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State Government: Oklahoma Trivia & Fun Facts

Who are the Oklahoma astronauts?

How large is the state of Oklahoma in square miles?

According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Oklahoma encompasses 69,903 square miles.

Source: Oklahoma Almanac 1995/1996, p.3

What is the meaning of the name, Oklahoma?

The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw language and means "Red Man."  "Ukla" means person, and "huma" means red.

Source: Facts About the States 1993, p. 411.

When did Oklahoma become a state?

Oklahoma became a state November 16, 1907. It is the 46th state.

Oklahoma Almanac 1995/96, p. 3.

How many counties in Oklahoma?

There are 77 counties in Oklahoma.

Adair
Alfalfa
Atoka
Beaver
Beckham
Blaine
Bryan
Caddo
Canandian
Carter
Cherokee
Choctaw
Cimarron
Cleveland
Coal 

Comanche
Cotton
Craig
Creek
Custer  
Dealware
Dewey
Ellis
Garfield
Garvin
Grady
Grant
Greer
Harmon
Harper 

Haskell 
Hughes
Jackson
Jefferson
Johnston
Kay
Kingfisher
Kiowa
Latimer  
LeFlore
Lincoln
Logan
Love
McClain
McCurtain

McIntosh
Major   
Marshall
Mayes
Murray
Muskogee
Noble
Nowata
Okfuskee
Oklahoma
Okmulgee
Ottawa
Pawnee 
Payne
Pittsburg
Pontotoc
Pottawatomie
Pushmataha
Roger Mills
Rogers 
Seminole
Sequoyah
Stephens
Texas
Tillman
Tulsa
Wagoner
Washington
Washita
Woods
Woodward 

What are the highest and lowest elevation points in Oklahoma?

The highest elevation in Oklahoma is the Black Mesa which is 4973 feet or 1516 meters above sea level.

Source: World Book Encyclopedia, v. 14, p. 714, 1998 Edition.

The lowest elevation in Oklahoma is along the Little River in McCurtain County which is 287 feet or 87 meters above sea level.

Source: World Book Encyclopedia, 1998 Edition, v. 14, p. 714.

What is the meaning of the colors of ribbon that commemorate the Oklahoma City bombing?

Purple is for courage; white for innocence; yellow for hope; and blue for statehood.

Source: Oklahoma Today, Special Memorial Issue, 1996.

Who was the first African-American to be elected judge in Oklahoma?

Amos T. Hall was appointed Special Judge of the District Court of Tulsa County in 1969 and served until 1970. In 1970 he was elected associate district judge of Tulsa County and served in that capacity until his death in 1971.

Source: "They Came Searching: How Blacks Sought the Promised Land in Tulsa", by Eddie Faye Gates.  976.68600496073 G223t 1997

What Oklahoma Olympic medalist was given an American Indian name?

Jim Thorpe received the name Bright Path from the Sac and Fox Indian tribe.  He won the decathlon and the pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics.

Source: Tulsa World, April 21, 2003; p.H13.

Which homesteaders sneaked into Oklahoma first: The Sooners or the Boomers?

The Boomers. Oklahoma is unique in that large sections of Oklahoma were first opened to white settlement with massive races for prime land.

Source: Tulsa World, April 21, 2003; p.H13.

How many Oklahoma women have been named "Miss America"?

There have been six: Norma Smallwood of Bristow (1926); Jane Jayroe of Laverne (1967); Susan Powell of Elk City (1981); Shawntel Smith of Muldrow (1996); Jennifer Berry of Tulsa (2006); and Lauren Nelson of Lawton (2007).

Sources: Tulsa World, January 30, 2007; p. A1; Tulsa World, January 29, 2006; p. A6; Tulsa World, April 21, 2003; p.A13.

What are the historical population numbers for the state of Oklahoma?

1890 -- 258,657

1900 -- 790,319

1910 -- 1,657,155

1920 -- 2,028,283

1930 -- 2,396,040

1940 -- 2,336,434 

1950 -- 2,233,351

1960 -- 2,328,284

1970 -- 2,559,229

1980 -- 3,025,290

1990 -- 3,145,585 

2000 -- 3,450,654

2010 -- 3,751,351

Source: 2010 Census; 2000 Census; Historical Statistics of the States of the United States, 1993; p.74.

Where was Oklahoma's first capital?

Guthrie. The seat of government was moved to Oklahoma City in 1910 after state leaders judged Guthrie too Republican.

Source: Tulsa World, April 21, 2003; p.A13; Oklahoma - A Guide to the Sooner State by Kent Ruth, p. 423.

Who are Oklahoma's Five Indian Ballerinas?

The five women are: Moscelyne Larkin who was originally from Miami, and has lived many years in Tulsa establishing Tulsa Ballet Theatre and a school for young dancers; Maria Tallchief and sister Marjorie Tallchief, Osage Indians who grew up in Fairfax; Rosella Hightower from Durwood, named for a great lady in the history of the Choctaw tribe; and, Myra Yvonne Chouteau, a Shawnee-Cherokee Indian and a descendant of French trader Jean Pierre Chouteau.

Source: Tulsa World, April 6, 1997; Tulsa World, May 4, 2000, American Indian Ballerinas by Lili Cockerille Livingston, 1997.

How many miles of shoreline are in Oklahoma?

Listed below are some water facts for the state of Oklahoma.

  • Oklahoma has approximately 55,646 miles of shoreline.
  • Oklahoma contains approximately 1,401 square miles of water area in its lakes and ponds. (Larger than the state of Rhode Island!)
  • Oklahoma has approximately 167,600 miles of rivers/streams.
  • The longest river in Oklahoma is the Beaver/North Canadian River at 752 miles.  The second longest is the Red River at 570 miles.

Source: Oklahoma Water Resource Board web site

What common traffic devices first appeared in Oklahoma towns?

The first parking meter appeared in Oklahoma City (1935) and was invented by Carlton Cole Magee in response to the growing problem of parking congestion.  The first yield sign appeared in Tulsa (1950).  The yield sign was invented by a former Tulsa Police Department member, Captain Clinton Riggs.

Source: Tulsa World, June 1, 2003; p.H2; Tulsa World, April 21, 2003; p.H13; "The History of Roads and Asphalt."

How many licensed drivers are in the state of Oklahoma?

According to the 2009 Crash Facts Book, there are 2,504,091 licensed drivers in Oklahoma and 123,906 motorcycles.

During that year 1,286,452 were female and 1,217,639 were male.

Source: Oklahoma Crash Facts, 2009. pp. 11, 16-17. (http://www.ok.gov/ohso/Crash_Data_and_Statistics/2009_Crash_Facts_Book.html)

 

What are the animals or plants on the endangered species list that live in Oklahoma?

Several Oklahoma State agencies compile a list of endangered species. The Oklahoma Agriculture Food and Forestry department has a publication called "Protecting Oklahoma's Endangered Species from Pesticides" and The Department of Wildlife Conservation provides the list on their website under "Oklahoma's Endangered Species".

Source: Oklahoma Department of Agriculture; Department of Wildlife Conservation.

What is Red Dirt music?

Red Dirt Music is a music genre that gets its name from the color of soil found in Oklahoma. It is a combination of blues, bluegrass, country, rock, folk, and field hollers.

What colleges and universities are in Oklahoma?

Where can I find the winning numbers for the Oklahoma state lottery?

The Powerball numbers can be found at the Oklahoma lottery web site or by calling 1-405-522-7700.

Where can I find information on wind farms in Oklahoma?

The Oklahoma Wind Power Initiative and the Oklahoma State Energy Office provide resources and economic information on wind power. You can also find information on solar power and biofuels.