Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Research

Oklahoma became the 46th state on November 16, 1907.

Library of Congress, "A pair of truants, tending their father's mules.," color digital file from b&w original, Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, ( http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.00666  : accessed 29 Jul 2014), photo taken April 1917, Reproduction no. LC-DIG-nclc-00666.

Library of Congress, “A pair of truants, tending their father’s mules.,” color digital file from b&w original, Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, ( http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/nclc.00666 : accessed 29 Jul 2014), photo taken April 1917, Reproduction no. LC-DIG-nclc-00666.

Five things you may not have known about the Sooner State:

  1. Originally Indian Territory, the state of Oklahoma was opened to settlers in a “Land Rush” in 1889. Prospective settlers would be allowed to claim plots of land by grabbing the stakes marking each plot on a specific date. A few of these settlers cheated and pulled their stakes early; these cheaters were called “Sooners”.
  2. The world’s first parking meter was installed on July 16, 1935 in Oklahoma City.  A parking ticket was probably not too far behind.
  3. The National Cowboy Hall of Fame is in Oklahoma City.
  4. The town of Beaver is known as the Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World — the world championship is held there each April.
  5. The YIELD sign was first used on a trial basis in Tulsa.
Our new free state guide, “Oklahoma Research Guide: Family History Sources in the Sooner State,” has an overview and timeline of the state, along with resources to explore when searching for your Oklahoma ancestors. Guides for other states are also available in the Learning Center under Free State Research Guides.

About Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.