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AN OKIE PROFILE UPDATE

Here are some little known but very interesting facts about Oklahoma. That is where I was born.

1. The bread twist tie was invented in Maysville, Oklahoma.

2. The shopping cart was invented in Ardmore in 1936.

3. The nation's first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.

4. The first Girl Scout Cookie was sold in Muskogee in 1917.

5. Cimarron County, located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, is the only county in the U.S. bordered by 4 separate states... Texas, New Mexico, Colorado & Kansas.

6. The Oklahoma State Capital is the only capital in the U.S. with working oil wells on its grounds.

7. Boise City, Oklahoma was the only city in the United States to be bombed during World War II. On Monday night, July 5, 1943, at 12:30 a.m., a B-17 Bomber based at Dalhart Army Air Base, Texas, dropped six practice bombs on the sleeping town, mistaking the
city lights as target lights.

8. WKY Radio in Oklahoma City was the first radio station transmitting west of the Mississippi River.

9. The nation's first “Tornado Warning” was issued on March 25, 1948 in Oklahoma City minutes before a devastating tornado. Because of the warning, no lives were lost.

10. Oklahoma has the largest Native American population of any state in the U.S.

11. The name “Oklahoma” comes from two Choctaw words... okla meaning “people” and humma meaning “red”. So the name means, “Red People.” The name was approved in 1890.

12. Oklahoma produced more astronauts than any other state.

13. Oklahoma has more man made lakes than any other state.

14. During the “Land Rush”, Oklahoma City went from a vast, open prairie to a city of over 10,000 in a single day.

15. The nation's first traffic “Yield” sign was erected in Tulsa on a trial basis.

16. Pensacola Dam is the longest multi-arched dam in the world at 6,565 feet.

17. The “Port of Catoosa” (just north of Tulsa) is the largest inland port in America.

18. The aerosol can was invented in Bartlesville.

19. Per square mile, Oklahoma has more tornadoes than any other place in the world.

20. The highest wind speed ever recorded on earth was in Moore, Oklahoma on May 3rd. 1999 during the Oklahoma City F-5 tornado. Wind speed was clocked at 318 mph.

21. The “Will Rogers World Airport” and the “Wiley Post Airport” are both named after two famous Okies....both killed in an airplane crash!!!

22. Robert Alford was born in Oklahoma City before the first parking meter was installed and I was raised on Girl Scout cookies, later I visited each of the bordering states and, even more than that, the F5 tornado clocked at 318 mph is why I imagine such a vortex could exceed 400 mph. I was swimming in a lake near our farm when the devastating tornado in 1948 cut across the area, barely missing the WKY transmission towers, and although it did not kill me, the hailstone raised some good sized welts on my back and knots on my head when I finally had to from under the water for air and decided to run for cover under a tree near the lake shore. (That was a stupid thing to do). I also thought for many years that “Yield” meant “give up.” Being an Okie is not all that easy as most of them die eventually. For my sixth birthday I took my first airplane ride in a new Piper Cub. We took off and landed in a meadow about three miles form our farm. It think that short hop was the greatest fifteen minute thrill of my young life as we got up high enough for me to understand that there was a lot of Oklahoma I had never seen before. Being an Okie is not all that easy as most of born there eventually die, and because of that I know Oklahoma is not Heaven. Even so, I hope to see Heaven some day.

P.S. One of my present co-workers is a Choctaw Indian, one of the Red People.

I suppose there is a lot more about Oklahoma that could be added to this short trivia list. For instance, my mother and her sister and two brothers were all born in Oklahoma Indian Territory. Jim Thorpe was a classmate of my mother while attending school in Shawnee.

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