Interesting facts about Oklahoma City

oklahoma city

Oklahoma City often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the US state of Oklahoma.

It lies along the North Canadian River (recently renamed the Oklahoma River inside city limits) near the center of the state.

As of September 2019, the population of Oklahoma City is about 650,000 people. It is the 27th most populous city in the United States.

The city covers a total area of 1,600 square kilometers (600 square miles).

Oklahoma City has an average elevation of 366 meters (1,201 feet) above sea level.

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Oklahoma City was first settled on April 22, 1889, when the area known as the “unassigned lands” (that is, land in Indian territory that had not been assigned to any tribes) was opened for settlement in an event known as “The Land Run.”

Some 10,000 homesteaders settled the area now known as Oklahoma City; the population doubled between 1890 and 1900.

Oklahoma City became the capital of Oklahoma on June 10, 1910, supplanting Guthrie, the territorial capital, as the population center and commercial hub of the new state.

oklahoma city history

Before World War II, Oklahoma City developed major stockyards, attracting jobs and revenue formerly in Chicago and Omaha.

Like many other American cities, center city population declined in the 1970s and 1980s as families followed newly constructed highways to move to newer housing in nearby suburbs.

As Oklahoma City moves through the 21st century, new changes continue to bring population, jobs, entertainment, and improvement.

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On April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City became the site of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil when a truck bomb destroyed part of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in the downtown area, killing 168 people and injuring more than 500. Timothy J. McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing in 1997 and was executed in 2001. The Oklahoma City National Memorial, established in 1997, encompasses an outdoor memorial, a museum, and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

oklahom city national memorial

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is a zoo and botanical garden located in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District in northeast Oklahoma City. The zoo covers 48 hectares (119 acres) and is home to more than 1,900 animals. It is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The Oklahoma City Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums.

oklahoma city zoo

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKCMOA) is a museum located in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center in Oklahoma City. The museum features traveling special exhibitions, original selections from its own collection, a theater showing a variety of foreign, independent, and classic films each week, and a restaurant. OKCMOA also houses a collection of Chihuly glass among the most comprehensive in the world, including the 17-meter (55-foot) Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower in the Museum’s atrium.

oklahoma city museum of art

Packed with interactive exhibits, Science Museum Oklahoma presents ever-changing displays of science-themed topics intended to engage, entertain, and educate. Though kids are the main audience, adults, too, love learning and exploring here. The museum is home to the Kirkpatrick Planetarium and a number of specialized galleries.

science museum oklahoma

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a museum in Oklahoma City, with more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts. The facility also has the world’s most extensive collection of American rodeo photographs, barbed wire, saddlery, and early rodeo trophies. Museum collections focus on preserving and interpreting the heritage of the American West.

national cowboy & western heritage museum

The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a 7-hectare (17-acre) botanical garden and interactive urban park located in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on the southwest corner of Reno and Robinson. The Gardens is home to multiple tiers of densely landscaped areas that surround a sunken lake. Its primary feature is the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory – a 68-meter (224-foot) living plant museum featuring towering palm trees, tropical plants and flowers, waterfalls, and exotic animals.

myriad botanical gardens

Frontier City is a western-themed amusement park in Oklahoma City. It is owned by EPR Properties and operated by Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. The park originally opened in 1958.

frontier city

Bricktown, once an industrial warehouse neighbourhood, was renovated in the 1990s into a popular restaurant, shopping, and entertainment district.

Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 during the early part of the 20th century; it was prominently mentioned in Bobby Troup’s 1946 jazz song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66” made famous by artist Nat King Cole.

Lying in the Great Plains region, Oklahoma City has one of the world’s largest livestock markets.

During the course of the day on June 8, 1974, Oklahoma City was struck by five different tornadoes. Between 1890 and 2011, the city, which is located near the heart of “tornado alley,” was hit by a total of 147 tornadoes.

tornado

From February 3 to July 29, 1964, Oklahoma City was subjected to eight sonic booms per day in a controversial experiment known as the Oklahoma City sonic boom tests. The intent was to quantify the sociological and economic costs of a supersonic transport aircraft. The experiment resulted in 15,400 damage claims.

The world’s first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City, on July 16, 1935. Carl C. Magee, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is generally credited with originating the parking meter. He filed for a patent for a “coin controlled parking meter” on May 13, 1935.

The city’s climate is typical of the southern Great Plains, with long, hot summers and cool, short winters.

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