On 22 April 1889, right on the stroke of high noon, gunfire rang out along the borders of what would become known as Oklahoma Territory the following year. At the sound of the shots, twenty-five thousand hopefuls began a frenzied stampede into flat, dry Indian country, urging on their horses and wagons. Some even proceeded on foot, but all were engaged in a desperate race for newly released tracts of land in former Cheyenne-Arapaho territory. By sunset, thousands of 160-acre "quarter sections''
The six scientist-astronauts of NASA's Group 4 are introduced to the media. From left: Joseph P. Kerwin, MD, Edward G. Gibson, PhD, F. Curtis Michel, PhD, Duane E. Graveline, MD, Harrison H. Schmitt, PhD, Owen K. Garriott, PhD.
Answering questions from the world's media following the announcement of their selection on 28 June 1965.
and many of the better town lots had been staked and claimed by new settlers, who quickly created new tent cities. It was the first of five such land rushes, and these are certainly one of the most dramatised and colourful events in western history.
Among those who had set out carrying sledgehammers and claim stakes were the forebears of a man whose name is now synonymous with Oklahoma, and in particular his cherished hometown of Enid, in the northwest part of the state. His father's parents staked their claim in the land run of 1889, while his mother's parents settled in the so-called Cherokee Strip some time later, after buying another person's claim, reputedly for "a wagon and team.''
Was this article helpful?