What you know to be Oklahoma today became a part of the United States in 1803 and was a part of the Louisiana Purchase. The U.S. government began to relocate all the Indian tribes out of the southeastern part of the United States to this area.
By 1840, almost one hundred thousand Indians would be evicted with almost 15,000 dead from disease and malnutrition as well as exposure to elements as they made their journey to their new homeland, creating the infamous “Trail of Tears.”There were more than thirty Indian tribes moved by 1900 to this area that would become known as the Indian Territories.
During this same period, the Texas ranchers we looking at the same area to use for pasture lands. The U.S. government would open the land. Thus the “land runs” at a certain time had started, and settlers crossed the border to claim homesteads. There were some settlers that crossed the border sooner than the U.S. law had allowed, and thus the name “sooner,” was born, as was the nickname the state is known for.
In 1907, Oklahoma became the 47th addition to the United States, and this would generate many acts that took the Indian tribal land and incorporated into U.S. territory. Soon after, Oklahoma became the country’s oil production center and the growth for this state was started.
The 1930s brought Oklahoma drought and high winds which destroyed the farms that had sprung up after the land rush. This is where the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression was located. During this time, over a million residents from Oklahoma headed west toward California. The term “Okies” was created for those moving west. Today, the state of Oklahoma is proud of that moniker!