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Remembering Honey Springs

The Civil War in Indian Territory took a devastating toll on the land and its people. More than 107 documented hostile encounters took place in what is now Oklahoma, and none had more impact and long-lasting consequences as the battle at Honey Springs. On a hot July day in 1863, approximately 9,000 men were at Honey Springs, including Maj. Gen....

Evolving Perceptions

How Oklahoma cares for people with developmental disabilities has changed drastically in the last century. Institutionalization was the norm one hundred years ago, but ideas, beliefs and perceptions have evolved, leaving most of those institutions empty today.  The Beginnings: From the impetus of statehood, the legislature realized that parents and families of people with disabilities needed help caring for their loved...

Celebrating 75 Years

In 1946, H.G. Bennett purchased a decommissioned military hospital in Okmulgee for just $1. He envisioned turning it into a vocational school, where returning World War II veterans could receive training for workforce reintegration. A few months later, the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) opened its doors to 456 students under the name of Oklahoma A&M College School...

Big Boy No. 4014

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad, the first of which was delivered in 1941. The locomotives were 132 feet long and weighed 1.2 million pounds. Because of their great length, the frames of the Big Boys were "hinged," or articulated, to allow them to negotiate curves. They had a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement, which meant they...

Where History and Culture Merge

Travelers have always played a big role in the life of Elk City.  First came the Texas cattlemen in the late 1800s, who drove their herds through the future town up into Kansas. Then the Choctaw Railroad extended its line out to the budding settlement six years before Oklahoma statehood. A few years later came the glory days of U.S....

Collecting Memories

Philatelics, the study of postage stamps and history, may not illicit the flashy appeal that some hobbies do, but it’s still a mentally rewarding activity with an avid following in Oklahoma.  The state has a rich history when it comes to stamps. For starters, the Oklahoma Philatelic Society has roots going all the way back to 1933, when horses graced...

From Mexico to Pompeii

In Tulsa, 108 Contemporary presents A Luthier’s Tale: The Craft of Stringed Instruments July 2-Sept. 19. The show melds the works of local and regional artists, showcasing the art, craft and design of a variety of stringed instruments.  In OKC, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum ushers in ¡Viva México! July 9-Oct. 17 and Framework: Exploring the Artistic Process...

The Backbone of Oklahoma History

Executive director Trait Thompson gets goosebumps when he looks at the rare copy of a Lewis and Clark speech owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society. Jeff Briley, deputy director of the Oklahoma History Center, says he was “just beside myself” the first time he gazed upon a 1,400-year-old buffalo hide overshoe found in a cave in northwest Oklahoma. And some of...

The Tulsa Race Massacre: A Retrospective

Perhaps the ugliest, largest and most shameful blot on Oklahoma’s history is the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. And until recently, it was an event largely swept under the rug, or – at best – wildly downplayed, essentially rewritten to fit a racist agenda. The event was halted from rising to the forefront of discussions about our state’s history. In the last Few Years, things have changed. Conversations have shifted. Finally, a horrible event is being presented factually. The truth has been brought to the light. Motivations have morphed into education, into reconciliation, into healing. In this retrospective, we take a look at Oklahoma’s burgeoning all-Black communities prior to the massacre; the event and its aftermath; the evolving education surrounding the Massacre; the Flourishing Greenwood District as it stands today; and the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and its hopes for a better, more united Tulsa.

The Next Page

Oklahoma’s bookbinding community is maintaining history and creating masterpieces. For repairs and bibles, a local family-owned business in Fort Gibson is a hot-spot. Artur Bookbinding International was opened in 1992 by Zbigniew Niebieszczanski, or as the locals call him, “Dr. Bible.” Artur Niebieszczanski, his son, eventually became co-owner and carries on the family legacy. “I came along in 2015 to work full...