Why Oklahoma is called the sooner state?

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Oklahoma was an Indian territory before it joined United States in 1907. Oklahoma is located at the Southern edge of Great Plains. Northeastern Oklahoma has Ouachita Mountains and rolling hills. It looks like the country area of central Texas situated in the hilly region. Oklahoma has nearly about seven million acres of woodlands. The name Oklahoma is derived from two Indian words ‘Okla, meaning people and ‘humma, meaning red.

The Indian heritage of the state is symbolized with a state seal and flag. The seal has at its center a star which is filled with various symbols inserted into each of the arms of the star. Ã’šÃ‚ These symbols represent the five Indian tribes who were forcibly made to stay in the region of Oklahoma. The present flag of Oklahoma comprises of Indian war shield, Indian peace pipe, eagle feathers, and stars as well as an olive branch.

On 22nd April, 1889 the unassigned lands were offered for sale by the U.S Government. United States purchased two million acres of land from Indians in central Oklahoma on 22nd April 1889. This territory was open to all land buyers far and wide from the noon of 22nd April 1889.

The Homestead Act of 1862 says that the settler who claims the land for 160 acres of public land and continue to live there for about five years will get the title as legal settler. Many people entered the territory to buy the lands before the scheduled time and they were termed as ‘Sooners,. The Indian Appropriation Act of 1889, March 2nd says that no one will be allowed to occupy the land before the opening proclamation announced by the President and those who entered before would not be allotted with lands. Ã’šÃ‚ This clause that was made in the section was named as ‘Sooner clause,. Hence, those settlers who reached the territory before the scheduled time were responsible to give the name ‘sooner state, to Oklahoma.

Author: Hari M

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