Oklahoma Proud

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There are so many extraordinary Oklahomans who've helped shape our state and incredible places you can only find right here in the Sooner State.

As Oklahoma's Own News 9, we want to highlight our amazing state where our local, family-owned company has called home for over 100 years. Check back here each Friday as we celebrate the best of Oklahoma and what makes us #OklahomaProud.

Shannon

Lt. Col. Childers

Medal of Honor Recipient WWII

Broken Arrow native Lt. Col. Ernest Childers, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, was the first Native American to be awarded the Medal of Honor in the 20th century. Childers was honored with our nation's highest military award for valor for his heroic actions during World War II. Photograph courtesy of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame

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Shannon

First Americans Museum

Honoring Oklahoma’s 39 First American Nations

The First Americans Museum officially opened to the public in September 2021. Located in Oklahoma City, the museum honors Oklahoma's 39 First American Nations.

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Shannon

Bricktown

Entertainment District in Downtown OKC

Once a warehouse district, Bricktown is now Oklahoma City's entertainment district with the Bricktown Canal, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, restaurants, shopping and more.

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watermelon

Watermelon

Oklahoma State Vegetable

Oklahoma designated the watermelon as our official state vegetable in 2007. Rush Springs, OK calls itself the "Watermelon Capital of the World" and has held an annual watermelon festival each year in August since 1948.

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Pops

Shannon Lucid

Biochemist & Astronaut

Dr. Shannon Lucid grew up in Bethany and became a NASA astronaut in August 1979. She once held the record for the most hours in orbit by any woman in the world. Lucid was inducted into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame in 1993 and was the first woman to be awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1996.

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Pops

Indian Blanket

State Wildflower

The Indian blanket – a colorful, grassland wildflower – was adopted as Oklahoma's state wildflower in May 1986 for its high heat tolerance and as a symbol of our state's Native American heritage.

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Pops

Tulsa Botanic Garden

Located in the Osage Hills Northwest of Tulsa

The all-season Tulsa Botanic Garden is located in the Osage Hills northwest of Tulsa. Each year, the Garden hosts "Tulsa Botanic BLOOMS", one of the largest spring bulb displays in our area, and "Autumn in the Botanic Garden" with thousands of pumpkins on display, a hay maze, a scarecrow display and more. This year's "Autumn in the Botanic Garden" is taking place now through October 31.

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Pops

Scissortail Park

Urban Park in Downtown Oklahoma City

Located south of Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City, the 36-acre upper part of Scissortail Park opened on September 27, 2019 with a 3.7 acre lake, seasonal roller rink, performance stage and lawn, children's playground, dog park and more.

Construction on the lower part of the park is currently underway, which will add soccer fields & sports courts and additional open spaces. It's expected to be completed in 2022.

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Will Rogers

Will Rogers

"Oklahoma's Favorite Son"

William Penn Adair Rogers - better known as Will Rogers - was born of Cherokee heritage near present-day Oologah and became an American icon. He held many roles throughout his life including cowboy, world traveler, humorist and entertainer. Rogers had a hugely successful acting career, which included starring in 71 films during the 1920s and 1930s. He was also a radio commentator and wrote over 4,000 syndicated newspaper columns. "Oklahoma's Favorite Son" was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1932, and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore was dedicated in 1938.

Directions to Museum
Pops

Pops

Route 66 Landmark

Located in Arcadia, Pops is a modern-day Mother Road landmark. The roadside attraction includes a diner, gas station and soda ranch with over 700 types of soda. Visitors can also check out the iconic 66-foot-tall soda bottle sculpture out front!

Directions to Pops
bison

Bison

Oklahoma's State Mammal

The bison was adopted as Oklahoma's state mammal in 1972, and it became the United States' first national mammal in 2016. They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and run speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Bison herds can still be found across Oklahoma including within the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton and the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve near Bartlesville.

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se hinton

S. E. Hinton

Author of “The Outsiders”

Tulsa native Susan Eloise Hinton is well known as the author of The Outsiders, but did you know she wrote her best-selling first novel while she was a student at Will Rogers High School? A movie version of The Outsiders was later filmed in Tulsa by Francis Ford Coppola, and the Outsiders House Museum opened in 2019 to preserve the home and memorabilia used in the film.

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blue whale

Blue Whale of Catoosa

Route 66 Landmark

The iconic Blue Whale has called Catoosa home since the 1970s. Located on a small pond along old Route 66, the roadside attraction was built by Hugh Davis and quickly became a beloved Mother Road landmark.

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lake murray

Lake Murray State Park

First and Largest Oklahoma State Park

Drive just south of Ardmore and you'll find Lake Murray State Park - Oklahoma's first and largest state park. The 12,500-acre park includes all of Lake Murray and the iconic Tucker Tower, a historic landmark built during the 1930s that extends 65 feet into the air.

Directions to Lake Murray
wiley post

Wiley Post

Pioneering Aviator

Wiley Post was raised in southern Oklahoma and became the first pilot to fly solo around the world. He helped develop one of the first pressurized flight suits and proved the importance of using the jet stream. Post's final flight was on August 15, 1935 with his longtime friend Will Rogers. Tragically, the two died that day when their plane crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska.

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historical society

Oklahoma History Center

215,000 Square-Foot Learning Center

Located on 18 acres in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma History Center tells the stories of Oklahoma and its people through its 5 galleries, 50 topics and 2,000 artifacts. The Oklahoma History Center also houses a Research Center and is a Smithsonian Affiliate.

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Collared Lizard

Collared Lizard

Oklahoma's State Reptile

Oklahoma adopted the collared lizard as our state reptile back in 1969. The collared lizard gets its name from its distinct coloration, which includes bands of black around the neck and shoulders similar to that of a collar.

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Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

59,020-Acre Refuge in SW Oklahoma

Located near Lawton, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to many wildlife species including American bison, Texas longhorn cattle, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk and prairie dogs. Other refuge highlights include Mount Scott, the Holy City of the Wichitas, Quanah Parker Lake and the Parallel Forest. The 59,020-acre refuge was established in 1901 and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Arcadia Round Barn

Arcadia Round Barn

Route 66 Landmark

Built by William Harrison Odor in 1898, the iconic Round Barn can be found along Route 66 in Arcadia.

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Wilma Mankiller

Wilma Mankiller

First Female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation

Tahlequah native Wilma Mankiller made history when she became the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Mankiller was an activist for Native American and women's rights, and she strove to bring improved health care and educational opportunities to the Cherokee Nation. Mankiller received numerous honors for her accomplishments including induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1994 and being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

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Wilma Mankiller

Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

Oklahoma State Bird

The scissor-tailed flycatcher, easily identified by its long, forked tail, became Oklahoma's official state bird in 1951.

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Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art

World-Class Art Museum, Gardens and Historic Villa

Tulsa's Philbrook Museum of Art opened its doors in 1939 and offers a world-class art museum, gardens and a historic villa originally owned by oil man and philanthropist Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve.

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Arbuckle Mountains

Turner Falls Park

Oldest Park in Oklahoma

Located in the Arbuckle Mountains near Davis, Turner Falls Park is the oldest park in Oklahoma. It's also home to Turner Falls, one of Oklahoma's tallest waterfalls with a height of 77 feet.

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Arbuckle Mountains

Shannon Miller

Seven-Time Olympic Medalist

Raised in Edmond, Shannon Miller is a seven-time Olympic medalist and gymnastics icon. She is also the only female athlete to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame twice – first as an individual in 2006 and then with her team in 2008.

Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

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Arbuckle Mountains

Cain's Ballroom

Historic Music Venue

Built in 1924 as a garage, Cain’s Ballroom later became host to some of music’s most notable stars. Known as “The Home of Bob Wills”, Cain’s was also formerly a dance academy before it became a renowned venue for musicians and fans to connect.

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Oklahoma Rose

Oklahoma Rose

State Flower of Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Rose became our official state flower in 2004. Created by Herbert Swim and O. L. Weeks in 1964, the hybrid tea rose has dark red petals and produces a very sweet fragrance.

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Cowboy Museum

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Internationally-Renowned Collection of Western Art & Artifacts

Founded in 1955, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located in Oklahoma City's Adventure District. The museum features an internationally-renowned collection of Western art & artifacts including James Earle Fraser's "The End of the Trail" sculpture.

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Cowboy Museum

Mickey Mantle

New York Yankees Baseball Player

Mickey Mantle, well-known former baseball player for the New York Yankees, was born in Spavinaw and raised in Commerce. His number (7) is retired, and no other Yankee will ever wear that number. Mantle was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1964 and the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame

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gathering place

Gathering Place

World-Class Riverfront Park

Gathering Place is Tulsa's world-class, riverfront park with year-round programming and attractions including a five-acre children's playground, pond with free boat rentals, large lawn for concerts, skate park & sports courts – all without an admission fee. The park opened three years ago on September 8, 2018 and has since earned national recognition. Earlier this year, USA Today's readers voted Gathering Place as the Best City Park in the country.

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strawberry

Strawberry

Oklahoma State Fruit

The strawberry was named Oklahoma's state fruit in 2005 thanks in part to a group of Skiatook 5th graders and their teacher, Pam Bell. After they reached out to Representative Joe Sweeden of Pawhuska, he sponsored House Bill 1762 which ultimately passed and made the strawberry our official state fruit. Plus, the town of Stilwell is known as the "Strawberry Capital of the World" and has held an annual Stilwell Strawberry Festival since the 1940s.

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robbers cave

Robbers Cave State Park

Located in Southeast Oklahoma

You'll find Robbers Cave State Park in the rugged hills of the Sans Bois Mountains near Wilburton. The 8,246-acre park is said to have been a former hideout for notorious outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr, but the park also features 189 combined lake acres, seasonal trout fishing and hunting, miles of hiking and equestrian trails & much more.

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