Recently in Tulsa::History Category
The story of the one and only Weird Al movie, filmed in Tulsa in 1988 and released in 1989, as told through its execs and stars, including Michael Richards, Anthony Geary, Gedde Watanabe, Emo Phillips, and Weird Al himself. Topics include why they filmed in Tulsa and what they thought about the place.
Tulsa's Kendall-Whittier Neighborhood Plans
Tulsa Development Authority: Kendall-Whittier Neighborhood Urban Renewal Plan, as amended February 16, 2006, to expire on June 2, 2014.
Photos of IPE building near completion (also showing KELi Satellite, Pavilion, and Bell's Amusement Park) and a twelve-page program from the 15th anniversary award dinner of the Tulsa Exposition and Fair Corporation, held in the fairgrounds cafeteria on June 25, 1964. Photos show the evolution and expansion of the fairgrounds since the board was established in 1949 (over 512,000 sq. ft. of new building space).
1949: Two new 30' x 200' horse barns commissioned in July, costing $18,000, to be ready by September 15.
1950: $112,000 raised in June and July for 13 new livestock exhibit facilities, ready for the fair by September 15, 1950.
1951: 47' x 400' curtain wall on old grandstand, without support, removed and replaced with signboards.
1952: Five new livestock bays to the west of original 13, built for $54,000.
1953: $610,000 county bond issue for new agricultural building office, new 4-H/FFA dormitory. Five horse barns moved in line with other livestock buildings, milking parlor, and four new livestock bays added.
1954: Fair claimed to be fastest growing in the nation.
1955: Six more bays added to livestock building.
1956: National Junior Tractor Operators Contest established.
1957: Controversy over conflicting fair dates with Oklahoma City and Muskogee.
1958: June 8: Old grandstand burned to the ground, destroying 64,000 sq. ft. of commercial exhibit space and disrupting auto racing from June to August.
1959: New 80' x 800' commercial exhibit building near the race track, paid for by $200,000 insurance and $70,000 fair earnings.
1960: Oklahoma FFA Children's Barnyard opened.
1963: $3.5 million bond issue approved to build 456,000 sq. ft. building for the International Petroleum Exposition and other industrial shows.
1964: New administrative office, first unit of 1963 long range building plan, to be completed.
A 2008 doctoral dissertation on Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School's early years as a magnet school. P. 24 includes a timeline of Tulsa's desegregation process.
A report of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights. The advisory committee was chaired by State Rep. Hannah Atkins of Oklahoma City, and members included vice chairman Earl D. Mitchell of Stillwater, William C. Brown, Mrs. William V. Carey, and Richard Vallejo of Oklahoma City, Nancy G. Feldman, Patty P. Eaton, and June Echo-Hawk of Tulsa, William R. Carmack, Patricia A. Davis, and Jerry Muskrat of Norman, John H. Nelson of Lawton, Caryl Taylor of Okmulgee, and Stephen Jones of Enid.
The document has many tables and maps that provide a snapshot of Tulsa in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including a table of the racial and ethnic distribution of student population in each school for 1975-1976. The appendix contains maps showing the Tulsa Public Schools attendance districts in 1976, including proposed school sites and schools (like Irving, Lombard, Horace Mann, Longfellow, Jefferson, Charles Johnson, and McBirney) that had already been closed down).
There is an extended discussion of the history of desegregation, including changes made following the 1970 10th Circuit decision and the birth of Tulsa's first magnet schools.
The report contains a significant historical error on p. 3: "The area which had been a black residential section prior to the riot became the industrial and wholesale center of the city." While that was the plan of Tulsa's white city leadership, the district court invalidated the fire ordinance that would have zoned African-Americans out of rebuilding their neighborhood, and Greenwood was rebuilt where it had been before the riot.
10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, handed down on July 28, 1970, ruling against the Tulsa school districts implementation of racial desegregation. The Tulsa district was represented by C. H. Rosenstein and David L. Fist, whose firm continued to represent Tulsa and many other districts for decades. The Northern District of Oklahoma approved Tulsa's policies, but the appeals court found that in Tulsa's "neighborhood schools" system, attendance districts were drawn to coincide with segregated housing patterns, even when it meant higher costs for the district and longer distances for children to travel to school.
Of historical interest, the decision includes some school statistics, and mentions of schools long vanished, like Charles Johnson Elementary and Osage Elementary, Several schools that had been all-white just 15 years before had transitioned to between 78% and 99% black -- Burroughs, Hawthorne, Emerson, and Whitman.
El Paso Herald reports on this major international conference that brought delegates and exhibits from 20 nations (including China, Russia, Roumania, and Turkestan) and all the western states. The exhibition grounds were on the east side of N Lewis Ave, between Archer and the Frisco tracks. The central focus of the exhibition's parallelogram shaped campus was the Oklahoma Kaffir Corn Palace. Kaffir Corn is known nowadays as sorghum. I wonder whether the building was decorated with kernels like the famed Corn Palace in Mitchell, S. D.
There's a display ad on the same page for the Sunset Limited, a daily train from El Paso to New Orleans (35 hours away) and New York (75 hours away) with oil-burning locomotives.
An item in the Pipeline & Gas Journal chides Tulsa for their plans to light the conference grounds at night with a pillar of fire generated by a natural gas well, with a pressure sufficient for a 600' high column of gas that, when lit, would be visible for 500 miles around, using 15 million cubic feet of gas per night.
Here's the Tulsa Star's coverage of the conference. And there's also an item on the front page mentioning a special pavilion exclusively for "colored farmers." (The Star was the leading paper for Tulsa's African-American community prior to the 1921 Race Riot.)
Photos and stories of the rise, decline, restoration, and demolition of Bell's Amusement Park's legendary dark ride, Phantasmagoria.
William M. Gresham, landlord resident at 641 N. Cheyenne Ave., replies to an editorial calling on landlords to rent premises to families with small children.
Tulsa weatherman Lee Woodward grew up in Arlington, Texas, in one of the city's most historic homes. The house has been restored, and Lee and his brothers recently returned to reminisce about their childhood in a home that also served as the office and surgery of their father, eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Valin Woodward. The McKinley-Woodward home was built by their grandfather in 1893. (Via Tulsa TV Memories.)