Plateau.
- Oklahoma’s highest point is the Black Mesa in the Oklahoma panhandle –it stands at 4,973 feet from the ground.
- The state’s lowest point is the Little River, at 289 feet above sea level.
- The Sooner State has more distinct ecological zones within its borders than any other state. The state’s Eastern half has eight zones, while the Western half has only three.
- The Oklahoma Panhandle is home to the Western high plains ecoregion in the southern plains.
- Oklahoma is divided into ten geographic regions.
- This state is home to four major mountain ranges: the Wichita Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains, the Ozark, and the Arbuckle Mountains.
- The Ozark and Ouachita mountains are the only main mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains.
- The Flint hills stretch into this state.
- Cavana hill in eastern Oklahoma is the world’s tallest hill, according to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Standing at 609 m, it failed to meet the department’s definition by one foot.
- The northwestern corner is dotted with canyons and mesa ranges such as the Glass Mountains.
- Sky island mountain ranges like Wichita Mountains and the Antelope Hills occupy the southwestern region.
- Central Oklahoma has Oak savannas and transitional prairie.
- The state has over 500 named creeks and rivers.
- The Sooner State is home to the highest number of man-made lakes in the country. It has 200 artificial lakes, including the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokee nation.
- Much of Oklahoma lies in the Tornado Alley, defined by the large hails, severe thunderstorms, Tornadoes, and wrecking thunderstorm winds.
- This state has one of the highest Tornado strike rates globally –62 tornado strikes on average per year. One notable strike is the 1912 Tornado outbreak.
- Today, severe weather alerts, including Tornado warnings, are issued to the public.
- The first successful Tornado forecast happened at the Tinker Air Force base in 1948.
- The weather patterns vary widely over a short interval of time.
Credits: Quick Meme
Oklahoma Facts – Plants And Animals Life
- Over 130 plant species are native to this state.
- Forests in the eastern region contain sweetgum, maple, oak, hickory, pine, elm, hackberry, and cottonwood.
- Sage, mesquite, and cacti are the primary arid plants in this state.
- Oklahoma state is home to several animals, including elk, deer, antelope, wolves, rabbits, prairie dogs, coyotes, American bison, and foxes.
- The state is home to perch, bass, and catfish.
- Almost all birds found between the Rockies and the Mississippi River live here, including the bald eagle.
- The official state bird is the scissor-tailed flycatcher.
- Rattlesnakes and non-poisonous snakes are native to this state.
- The Oklahoma state amphibian is the Bullfrog.
- Buffalo is the official state animal of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Facts – Demographics
- Oklahoma state is the 28th most populous state with a population of over 3,959,353.
- Oklahoma City is the capital city of the state.
- Oklahoma City is the only capitol building with an active oil rig in the country.
- Oklahoma City population is the largest city in the state. It has over 643,648 people.
- Oklahoma has the name Oklahoma in its capital city’s name. Indiana is the only other state with the same.
- Oklahoma’s state capitol building is located on Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City, and it houses the executive government offices.
- Over 72% of the state’s population is made up of whites, making it the dominant race in the state.
- Anadarko city, Oklahoma, had the largest Native American population in 2021.
- The state of Oklahoma consists of 77 counties and 590 cities.
- A resident of Oklahoma is called an Oklahoman.
- The official language is English. The Oklahomans speak Oklahoma English.
- Choctaw Nation and Cherokee nation speak their languages, Choctaw and Cherokee, making them the most spoken native North American languages in Oklahoma.
- Oklahoma is the only state other than California with more native North American languages–it has 25.
- Oklahoma is part of the Bible Belt–a region with conservative and evangelical Christianity. Like politics, this region has conservative social views.
- Tusla –the second largest city–is often called “the buckle of the Bible Belt.”
- Only Oklahoma and the Arkansas States have the highest percentage of evangelical Christians.
- Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the world. It’s the “world’s prison capital.”
Oklahoma Facts – Economy
- The Sooner State is one of the major producers of natural gas, food, and aircraft in the country.
- The state houses six Fortune 1000 and four Fortune 500 companies.
- Oklahoma is in the top ten states with the lowest tax burden in the United States.
- Tulsa has the world’s largest airline maintenance base –its headquarters is the engineering and maintenance base for American Airlines.
- The state of Oklahoma ranks in the top 10 of aerospace engine manufacturing.
- Oklahoma state is a major logistics center and contributor to weather-related research.
- The state is one of the leading manufacturers of tires in the country.
- Oklahoma is home to three of the leading private oil companies in the United States–Devon, Chesapeake, and SandRidge Energy Corporations.
- Oklahoma’s official state meal consists of fried okra sausage and gravy, cornbread, squash, barbecue pork, biscuits, black-eyed peas, corn, grits, strawberries, chicken fried steak, and pecan pie.
Famous Locations in Oklahoma
- The University of Oklahoma boasts several sports programs and numerous tourist attraction sites.
- Oklahoma City zoo is the best place to learn about the state’s ecosystems.
- Oklahoma City National Memorial remembers the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in 1995.
- Black Mesa State Park in Cimarron County.
- Marland Estate Mansion, located in Ponca City, is the home of the 10th governor of Oklahoma and has 55 rooms.
- The Museum of the Great Plains, located in Lawton, promises interactive exhibits.
- Black Mesa Summit Trail in Cimarron County.
- The Gilcrease Museum is located on 460 acres in Osage hills, Tusla.
- Wichita Mountains.
- Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
Famous People From Oklahoma
- Jennifer Berry is a beauty pageant and the 2006 Miss America winner. She lives in Tusla, Oklahoma.
- Alfre Woodward, born in Tulsa, is a primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner. The New York Times, in 2020, ranked Alfre as the 17th most outstanding actor of the 21st century.
- Sylvan Nathan Goldman, born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, is the inventor of the folding basket carriers.
- Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, William Bradley Pitt is a famous actor.
- Carlos Ray Norris, popular as Chuck Norris, was born in Ryan, Oklahoma, and he is a prominent actor.
- Reba Nell McEntire, popular as Reba McEntire, was born in McAlester, Oklahoma. She is a well-known singer.
Common Misconceptions About Oklahoma
Most people who don’t live in Oklahoma have their unique versions of what it is like to live in this state. Let’s debunk three of the most common myths about this great state.
Tornadoes happen daily
Yes, this region experiences adverse weather like thunderstorms and Tornadoes. While Tornadoes are a thing here, they don’t happen every day.
Even the destructive F5s Tornadoes you imagine to occur here are rare.
Everyone lives on a farm
Who wouldn’t love a farm life? Residents of Oklahoma City, as well as other cities in this state, live an “urban life “. But not everyone lives on a farm.
Oklahomans aren’t famous
No, there are famous Oklahomans such as Garth Brooks, Rob Howard, Reba McEntire, Woody Guthrie, and Chuck Norris.
Weird Laws in Oklahoma
Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Oklahoma cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.
Here are some of our favorites.
- According to Oklahoma City Ordinances, it is illegal to put any hypnotized person in a display window.
- Wearing New York Jets clothing could get you jailed in Ada.
- It is illegal for children in Bromide, Oklahoma to use towels as capes and jump from houses pretending to be Superman.
- People who make “ugly faces” at dogs in Oklahoma may be fined or jailed.
- In Tulsa, Oklahoma, it is illegal to open a soda bottle without the supervision of a licensed engineer.
- It is illegal to read a comic book while driving.
- Wearing boots to bed is illegal.
- Tattoos are prohibited.
- Having issues in the trunk of one’s car is unlawful.
- Taking a bite out of another’s hamburger is illegal in Oklahoma.
As you can see, Oklahoma’s landscape is not as dull as everyone else portray in those funny gifs are memes. There is a lot to enjoy in this state, and as we always do, we put together a list of basic, weird, and fun facts for you to know what life is like in the Sooner state.
Oklahoma Stats And Facts
|Governor||Kevin Stitt ( Republican Party)|
|Date Of Admission||November 16, 1907|
|U.S. Senators||Jim Inhofe (R)|
James Lankford (R)
|US House of Representatives||5 (of 435 Seats)|
|State Nickname||The Sooner State|
|State Motto||Labor omnia vincit meaning Oklahoma in God We Trust|
|State Song||Oklahoma by Richard Rodgers|
|State Flower||Oklahoma Rose|
|State Fish||White Bass|
|State Bird||Scissor-tailed Flycatcher|
|State Reptile||Collared Lizard|
|State Mineral||Hourglass Selenite|
|State Gem||Hourglass Selenite Crystal|
|State Fossil||Saurophaganax maximus|
|Neighbor States||ColoradoKansasArkansasMissouriTexasNew Mexico|
Frequently Asked Questions About Oklahoma
Is Oklahoma a good state to live in?
Oklahoma has low housing costs and low living expenses.
What are the three fun facts about Oklahoma?
- Oklahoma has the name Oklahoma in its capital city’s name.
- Cimarron county shares its body with six states.
- Oklahoma’s Native American population is the largest in the country.
- Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe Bio | Contact | Quotes
- Oklahoma Senator James Lankford Bio | Contact | Quotes
- Oklahoma Unemployment Insurance Benefits Guide