At first glance, you may not feel like Oklahoma is that interesting to visit—especially if you’ve spent a lot of time in the Midwest.
In fact—we’ve more than once actually heard it referred to as being ‘a tad bit boring.’
(A truly shameful thing to say, right?)
Well—it’s kind of flat like Kansas, but not quite as flat.
It’s kind of ‘hilly’ like Missouri, but not quite as hilly.
It’s kind of Ozarkish—but not nearly as Ozarkish as Arkansas.
And it’s kind of ‘pure American Midwest’ like Illinois—just, a little bit less so.
Still, here’s the thing about Oklahoma (aka the ‘sooner’ state).
When you take your time to slow down and actually check it out, you’ll find that it’s actually a lot more beautiful than most people give it credit for.
You’ll also find that it has a much more interesting history than you might imagine!
In fact, in this post, you’re going to learn 5 unique facts about Oklahoma (especially pertaining to its history) that you probably didn’t know.
And some of these facts just might blow your mind!
Who knows? This just might inspire you to pay the state a visit next time you plan to drive through the Midwestern United States!
Let’s get into it.
1. Why It’s Called The ‘Sooner’ State
One interesting fact about Oklahoma is where it gets its famous nickname.
In 1889, people poured into Oklahoma to stake their claims on portions of about 2 million acres that the U.S. government had recently opened for settlement.
But here’s the kicker…
This process didn’t technically start until noon on April 22nd, 1889.
Therefore, people who entered the region before this designated start time were given the nickname ‘sooners.’
And the name has just stuck.
2. Marijuana Was Legalized For Medicinal Use In 2018
In 2018, voters in Oklahoma legalized medical cannabis statewide.
But Oklahoma is also unique among many states in that you don’t need to have any specific qualifying conditions in order to get a prescription for it.
If your local weed-friendly doctor feels like you need it (for pretty much any reason), you can get a prescription for it and visit a legal dispensary to get it filled.
Easy stuff, right?
3. Oklahoma Became A State In 1907
It was during this year in history when the people of the territory voted to officially enter the United States as the state of Oklahoma.
Theodore Roosevelt was the president at the time, and he issued Presidential Proclamation 780 to make it official—which made Oklahoma officially the forty-sixth state to join the union.
4. Oklahoma Was Once Home To Several Native American Tribes
Most people who are native to the state of Oklahoma can trace their lineage back to one (or more) of several major Native American Tribes. These include the Cheyenne, the Comanche, the Plains Apache, the Wichita, the Kiowa, the Osage, and the Caddo.
But even back before these tribes were well established, there is a rich archeological history of other ancient people settling in the area.
There’s actually a very rich archeological history in Oklahoma!
5. It Was Originally Believed To Be A Land Filled With Gold
Back in 1541, a Spanish explorer by the name Francisco Vásquez de Coronado traveled to what is now known as Oklahoma because it was believed that it contained massive ancient cities that were literally made of gold.
Of course, we now know that these rumors were not true.
Still, by the time the 1700s rolled around, both the Spanish and the French had a presence established in the area.
They were mostly explorers and traders. In fact, the United States eventually ended up buying the majority of Oklahoma from Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. This happened during the selling of the Louisiana Territory—an event which occurred in 1803.
The sale included about 530,000,000 acres of territory in North America, which the U.S. purchased for a total of about $15 million.
There you have it!
5 unique facts about Oklahoma that pretty much eradicate the notion that it’s in any way a ‘boring’ place to live or visit.
Certainly a state with this much unique and interesting history is worth seeing at least once, right?
Well, if we had to cast our vote—we would most definitely agree.