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Archive for the ‘Oklahoma!’ Category

The Winnie Mae

March 3rd, 2006 No comments

[The Winnie Mae]

In 1930 F.C. Hall, a wealthy Oklahoma oilman, bought a Lockheed Vega model 5-C. The plane was nicknamed Winnie Mae, after Hall’s daughter; and Hall’s personal pilot was none other than Wiley Post.

Wiley Post and the Winnie Mae set twice the record for flying around the world: the first time in June, 1931 (an 8 days, 16 hours flight with navigator Harold Gatty) and the second time in July, 1933 (a solo flight of 7 days, 19 hours).

Post and Gatty published a book about their journey, titling it Around the World in Eight Days, a play on the title of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. Will Rogers contributed an introduction to the book.

The Winnie Mae is now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC; a full size replica of the plane is in the new Oklahoma History Center, in Oklahoma City.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Presidents’ Day

February 20th, 2006 No comments

[George Washington]

Until 1971, the February 22 birthday of George Washington, hero of the Revolutionary War and first president of the United States, was a national holiday.

In addition, the February 12 birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the president during the Civil War, was a holiday in most states.

In 1971 the two days were joined, and one single federal holiday, the Presidents’ Day, is now celebrated on the third Monday of February (February 18 in 2008).

Categories: Oklahoma!

EMHS Swine Week

February 19th, 2006 1 comment

[Swine Week]

Edmond Memorial High School, EMHS, home of the Bulldogs, is one of the three High Schools in Edmond, OK. The other two are North, home of the Huskies, and Santa Fe, home of the Wolves; all three schools, according to Newsweek, rank among “The 1000 Best High Schools in America”, that is the top 4% of public high schools in the nation.

The EMHS Swine Week is the school charitable week, taking place this year in the week of February 19. The tradition began in 1986, when the student council decided to raise money for a classmate who was ill. To entice students to donate, the teachers agreed to kiss a pig, hence the name Swine Week.

This year recipient is the Hearts for Hearing Foundation, an Oklahoma based non-profit organization devoted to providing resources for deaf children. Last year the students exceeded their goal of $135,000 by raising a grand total of over $141,000, and this year they are striving to make even better. Go Bulldogs!

Update: EMHS students have raised this year more than $178,000. Congratulations!

Categories: Oklahoma!

The first shopping cart

February 16th, 2006 No comments

[Shopping cart]

In 1936 Sylvan Goldman, owner of a self service store chain in Oklahoma City, had long realized that his grocery sales were limited by the size of his shopping baskets. His stores, like others of that era, had a supply of wicker or wire market baskets, for their shoppers convenience, but these baskets became heavy as they were loaded with food items, particularly for the woman buyer, who usually did most of the shopping.

One evening Goldman’s attention was drawn to two ordinary folding chairs. With a sudden burst of insight he envisioned a solution for the arm-weary shopper. If the seat of a folding chair were raised several inches and another similar seat were added below, a basket could be placed on each of them. Wheels attached to each leg would make the chair mobile, and the back of the chair could be adapted as a handle to push the cart. The basic drudgery of grocery buying would be eliminated, and the volume of grocery sales would be greatly increased. The shopping cart idea was born.

Later Sylvan Goldman built and patented his invention, and eventually became a multimillionaire. To learn more on Sylvan Goldman and the first shopping cart, you can visit the RealCart University site.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Chester Gould

February 11th, 2006 No comments

[Dick Tracy]

Chester Gould was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma, in 1900. Later his family moved to Stillwater, where he attended Oklahoma State University. In 1921 he decided to move to Chicago, with only $50 in his pocket, a suitcase and his portfolio.

His dream was to become a cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune; he spent 10 years working on other papers while submitting ideas to the Tribune. At last his idea of a detective story, filled with action and fast-paced, the first of its kind, was accepted and the “Dick Tracy” comic strip was born.

Dick Tracy became so popular that it appeared on the front page of the New York Daily News for 45 consecutive years, and it was seen in 27 foreign papers.

Chester Gould’s biography notes come from The Chester Gould – Dick Tracy Museum; and the picture is the DVD cover of the 1990 movie “Dick Tracy” directed by Warren Beatty.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Jennifer Berry

January 29th, 2006 2 comments

[Jennifer Berry]

Miss Oklahoma Jennifer Berry was crowned Miss America 2006 last week in Las Vegas.

Jennifer, 22, is a student at the University of Oklahoma, where she is majoring in elementary education. She’s active against drunk driving and underage drinking. With the title, Jennifer won a $30,000 scholarship to continue her education.

The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. This assistance is not just for the handful of young women who become Miss America, but is available to all young women who compete in the state and local competitions as well. For more information, you can visit the Miss America and Miss Oklahoma websites.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Oklahoma 2006 Calendar

January 27th, 2006 No comments

[Oklahoma calendar]

I have just discovered this wonderful Wild & Scenic Oklahoma 2006 Calendar, by BrownTrout Publishers. BrownTrout is probably the largest publisher of calendars in the world, with over 900 different titles available for the year 2006. An excerpt from the publisher’s site:

Life on the plains of Oklahoma is hardly, if ever, dull. In the summer when dramatic storms come blowing in from the west to accentuate the beautiful landscape, the Sooner State somehow seems blessed and on edge all at the same time. With canyon bluffs overlooking ancient mesas, limestone cliffs, and crystal clear lakes, Oklahoma offers an exciting range of wonderful vistas. Adding to the beauty of this legendary land are wild blue sage and grounds sacred to the Choctaw tribe.

Photography by Michael Hardeman.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Martin Luther King Day

January 16th, 2006 No comments

[Martin Luther King]

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. A Baptist Preacher and American Civil Rights leader, he preached non-violence and worked to bring about social, political and economic equality for citizens of all races.

In 1963, in Washinghton D.C., he delivered one of his most memorable speeches: “I have a dream … that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers”.

He was awarded the Nobel prize for Peace in 1964, for leading his struggle for equality through non-violence.

Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Each year on the third Monday of January the U.S. celebrate the birth, the life and the dream of Martin Luther King.

For more information, you can visit The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research Institute at Stanford University. The portrait of Martin Luther King is courtesy of Chantal’s Stained Glass Patterns.

Categories: Oklahoma!

The Oklahoma rose

January 13th, 2006 No comments

[Oklahoma Rose]

The Oklahoma rose is a hybrid tea rose, developed in 1964 at Oklahoma State University. It’s one of the most fragrant of hybrid teas, and the darkest of the reds. Its long pointed buds open into huge, fully double blooms with wonderfully strong and sweet old rose perfume. The bushy plant is covered with leathery, dark green foliage.

The Oklahoma rose was declared the official state flower of Oklahoma in 2004. Oklahoma had already adopted the mistletoe as the official floral emblem in 1893, and the Indian blanket as the official state wild flower in 1910.

The Oklahoma rose photo is courtesy of Just Joey’s Roses; they sell own root, not grafted roses, guaranteed to be free from the RMV, the Rose Mosaic Virus.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Carrie Underwood

January 1st, 2006 No comments

[Carrie Underwood]

Country singer Carrie Underwood has been named Oklahoman of the Year 2005 by Oklahoma Today magazine.

After her successful first single “Inside Your Heaven”, Carrie has released her first full country album in November 2005. “Some Hearts” has recently been No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling more than 270,000 copies.

More information on Carrie Underwood is available on her fan website Carrie Underwood Online, and on Carrie Underwood Official Site, where you can also listen to her songs.

Categories: Oklahoma!