Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Learn more about Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
|Nickname: "Capital of the New Century, OKC, O-City"|
|Oklahoma County and the state of Oklahoma.|
|Counties||Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian, and Pottawatomie|
|Mayor||Mick Cornett (R)|
|- City||1,608.8 km² (621.2 sq mi)|
|- Land||1,572.1 km² (607.0 sq mi)|
|- Water||36.7 km² (14.2 sq mi)|
|- City (2005)||541,500|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|- Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
- "OKC" redirects here. For the airport, see Will Rogers World Airport.
Oklahoma City is the capital and the most populous city of the State of Oklahoma. It is also the county seat of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City was founded during the Land Run of 1889, first of five land runs in what became Oklahoma.
It is the largest city in the Great Plains region of the United States, and the 36th largest city in the nation<ref>http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-South/Oklahoma-City.html</ref>. The city's estimated population as of 2005 was 531,324, with 1.2 million residents in its metropolitan area.
Oklahoma City was the site of the bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, the largest act of terrorism on American soil prior to the September 11th attacks and the most destructive act of domestic terrorism in American history.
The city is also characterized by its location in America's Tornado Alley, which is frequently visited in the springtime by violent thunderstorms producing damaging winds, very large hail and tornadoes.
Main article: History of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889, when the area known as the "unassigned lands" was opened for settlement in an event called "The Oklahoma Land Run". Some 10,000 homesteaders settled what is now downtown Oklahoma City, creating a tent city in a single day. Within 10 years the population had doubled in what became a permanent settlement and the future capital of Oklahoma.
By the time Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City had already supplanted Guthrie, the territorial capital, as the population center and commercial hub of the new state. Soon after, the capital was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,608.8 km² (621.2 mi²). 1,572.1 km² (607.0 mi²) of it is land and 36.7 km² (14.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.28% water.
Oklahoma City is the third largest city in the country in terms of geographic area, although its urbanized zone is 244 mi² - resulting in an urban population density more comparable to that found in other major cities, 2,515/mi² in 2004.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 506,132 people, 204,434 households, and 129,406 families residing in the city. The population density was 321.9/km² (833.8/mi²) for the entire city but was more than 2600/mi² in the urbanized areas. There were 228,149 housing units at an average density of 145.1/km² (375.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.41% White, 18.37% Black or African American, 3.51% Native American, 3.48% Asian American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 5.28% from other races, and 3.89% from two or more races. 16.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 204,434 households, 30.8% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.04. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,947, and the median income for a family was $42,689. These figures are among the lowest in the nation for a city of this size, but the cost of living is considerably below the national average. Financial progress is actually higher than the national average. Males had a median income of $31,589 versus $24,420 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,098. 16.0% of the population and 12.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.0% of those under the age of 18 and 9.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
 Metropolitan Statistical Area
Oklahoma City is the principal city of the eight-county Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area and is the state's largest urbanized area. The metropolitan area was the 46th largest in the nation as of the year 2000.
|Northwest: Piedmont, Kingfisher, Okarche||North: Nichols Hills, The Village, Edmond, Guthrie||Northeast: Jones, Chandler|
|West: Bethany, Warr Acres, Yukon, Mustang, El Reno, Union City, Minco||OKLAHOMA CITY||East: Del City, Midwest City, Choctaw, Harrah, Nicoma Park, Spencer, Meeker|
|Southwest: Tuttle, Newcastle, Blanchard, Chickasha, Bridge Creek||South: Moore, Norman, Noble, Slaughterville, Lexington, Purcell|
Valley Brook, Goldsby, Washington
|Southeast: Shawnee, Tecumseh, Bethel Acres, McLoud, Pink|
Main Article: Neighborhoods of Oklahoma City
 Higher Education
Oklahoma City is home to several colleges and universities, including Oklahoma City University (formerly called Epworth University) in Midtown.
The University of Oklahoma is well represented in the city and metropolitan area, with the OU Medical Center due east of downtown and the main OU (Sooners) campus located in the southern suburb of Norman. OU is one of only 4 major universities in the nation to have all 6 medical schools, and the OU Medical Center is the nation's largest independent medical center, and employs over 12,000 people.
The third-largest university in the state, the University of Central Oklahoma, is located just north of the city in the suburb of Edmond. Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City is located to the side of the Furniture District on the Westside. Oklahoma City Community College in south OKC is the largest community college in the state. Just east of Oklahoma City is Rose State College  located in Midwest City.
There are also a number of private colleges and universities throughout the city and surrounding suburbs, including Oklahoma Christian University, Southern Nazarene University ,Southwestern Christian University , University of Phoenix - Oklahoma City Campuses, Mid-America Christian University, American Christian College and Seminary, Oklahoma Baptist College, Metropolitan College, DeVry University - Oklahoma City Campus , Downtown College Consortium, and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
 Primary and Secondary
Oklahoma City Public Schools is the state's largest district and is one of the few urban districts in the nation with a growing enrollment, due largely to the so-called 'MAPS for KIDs' city-wide improvement plan. The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City is home to the state's most gifted math and science pupils.
Classen School of Advanced Studies is located in the Oklahoma City Public School District, a national Blue Ribbon School. It was recently named the No. 17-school in the nation according to Newsweek . In addition, Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School in OKCPS was named the top middle school in the state according to the API- Academic Performance Index, and recently received the Blue Ribbon School Award. The school's band and orchestra teacher was named State Teacher of the year.
There are numerous suburban districts which surround the urban OKCPS district, such as Putnam City Public Schools in suburban northwest Oklahoma City, the largest suburban school district in the state, and Mid-Del Schools  serving the eastern and southeastern parts of the metropolitan area. The city also has very well developed private and parochial schools, including Casady School, Heritage Hall Schools, and the schools of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City including Bishop McGuinness High School and Mount Saint Mary High School. Of special note, St. Mary's is the oldest high school in the state, founded in 1903 by the Sisters of Mercy.
The public school system may be confusing to new residents not only because there are over 23 independent school districts in the OKC metropolitan area, but also because they do not follow the incorporated limits of the city they are named for and further, almost all of the metro school districts lie in some section of Oklahoma City itself (map shown here).
A civic initiative named "MAPS for Kids" is attempting to remedy the problems of the inner city district. It will provide new schools for the central city and improve their concatchment areas by moving certain schools closer to wealthier neighborhoods. A sort of "reverse white-flight" is the underlying concept of initiative with the old decrepit inner-city schools being renovated or rebuilt and new technology being made available. An example of this includes John Marshall High School in North Oklahoma City, once said to be the worst public school in the state, is being rebuilt on land closer to Lake Hefner. It is hoped that the new school, complete with facilities and attractions familiar in many suburban districts, will attract the higher income families and thus improve the Oklahoma City district. However, controversy over the relocation of the high school has also raised questions over the wisdom of relocating a historicaly African-American high school to a predominantly white area.
 Major attractions
One of the more prominent landmarks downtown is the Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, a large downtown urban park. Designed by I. M. Pei, the Crystal Bridge is a tropical conservatory in the area. The park has several amphitheaters where live theater and concerts can be seen and heard in the summer. There is also a lake in the middle of the park inhabited by large Japanese Koi replete with waterfalls and fountains.
The park is also home to the free Twilight Concert Series (summer) and the city's top festivals, including the annual Festival of the Arts (late April), the annual Downtown Salute - a month-long festival in July complete with parades, free concert acts, and the three-day long Bricktown 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks, and Opening Night (December 31/January 1).
The Oklahoma City Zoological Park is highly ranked nationally and is the oldest zoo in the Southwest US[verification needed]. It is home to numerous natural habitats, WPA era architecture and landscaping, and hosts major touring concerts during the summer at its amphitheater.
The Omniplex Science Museum in the Kirkpatrick Center is one of the largest Science Centers and General Interest Museums in the country. The Kirkpatrick Center houses many informative exhibits on science, photography, aviation, etc, as well as the Omnidome OMNIMAX theater. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has galleries of western art and is home to the Hall of Great Western Performers.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial in the northern part of Oklahoma City's downtown was created, as the inscription on its eastern gate says, "to honor the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995". The outdoor Symbolic Memorial can be visited 24 hours a day for free, and the adjacent Memorial Museum, located in the former Journal Record building damaged by the bombing, can be entered for a small fee. The site is also home to the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, a non partisan, non profit thinktank devoted to the prevention of terrorism.
The Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center is the new downtown home for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The museum features visiting exhibits, original selections from its own collection, a theater showing a variety of foreign, independent, and classic films each week, and a restaurant. OKCMOA is also home to the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world including the three-story Chihuly tower in the Museum's atrium.
The capitol building's dome was recently finished as it was one of the few state capitol buildings that did not have a dome atop the structure. Solomon Andrew Layton's original design for the capitol included a dome, but steel rationing during World War I prevented its completion. The effort to build a dome for the capitol was promoted by city and state leaders in the late nineties, and was completed in 2001.
Also in downtown Oklahoma City, the Ford Center was ranked by concert industry group Pollstar as one of the top ten live music venues in the world in ticket sales, and along with AT&T Bricktown Ballpark is home to the city's professional sports teams. The Cox Business Services Convention Center, formerly known as the Myriad, is across the street to Ford Center.
The newly renovated art deco Civic Center Music Hall has performances from ballet and opera to traveling Broadway shows and concerts. Stage Center for the Performing Arts is home to many of the city's top theater companies. The building that houses Stage Center, designed by John Johansen is a modernist architectural landmark, with the original model displayed in MOMA in New York City.
Other theaters include the Lyric Theatre and the Jewel Box Theatre, both in Midtown and the 1,200 seat Kirkpatrick Auditorium and 488-seat Petree Recital Hall, both at the Oklahoma City University campus. The university also opened the Wanda L Bass School of Music and auditorium in April of 2006.
Oklahoma City also has two amusement parks, Six Flags Frontier City theme park and White Water Bay water park. Six Flags Frontier City is a 'Old West' themed amusement park. The park also features a recreation of a western gunfight at the 'OK Corral' and many shops that line the "Western" town's main street. Frontier City also hosts a national concert circuit at its amphitheater during the summer. White Water Bay is a Six Flags Water Park located north of Will Rogers World Airport.
Walking trails line Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser in the northwest part of the city and downtown at the canal and the Oklahoma River. Part of the east shore of Lake Hefner has been developed into upscale offices and restaurants, but the majority of the area around the lake is taken up by parks and trails, including a new leashless dog park and the postwar era Stars and Stripes Park. Lake Stanley Draper is the city's largest and most remote lake. The city is implementing a new trail system that will be akin to a bicycle freeway system.
See also: Broadcast Media in Oklahoma City
The Oklahoman is Oklahoma City's major metro newspaper, the most widely circulated in the state. The Oklahoman's Internet edition is a collaboration with local CBS affiliate KWTV. The Oklahoma Gazette is Oklahoma City's independent newsweekly, featuring such staples as local commentary, feature stories, classifieds, restaurant reviews and movie listings. The Journal Record is Oklahoma City's daily business newspaper and OKC Business is a bi-monthly business publication. The MidCity Advocate is Oklahoma City's newest weekly broadsheet, covering ("good news" only) downtown, the State Capitol district, and the neighborhoods in Oklahoma City's historic core.
In addition, there are various community and international papers in the city such as The Black Chronicle, headquartered in the Eastside and the OK VIETIMES, located in Asia District. Gay publications include Hard News Online and Standout Magazine. There are also five metro lifestyle magazines produced by local publisher Southwestern Publishing: Nichols Hills News, Edmond Monthly, Norman Living, Northwest Style and Downtown Monthly.
Oklahoma City was home to several pioneers in radio and television broadcasting. Oklahoma City's WKY Radio was the first radio station transmitting west of the Mississippi River and the third radio station in the United States. WKY received its federal license in 1921 and has continually broadcast under the same call letters since 1922. In 1928 WKY was purchased by E.K. Gaylord's Oklahoma Publishing Company and affiliated with NBC ; in 1949, WKY-TV went on the air and became the first independently-owned television station in the U.S. to broadcast in color.
Oklahoma City is home to several professional sports teams including the Oklahoma RedHawks, a AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers, the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, the Oklahoma City Lightning, and the Oklahoma City Blazers.
In what may prove to be a turning point for professional sports in the city, on September 21, 2005, Mayor Mick Cornett announced an agreement with owner George Shinn of the New Orleans Hornets to adopt the city as its temporary home following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans and the New Orleans Arena. This will arguably be the second major league franchise ever to locate in the city, if one considers the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League to have been the first. There is even a case to be made that the Oklahoma Outlaws of the old USFL (a franchise that was actually shared with Tulsa) might truly deserve that distinction.
In any event, the relocated team is now known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and Oklahoma City hosted 35-home games for the 2005-06 NBA season at Ford Center. The city will also host an additional 35-home games during the 2006-07 season with six being played in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Hornets and NBA Commissioner David Stern have publicly stated that they expect the team to return to New Orleans for the 2007-2008 season. Owner Shinn indicated his "desire" to return but also his "desire" to apply for permanent relocation and stay in profitable Oklahoma City. When and/or whether the Hornets remain in OKC or return to New Orleans remains to be seen, or as Shinn noted in the OKC press “I work regularly with the NBA. We’re working close together to do what’s best. But I’m at peace. I want you guys to know I’m at total peace with whatever happens.”  In a more recent development, another NBA franchise, the Seattle SuperSonics, was purchased by an Oklahoma City group led by Clay Bennett in the 2006 offseason. While the new Sonics ownership has publicly stated they intend to keep the team in Seattle, speculation is rampant that the team may move to Oklahoma City in the foreseeable future.
The OCU Stars play at the new Abe Lemons Arena at Oklahoma City University; OCU also has a top-rated rowing program. Of special note, OCU has announced its desire to possibly enter the NCAA during the 2007 athletic season, providing yet another marketing opportunity for Oklahoma City as city named jerseys will hit the NCAA sports circuits.
The Ford Center also hosts many events each year including touring concerts, NHL exhibition games, some college basketball games for the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, and Oklahoma State University, and other spectator events and conventions. Ford Center held the 2005 NCAA Men's Basketball First & Second Round and will host the Men's and Women's Big 12 Conference Basketball Tournaments in 2007. Nearby AT&T Bricktown Ballpark hosted the Big 12 Baseball Tournament in 2005 and will be the site again in 2006 and 2007.
Other notable sporting events in the city include the World Cup of Softball and the annual NCAA Women's College World Series played at the Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium as well as horse races at Remington Park and the many horse shows and equine events that take place at the state fairgrounds each year.
Additionally, Oklahoma City is home to several now defunct sports teams:
- Oklahoma Wranglers : Arena Football League
- Oklahoma City Cavalry : Continental Basketball Association
- Oklahoma City 89ers : American Association (20th century) minor league baseball - now Oklahoma RedHawks
- Oklahoma City Stars : CHL Hockey Team
- Oklahoma City Coyotes : RHI Roller Hockey Team
- Oklahoma City Dolls : All-woman American Football League franchise
Oklahoma City is an integral point on the U.S. Interstate Network. Most highways throughout the city are 6-8 lanes and have a level of congestion lower than most comparably sized cities. Interstate 35, Interstate 40, and Interstate 44 bisect the city, Interstate 240 connects I-40 to I-44 in South OKC, the Lake Hefner Parkway (OK-74) runs through Northwest Oklahoma City, Kilpatrick Turnpike makes a loop around North and West Oklahoma City, Airport Rd. (actually a freeway section of S.W. 44th Street) runs through Southwest Oklahoma City and leads to Will Rogers World Airport, Broadway Extension/U.S. 77 connects Central Oklahoma City to Edmond, and Interstate 235 spurs from I-44 in North Central OKC into downtown Oklahoma City.
The section of I-40 known as the "Crosstown" because of its intersecting path right by downtown, will soon be experiencing renovation. The I-40 Crosstown Construction Project will slightly relocate the stretch of highway using state-of-the-art construction. It is expected to be completed in 2008. Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 and was prominently mentioned in Bobby Troup's 1946 jazz classic, "(Get Your Kicks) on Route 66," later made famous by Nat King Cole.
Oklahoma City is served by two primary airports, Will Rogers World Airport and the much smaller Wiley Post Airport (incidentally, the two honorees died in the same plane crash in Alaska). Will Rogers World Airport is currently undergoing a major reconstruction period. Tinker Air Force Base, in East OKC, is the largest military air depot in the nation, a major maintenance and deployment facility for the Navy and the Air Force, and the second largest military institution in the state (after Fort Sill in Lawton).
Amtrak has an Art Deco train station downtown, with daily service to Fort Worth and the nation's rail network via the Heartland Flyer. There is also a heritage rail line under re-construction that will connect Bricktown and the Adventure District in NE Oklahoma City.
Greyhound and several other intercity bus companies serve Oklahoma City at Union Bus Station, Downtown. METRO Transit is the public transit company. Their bus terminal and headquarters is located downtown at NW 5th Street and Hudson Avenue.
There were plans in the early 1990s to build a light rail system for the city as part of the MAPS urban redevelopment program, but the project stalled repeatedly on issues of funding. (Ernest Istook, 5th District Congressman and chairman of the congressional transportation committee, played a major role in killing federal funding for the project).
New Development: A downtown trolley system could be implemented under a future new MAPS III initiative. METRO Transit released a new Mass Transit plan in January 2006 that details its vision of rapid transit in the coming years. The study results showed light-rail trolley in downtown OKC, commuter rail from downtown to the suburbs of Edmond and Norman, and a comprehensive, specialized metropolian bus network that has been long overdue.
 Major Companies based in Oklahoma City
- Sonic - Fortune 1000
- OGE Energy - Fortune 500
- Hobby Lobby
- AT&T - Fortune 500 (Regional Headquarters}
- DEVON Energy - Fortune 500
- Dobson Communications
- Chesapeake Energy - Fortune 500
- Express Personnel Services
- COX Enterprises - Fortune 500 (Regional Headquarters}
- Express Sports
- Oklahoma Publishing Company - Fortune 1000
- Gaylord Entertainment (The Daily Oklahoman)
- Globe Life and Accident Insurance
- American Fidelity
 Smaller Companies based in Oklahoma City
- Carlisle (maker of dishes and utensils found in most restaurants worldwide)
- Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
- Lopez Foods (the largest Latin owned business in the nation and a major supplier to McDonalds)
- York North America
- AAR corporation (unit of Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul business)
- Feed the Children
- WW Steel
- Benham Group
- Weldon Parts, Inc.
 Others with significant presence:
- The Hartford
- Office Max
- Cox Communications
- Farmers Insurance
- Cingular Wireless
- The Boeing Company
- U.S. Cellular
- Southwest Airlines
- Northrop Grumman
- General Electric
- State Farm
- Unit Parts
- Dayton Tire
- International Environmental
- Seagate Technology
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber
- Assurant Solutions
- Bar-S Foods
- Pratt & Whitney
- EDS Electronic Data Systems
Main Article: Climate of Oklahoma City
The Climate of Oklahoma City is mild through most of the year. The average temperature is about 60.1° F, and of course colder though the winter months (January, 45.9° average) and warmer during the summer months (July, 80.7° F). Each year Oklahoma City receives about 32.03 inches of rain, and 9.0 inches of snow average. Oklahoma City does experience tornadoes, the main tornado season from late March through August, however tornadoes do occur year-round. Oklahoma City receives more tornadoes than any other city in the United States.
 Additional information
 Sister cities
- Image:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Haikou, China
- Image:Flag of Mexico.svg Puebla, Mexico
- Image:Flag of the Republic of China.svg Tainan, Taiwan
- Image:Flag of the Republic of China.svg Taipei, Taiwan
- Image:Flag of Israel.svg Yehud, Israel
- Image:Flag of Russia (bordered).svg Ulyanovsk, Russia
 Famous people
- Bill Goldberg
- Jim Ross
- Reba McEntire
- C.B. Hudson
- Toby Keith
- Johnny Bench
- Mickey Mantle
- Garth Brooks
- Vince Gill
- Shannon Miller
- James Garner
- Dizzy Dean
- Bobby Murcer
- Barry Switzer
- Shannon Lucid
- Bob Tway
- Bud Wilkinson
- Thomas P Stafford
- Bart Conner
- Lon Chaney
- Carl Albert
- Dale Robertson
- Dennis Weaver
- Ben Johnson
- Gordon Cooper
- Patti Page
- Shawntel Smith
- Tyler Arnason
- Wayne Coyne
- Tisha Campbell
- Charlie Christian
- Ralph Ellison
|Municipalities of the Greater Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area|
|Population over 500,000: Oklahoma City|
|Population over 100,000: Norman|
|Population over 50,000: Edmond | Midwest City|
|Population over 20,000: Moore | Shawnee | Del City | Yukon | Bethany|
|Population over 10,000: El Reno | Chickasha | Mustang | Guthrie | Choctaw|
|Population over 5,000: The Village | Warr Acres | Tecumseh | Newcastle | Purcell | Noble | Tuttle|
|Population over 3,000: Harrah | Kingfisher | Piedmont | Nichols Hills | Spencer | Slaughterville | McLoud | Blanchard | Bethel Acres|
|Population under 3,000: Chandler | Jones | Lexington | Nicoma Park | Minco | Union City | Okarche | Pink | Valley Brook | Goldsby | Washington | Meeker | Bridge Creek|
|Unincorporated areas: Oklahoma | Cleveland | Canadian | Pottawatomie | Logan | Lincoln | Grady | McClain|
|Regional Government: Association of Central Oklahoma Governments|
 External links
Image:Wiktionary-logo-en.png Dictionary definitions from Wiktionary
Image:Wikibooks-logo.svg Textbooks from Wikibooks
Image:Wikiquote-logo.svg Quotations from Wikiquote
Image:Wikisource-logo.svg Source texts from Wikisource
Image:Commons-logo.svg Images and media from Commons
Image:Wikinews-logo.png News stories from Wikinews
Image:Wikiversity-logo-Snorky.svg Learning resources from Wikiversity
- Official City Website
- Visitors' Center
- Chamber of Commerce
- Ok Met Forums -- OKC Civic & Development Discussion
- Frontier Country
- Arts Council of Oklahoma City
- OKC Live Online Entertainment Guide
- Maps and aerial photos
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