Oklahoma History: November 2007 Archives

I've uploaded some of our photos from Friday's centennial reenactment of Oklahoma's statehood day in Guthrie, the territorial capital and first state capital city. I have more to upload later tonight or tomorrow. There are three sets:

Oklahoma Centennial procession, GuthrieOklahoma Statehood Centennial - Procession: This set begins with the Jack Love group gathering at the State Capital Publishing Company at 2nd and Harrison (now home to a publishing museum). Jack Love was one of the first Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners and, in fulfillment of a campaign promise, he hired special railroad coaches to bring 60 girls from Woodward to Guthrie for the inauguration, and then had carriages to bring them to the Carnegie Library where the swearing-in took place. A gun was fired to signal that President Roosevelt had signed the statehood proclamation, the cavalry fired their guns in the air in reply, and the procession headed down Oklahoma Street to the library.

For the reenactment, Jack Love's group was made up of schoolchildren from around the state and their parents. We had to be properly attired in Edwardian dress, and it took some doing to find all the pieces: Some of it -- my suit, my son's jacket, my daughter's pinafore -- we rented from Top Hat at 41st and Yale; other pieces we bought. My wife had a skirt and blouse made, and she took a plain hat and adorned it with a feather boa. My daughter's dress was rented from Theater Tulsa's collection, and our school's drama department had a top hat we could borrow. Because I couldn't find the kind of shirt collar I needed, I took a tuxedo shirt with a standard collar and flipped the collar inside out. I'm not sure how authentic we were, but a four or five people were impressed enough to stop and ask us to pose for a picture.

(In case you're wondering, the 22 month old was with Grandma and Grandpa. The day would have been too long for him.)

Reenactment of the wedding between Mr. Oklahoma Territory and Miss Indian Territory
Oklahoma Statehood Centennial: inaugural reenactment: The second set is at the Carnegie Library: the reading of the statehood proclamation, the mock wedding between Miss Indian Territory and Mr. Oklahoma Territory, and the swearing-in of the new state's first officers. Mr. Oklahoma Territory was appropriately melodramatic in declaring his proposal of marriage to Miss Indian Territory. I hope to find that speech online somewhere -- it's an interesting spin on the debate over whether Oklahoma should have been admitted as one state or two.

Many of the reenactors were state officials, including the three Corporation Commissioners representing their 1907 counterparts. Oklahoma Historical Society chairman Bob Blackburn narrated, and Lt. Gov. Jeri Askins spoke briefly. (Gov. Henry was strangely absent.) Our group was seated very close to the action, on the lawn of the library. Afterwards we stayed there to watch the parade.

Steiguer Bldg, Guthrie, Oklahoma
Rooflines of Guthrie: The third set is a collection of roofline photos of Guthrie's 1890s buildings. I loved the contrast between the red brick and terra cotta and the cloudless blue sky. The day could not have been more perfect, with temperatures in the 70s.

Other Flickr photographers have posted plenty of photos of the parade and the rest of the day's festivities:

If you find other blog posts or photosets about the Guthrie centennial celebration, please post links to them in the comments.


It couldn't have been a more beautiful day for a celebration. We were in Guthrie for the Centennial celebration of Oklahoma's Statehood Day. Here we are after witnessing (and participating in) the reenactment of Gov. Haskell's swearing in on the steps of the Carnegie Library.

More words and photos later this weekend.

Guthrie Carnegie Library, Nov. 16, 1907

100 years ago today at 9:16 a.m. local time, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a proclamation declaring Oklahoma the 46th state of the United States of America. Word was received by telegraph in Guthrie, the territorial and state capital, at the local newspaper office. Dr. Hugh Scott, secretary to Frank Frantz, the last territorial governor, dashed out of the building and fired his pistol in the air to signal that Oklahoma was now a state. Wagons hired by Corporation Commissioner-elect Jack Love took 60 girls from his hometown of Woodward from the newspaper office to the Carnegie Library (seen in the photo above), where Charles N. Haskell was sworn in as first governor. A parade wound through the streets, culminating in a free barbecue at the city's park.

We'll be busy celebrating today, but I hope to post a report and some reflections late tonight.

(Photo and historical details from the travelok.com Oklahoma Statehood Day Media Room.)

My wife would like to know if you know of any special events in and around Tulsa to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma's statehood, coming up a week from Friday on November 16. True, Tulsa already had a big downtown fireworks display on the 99th anniversary and our big moment in the spotlight was in June with the buried Belvedere's exhumation, but I assume there will be some sort of commemoration here on the day itself.

Guthrie, Oklahoma's first capital city, has a week-long celebration beginning Saturday the 10th and continuing through Sunday the 18th. The apex of the week will be Statehood Day, with re-enactments of the events of November 16th, 1907: the announcement of statehood in downtown Guthrie at 9:16 a.m., the symbolic wedding of Mr. Oklahoma Territory and Miss Indian Territory, and the swearing in of the first Governor, Charles Haskell. There will be a centennial parade at 11:45 a.m. from the Masonic Temple to Mineral Wells Park featuring 13 marching bands and hundreds of participants in period attire, followed by a barbecue.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma History category from November 2007.

Oklahoma History: September 2007 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma History: May 2008 is the next archive.

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