Centennial speeches

Friday, December 14th 2007, 6:06 pm
By: News 9

The birthday party got started early on the morning of Oklahoma's centennial celebration.

In Guthrie, Oklahoma's first state capital, thousands of onlookers witnessed a reenactment of the actual speeches and events that followed Hugh Scott's historic gunshot.

On the steps of the Carnegie Library, just like 100 years ago, a parade of officials took their oaths of office, made speeches, and celebrated Oklahoma's entrance into the Union.

Norman Haskell, great grandson of Governor Charles Haskell, read the exact same words his great grandfather did 100 years ago.

"Fellow citizens, when the brilliant rays of this morning's sun spread over our land, it found 45 sovereign states between the two great oceans. The sun will set tonight and its last rays will light a grander federation, composed of 46 sovereign states," Haskell said.

The speeches were shortened, but the words were not changed.

"I rejoice that I will have the opportunity to represent you," said Kenny Brown, who played the role of U.S. Sen. Robert Owen in the re-enactment. "I will try to be a good and faithful servant."

The crowd also heard from present-day officials like Oklahoma Lt. Governor Jari Askins. Askins said all Oklahomans had a responsibility to take the excitement and use it to stir their imaginations.

A children's choir sang the state song "Oklahoma."

On November 16, 1907, and on the same date 100 years later, spectators witnessed a symbolic wedding ceremony between Miss Indian Territory and Mr. Oklahoma Territory.

Frank Davis, who played territorial secretary Charles Filson, read aloud the proclamation making Oklahoma the 46th state.