Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oklahoma


'O' is for Oklahoma


DISCLAIMER:  For those who came looking for a snarky send-off of Oklahoma, you may be disappointed.  While I had originally intended to poke fun at the Sooner State, the more I dug into its history, the more depressed I got.  Even though I knew that it was originally called Indian Territory (by original, I mean the past couple hundred years), I never really stopped to think about that stark reality.  So, instead of tossing a wisecrack here and a snide remark there, I thought I'd play it straight today. 
Don't worry, tomorrow will be back to normal with a tale of "Popes."

    THE FOLLOWING IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO DENIGRATE THE PEOPLE WHO NOW LIVE IN OKLAHOMA.  
I'll save that kind of stuff for New Jersey.
Oklahoma
Pretty much smack dab in the middle of the country
    
    The name Oklahoma derives from the Choctaw "okla humma" which means "red people," but was set aside during the Andrew Jackson administration as Indian Territory.  This was a region of the young United States designated to relocate the Five Civilized Tribes of Native American people (besides the Choctaw, this included the Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Cherokee).

    Purported to be a voluntary act on the part of people whose only crime was living in prime cotton-growing land, it was nothing of the kind.  The resulting move has been called the Trail of Tears due to the hundreds who perished along the way.  Once settled in what to them was a foreign land, the Native Americans were promised that they could keep the land forever.

    Or so said the Indian Removal Act of 1830, an excerpt of which I include here (italics mine):
"...that the United States will forever secure...the country so exchanged with them..."

POP QUESTION:  Show of hands...how many people think Indian Territory was sweet beachfront property in 1830? 

    This all seemed real swell, as long as the Mississippi River seemed like the frikkin' Atlantic and there was barely enough people to fill Tennessee, for crying out loud.  However, as Manifest Destiny compelled thousands of Americans to head west to seek their fortune, the land which was to be held in "perpetuity" proved mighty inconvenient.  As well as its people.

    Then....

    Oil was discovered at Bartelsville and Burbank in 1897.  This was followed by a discovery gusher known as Glenn Pool in 1905. 
Great.
 There goes the neighborhood.
    Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state in the Union on November 16, 1907. 

    Coincidence?

    Oh, as far as the Native Americans and the promise extended to them by the Great White Father?  Well, I couldn't put it better than what Otter said to Flounder: 

"You fucked up.  You trusted us."
      
  
   




41 comments:

  1. I will say that I know two people from Oklahoma and they are the absolute friendliest people I have ever met. Of course that's a small sample size but it makes me associate Oklahoma with friendliness. I am loving your A-Z posts my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never met anyone from Oklahoma, which is a little since I've met a LOT of people. But, I have absolutely no doubt they're all great folks.

      Delete
  2. All about the oil, no coincendence at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, it's what makes the world go 'round.

      Delete
  3. So it wasn't beachfront property? That is good, considering they went where ever and you get mushy things between your toes treating anything as a beach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure that they would have sent them to Malibu if gold wasn't discovered in California.
      Right.....

      Delete
  4. I personally find it to be one of the saddest states in the union, although everyone I've met FROM there has been almost preternaturally friendly...

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really would like to see it and to meet some folks from there. Ignorance speaking, but it does seem like kind of a depressing place. With tornadoes.

      Delete
  5. I'd love to check out Oklahoma some day, really sad to hear that it's had such a depressing history though in all honesty. I guess like you say mockery will have to be reserved for New Jersey haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truth be told, we could probably give most states a sad tale . DISCLAIMER: I love and am proud of my country, but I'm not blind to some of the bad. For instance, I'm from Connecticut. Among other things, it was the sight of a horrific massacre of Native Americans in the mid-17th century (Mystic). You can Google it, if you get bored.

      Delete
  6. I shudder to think what "M" will bring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you meant 'P,' there's a mess of popes.
      If you really meant 'M,' we'll always have "Marshall-Queen of Scotsdale."

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the info on Oklahoma. I've never been, and probably won't unless my plane crashes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It truly is in "fly-over" country. I would like to check it out one day, but since I don't have unlimited funds, I'll probably give it a pass.

      Delete
  8. Now all I got running through my head all day is that corny song from the musical "Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain". Cue the Aw Shucks sign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe it or not, I was going to go for the musical. But, since I was trying to stay to a history theme, I went depressing instead.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. The whole treatment of Native Americans makes me sad.

      Delete
  10. Shucks. I seriously thought it would be a great place to live with beach front property and all. That "Oklahoma" musical must just be a bunch of propaganda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naw, that beachfront property just abuts Texas.

      Delete
  11. Hey, Al. You DO know someone from Oklahoma! I was born in Alva, and I currently reside in Broken Arrow.

    Cheers,

    Opie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well now, I don't remember ever remembering that. But, I am old so I could have brain trouble.

      EVERYONE! I KNOW OPIE AND HE'S A GREAT GUY.

      Delete
  12. Damn. I thought for sure you'd break out in song and dance...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really used to like Andrew Jackson, until I dug into the trail of tears. Just another lying Democrat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think, had I been alive in the 1820-1830s, I would have supported Jackson. His Indian policy was unquestionably barbaric. Plus, he pretty much said he could do what he wanted, Supreme Court be damned. Little wonder he was dubbed "King Andrew."
      I did like how he refused to let South Carolina nullify federal law.
      He was a cantankerous old cuss who carried a bullet he received from a duel for the rest of his life.
      Nope. Wouldn't have been a fan.

      Delete
  14. I got my husband a tshirt that says " Fighting terrorism since 1492" with Native Americans on it. The Native Americans got all the crappy spots- swamps in Florida, flat lands in South Dakota and Oklahoma. I have been to the reservations in SD and how they live is bad. Never been to Oklahoma though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's actually a funny tshirt, in a sad way. Those folks really got the shaft, didn't they?

      Delete
  15. I heard (or misheard, as the case may be) that Oklahoma was hit by five earthquakes yesterday. I could be wrong. I was wrong when I replied, "I didn't know they have earthquakes in the Mid-West." Oops, it's closer to the South. It's practically part of Texas, which is enough reason to be embarrassed. Poor Oklahoma. The musical was alright, though.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, they have their share of craptastic weather and earth-shattering events. I read about 3 quakes-although I could be wrong there, too.
      All the more reason I'm glad I didn't lampoon them.

      Delete
  16. You have a friend named Opie who lives in Oklahoma?! Well, I guess I know what you'll be writing about next year!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a couple stories about him. All good!

      Delete
  17. Okay, as a Canuck I must say I learned something. Even thought our school maps did factor there was something below the 49th (unlike your maps which have us whited out - possibly because of the blizzard conditions we live in) I really did not know that the physical layout of Oklahoma looks like a giant hand pointing west.

    Or about the very sad state of the Native Americans (then and now) - we have our collective head hanging in shame over our dealings with the First Nations people here also. When does white man ever learn...

    Great post, Al - though different - it's different that makes the difference. Seems like O was of a serious note for some bloggers... including mine.

    Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thought I'd try my hand at "serious" stuff. Glad you liked it. Smart aleck the rest of the way (except for W. That post isn't all yucks, either.).

      Delete
  18. HEY!! I LIVE IN NEW JERSEY!!

    Well, ok.. You do have a point tho... Damn this state.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so used to enjoy poking fun at New Jersey when I was a kid in Connecticut. It wasn't until I grew up that I realized that New Jersey was so much more than Newark, Hoboken, and Bayonne.
      There's Camden, for example.
      Oh. Wait. That didn't come out right.
      DISCLAIMER: There ARE some very beautiful things in the Garden State.
      Just not at the Jersey Shore. Oh, God, there I go again!

      Delete

  19. "THE FOLLOWING IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO DENIGRATE THE PEOPLE WHO NOW LIVE IN OKLAHOMA.
    I'll save that kind of stuff for New Jersey."

    Hey.........!!!!!!!

    A friend of ours had a '74 Corvette, ended up being transferred to Oklahoma, took the car with him of course. Decided that it was just too hot in the car when driving it so proceeded to rip the interior out....dash and all....and put in this "bubblewrap" type of insulation. Well, life threw a couple curve balls and he never got the car put back together. He sold it to us for a really low ball price and when we had it shipped back to us here up north in PA, we were shocked to see what he did.
    My thoughts:
    Yes, it's hot in Oklahoma in the summer. Suck it up and deal with it! They don't seem to mind.

    Oklahoma always looked more like a pot to me. Not much other happenin' in that state is there?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone probably shoulda told him he could roll down the windows.

      Delete
  20. Ok came here learnt something Oklahoma isn't just a movie.........lol
    Yeah I didn know that it was a state right in America..........lol

    ReplyDelete