Although a long time U.S. territory, Oklahoma didn’t become a state until 1907, making it the 46th state. Well known for its oil production and large Native American populations, the Sooner State, as it is nicknamed, has a unique identity even compared to many other states. The state of Oklahoma is right in the middle range as far as size and population, not sticking out on either account but not particularly small either. While its population is much more rural than urban, there are still two major cities of note with Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
While many people envision flatland in desert, the truth is that this is not nearly an accurate representation of everything the state has to offer. While there are definite areas of desert or especially dry landscape, the state has over fifty state parks as well as several federally recognized ones. There are forests, grasslands, mountains, and even more.
In the past it was even Oklahoma more than Texas that helped kick off the big oil boom. While there much larger neighbor to the south would eventually catch up and surpass them, in the early 1900s the city of Tulsa was known as the Oil Capital of the World. The millionaires behind this expansion also influenced a wide array of other major changes that would play a major part in the expansion and development of the American West. This includes heavy funding and lobbying for the creation of Route 66.
The state is well known for its sports teams, with the Oklahoma City Thunder consistently one of the better basketball teams in the NBA. However, it is on the college level where the state shines with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State out of the big twelve conference both consistently fielding excellent college football and college basketball teams.
Unfortunately, it has not always been smooth sailing for the state. They were home to the worst race riots in United States history when the Tulsa race riots of 1921 resulted in the deaths of over 300 African-Americans (low estimate) and the destruction of an area that had been known as Black Wall Street. While recovery from this would take time, Oklahoma City was the site of one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks with the Oklahoma City bombing in the mid-1990s.
For such a short history the state has an incredible number of stories as they continue to forge ahead with their identity to this day.