Recently in Oklahoma::History Category

Preservation work under way - Altus Times -

Local landmarks in the middle of treeless cotton fields, the cobblestone buildings east of Altus on the northside of US 62 at the Headrick "Y" (where the old US 62 alignment branches off to the southeast to pass through Headrick) are being stabilized and given new roofs by the Western Trail Historical Society. A detail in the article tells of the challenges of small-town historic preservation: "Although we did not have sufficient funds set aside for the entire project, we voted to launch into it without full funding to take advantage of an opening in [contractor] Jerry [Woodward]'s construction schedule that coincided with the window of time between the harvesting of one crop and the readying of the ground for the next planting."

Cherokee blood: Why do so many Americans believe they have Cherokee ancestry?

Gregory D. Smithers, author of The Cherokee Diaspora, says that Cherokee openness to intermarriage, education, and travel in search of opportunity, and the fact that some Cherokee were slaveholders, gave people all over the US and of all races a plausible connection to the tribe. In addition, Smithers says that after the nation's removal to Oklahoma, "the tribe came to be viewed more romantically, especially in the antebellum South, where their determination to maintain their rights of self-government against the federal government took on new meaning. Throughout the South in the 1840s and 1850s, large numbers of whites began claiming they were descended from a Cherokee great-grandmother." A commenter, Geoffrey Sea, has some interesting assertions: "[After the Dawes Act of 1887], the Cherokees actively pursued enrollment and intentionally inflated their rolls in order to increase federal allotments. Cherokee recruiters fanned out through the Tennessee and Ohio valleys, enrolling many Native Americans as Cherokee who in fact had different ancestries. In particular, in the hills of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia many of the Shawnee, Miami, Sac-Fox and Potawatomi descendants who had escaped removal were enrolled as Cherokees around the turn of the century, because they encountered no recruiters from their own tribes. The grandchildren of those enrollees genuinely believed they were Cherokee.... In addition, many fake "Cherokee" organizations and "bands" sprung up, claiming bogus connections to the tribes. Near Portsmouth,Ohio, there is a burial ground where bones from a nearby construction site were reburied, along with markers that pretend to be Cherokee Tsalagi language but are actually gibberish."

MORE: The blog Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter, written by Twila Barnes, an expert in Cherokee genealogy, frequently deals with mistaken claims of Cherokee ancestry. She points to extensive official rolls going back to 1817. The most popular post on the site lists celebrities who have made unsubstantiated claims of Cherokee ancestry. She has looked carefully into Elizabeth Warren's claims and has found them to be without factual basis.

nDepth: Stories of the Ages | Collings Castle in Davis, Okla. |

The story of the castle on the hill overlooking Turner Falls, and hope for its restoration.

Top 40 Top 40 stations of all-time: KOMA, WLS and WABC top the list - National Oldies Pop Music |

Oklahoma City's clear-channel, 50,000-watt blowtorch, AM 1520 KOMA, topped the list. The station was still playing the greatest hits of the Top 40 Golden Age until a few years ago and lives on at FM 92.5. Tulsa's 1430 KELi makes the list at 35th.

Tillman County Chronicles: "The Wave" at Pioneer Townsite

A historic Fun-Ful Ocean Wave merry-go-round, a spinning and rocking staple of school playgrounds in the first half of the 20th century, has been reconstructed on the grounds of the Pioneer Townsite museum in Frederick, OK, but it's been frozen in position -- too dangerous in the modern view.

Edwards Says He's in Top 24 At House Bank | News OK

From 1992: "Rep. Mickey Edwards admitted Sunday that he was one of the 24 worst abusers at the House bank and said he was planning to face his constituents today in Oklahoma City to release some of the details." Since Mr. Edwards is in the news again -- complaining about the Heritage Foundation -- it's worth remembering the congressional check kiting scandal and why he's no longer a congressman. In 1992, he lost the Republican primary, finishing 3rd.

Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives at the Library of Congress

Dramatic photos from the Great Depression, many of Oklahoma and the American southwest.

Choctaw Nation v. Oklahoma - 397 U.S. 620 (1970)

The 1970 U. S. Supreme Court case that decided (6-3) that the tribes retained ownership of navigable river beds in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma House of Representatives - House Historic Members

A very neat web app that lets you list past Oklahoma state representatives. You can select by county, by range of years, or by district. You can download your results as a spreadsheet. Very interesting to see the shift from county at-large representation prior to 1965 to district representation ever since. Tulsa County had seven state reps in 1964; in 1965 Tulsa County had 15.

GIS Lounge: Over 120 Years of Mapping History Online

"The USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection currently makes over 98,000 maps dating as far back as 1884 available to the public. The maps are available in GeoPDF format and can be downloaded for free from the USGS store."