Oklahoma State Day, Motto, and Nickname
DATE OF ADMISSION TO UNITED STATES
November 16, 1907
RANKING IN STATE ADMISSION
Oklahoma’s march to statehood was truly an effort that exemplified the multiethnic mosaic of the American culture. A conglomeration of European, Native, and African cultures provided the energy necessary to overcome the challenges of a split territorial status, war, and political upheaval.
In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act that led to the removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminoles) from lands east of the Mississippi River. They were moved onto land that would later be known as the "Unassigned Lands" or "Indian Territory" in an infamous relocation that became known as the "Trail of Tears." Many African Americans accompanied the five tribes as slaves and tribal members, and later, Indian Territory became known as a haven for African Americans, a place where they could live their lives with relative freedom and ease.
After many more broken treaties and agreements, outright land grabs and various forms of federal maneuvering, on March 23, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison opened up the Indian Territory to U.S. settlement. It eventually became populated enough to qualify for official territorial status, and the Organic Act of 1890 carved the Oklahoma Territory from a large piece of Indian Territory. In 1898 the federal government dissolved tribal authority over the lands.
Despite this, Native Americans continued to operate as a coalition in Indian Territory. In 1902, the leaders formulated a plan to form their own state, to be named Sequoyah, and eventually formed a constitutional convention. In 1905, the elected delegates from the five tribes drafted a constitution, planned for a government, and even proposed counties. The people of Indian Territory accepted the results by referendum, and the delegation went to Washington.
However, the federal government was opposed to the idea of two states being formed from the two territories. A second constitutional convention, linking Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory together, was proposed, using the Sequoyah constitutional draft as a basis for the new state constitution. This proposal was greeted with favor, and on November 16, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Oklahoma as the 46th state in the Union.
The April 22 holiday commemorates the settlement of the area by European immigrants.
Labor omnia vincit ("Labor conquers all things")
This motto originated from the writings of the Roman poet Virgil, who in his work "The Georgics," written in 29 BCE, supported Augustus Caesar in his campaign to encourage Romans to farm more. This motto appears on the Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma.
"Native America," "Sooner State"
The nickname "Native America" refers to the history of Oklahoma and the Native Americans' involvement in the creation of the state. "Sooner State" refers to Oklahoma’s land rush days when some of the settlers "jumped the gun" to claim their land.
-World Trade Press