OKLAHOMA - STATE OF OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles (177,847 km²), Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people", and is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner State. Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.

A major producer of natural gas, oil and agriculture, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. It has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, ranking among the top states in per capita income growth and gross domestic product growth. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly 60 percent of Oklahomans living in their metropolitan statistical areas. The state's largest universities participate in the NCAA and NAIA athletic associations, with two collegiate athletic departments rated among the most successful in American history.

With small mountain ranges, prairie, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains and the U.S. Interior Highlands—a region especially prone to severe weather. In addition to having a prevalence of German, Irish, British and Native American ancestry, more than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, the most of any state. It is located on a confluence of three major American cultural regions and historically served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Part of the Bible Belt, widespread belief in evangelical Christianity makes it one of the most politically conservative states, though Oklahoma has more voters registered with the Democratic Party than with any other party.

The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw phrase okla humma, literally meaning red people. Choctaw Chief Allen Wright suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government regarding the use of Indian Territory, in which he envisioned an all-Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Equivalent to the English word Indian, okla humma was a phrase in the Choctaw language used to describe the Native American race as a whole. Oklahoma later became the de facto name for Oklahoma Territory, and it was officially approved in 1890, two years after the area was opened to white settlers.

Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States, covering an area of 69,898 square miles (181,035 km2), with 68,667 square miles (177847 km2) of land and 1,281 square miles (3,188 km2) of water. It is one of six states on the Frontier Strip, and lies partly in the Great Plains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states. It is bounded on the east by Arkansas and Missouri, on the north by Kansas, on the northwest by Colorado, on the far west by New Mexico, and on the south and near-west by Texas.

The western edge of the Oklahoma panhandle is out of alignment with its Texas border. The Oklahoma/New Mexico border is actually 2.1 to 2.2 miles east of the Texas line. The border between Texas and New Mexico was set first as a result of a survey by Spain in 1819. It was then set along the 103rd Meridian. In the 1890s, when Oklahoma was formally surveyed using more accurate surveying equipment and techniques, it was discovered that the Texas line was not set along the 103rd Meridian. Surveying techniques were not as accurate in 1819, and the actual 103rd Meridian was approximately 2.2 miles to the east. It was much easier to leave the mistake as it was than for Texas to cede land to New Mexico to correct the original surveying error. The placement of the Oklahoma/New Mexico border represents the true 103rd Meridian.

Cimarron County in Oklahoma's panhandle is the only county in the United States that touches four other states: New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas (about two miles worth).

 Oklahoma City

Luciano Mende

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