I got this email from my mom (with some additions from me):
Oklahoma is celebrating its 100th anniversary of Statehood this year. Because most people think of the Stage play " Oklahoma!" when they hear the state's name mentioned, citizens are attempting to update the state's image by sharing Interesting state facts with others as we celebrate our Centennial.
Oklahoma is not only the home of Ado Annie and AuntEller from " Oklahoma!" but of the parking meter(invented in OKC) and the shopping cart (invented inArdmore).
The electric guitar also was invented in Oklahoma, by a Beggs musician named Bob Dunn. The first "Yield" sign was installed in Tulsa.
**Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Oklahoma as having the most diverse terrain of any state in the nation. The state, according to EPA, boasts 11 distinct eco-regions. The state has more man-made lakes than any other state, which give us more than a million surface-acres of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.
Oklahoma has produced more astronauts than any other state in the union. Owen Garriott is an Enid boy, of course, while Tom Stafford is from Weatherford, Shannon Lucid from Oklahoma City, William Pogue from Okemah and the late Gordon Cooper from Shawnee. Oklahoma is home to the Amateur Softball Association and Hall of Fame, a world class zoo in OKC, the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Gilcrease Museam (cowboy art) and more F4 and F5 tornadoes than any other state.
Oklahoma is the third-largest gas-producing state in the nation and ranks fourth in the production of wheat, cattle and calves, fifth in the production of pecans, sixth in peanuts and eighth in peaches.
The state's colors are neither OU's crimson and cream nor the orange and black of OSU but green and white.
Oklahomans practice 73 major religions. The largest is the Southern Baptist Convention, with nearly 1,600 churches and more than 960,000 members (pretty large percentage considering the population of Oklahoma is only about 3.5 million or so).
Oklahoma gave birth to Dick Tracy (cartoonist Chester Gould is a native of Pawnee) and Donald Duck (Clarence"Ducky" Nash, the original voice of Walt Disney's Donald, grew up in Watonga). Not to mention, Garth, Reba, Toby (well, you know, even a good state produces some bad apples), Ron Howard, Troy Aikman, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love), James Garner, Gene Autry, Johnny Bench, Gary Busey, Lon Chaney and Lon Chaney, Jr, Roy Clark, Bart Connor (now married to Nadia Comaneche), Joan Crawford, Walter Cronkite, Dizzy Dean, John Denver, Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), Ralph Ellison (author of Invisible Man), Pretty Boy Floyd, Woody Guthrie, The Hansons, Carolyn Hart (wonderful mystery writer), Paul Harvey, Tony Hillerman, S.E. Hinton, Ben Johnson, Louis L'Amour, "Pawnee Bill", Mickey Mantle, Rue McLanahan, Mel McDaniel, Dr. Phil, Tom Mix, N. Scott Momaday, Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Carrie Nation, Patti Page, Wiley Post, Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe, Tony Randall, Wilson Rawls (Where the Red Fern Grows), Donna Reed, Conway Twitty, and Brad Pitt(and a lot more I'm leaving off - source is here).
Oklahomans have survived the Dust Bowl, any number of killer tornadoes, the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and various oil booms and busts.
Oklahoma is populated by people who are caring, giving, hard-working, patriotic and fiercely independent. Oklahoma is a good place to live, work and play.
The challenge in this, our centennial year, is to make the rest of America aware of what Oklahoma has to offer, besides "beautiful mornings," "fringe-laden surreys" and "a girl who cain't say no."
The official statehood celebration will be in November. In the meantime, individual cities are restaging various events associated with statehood and the settling of Indian Territory which eventually became our state. It's a great time to be an Oklahoman and I wanted to share this with you!
People tell me I can't be a Texan because I wasn't born here and I respond "that's okay, I don't want to be a Texan, I'm an Oklahoman".