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Archive for the ‘Oklahoma!’ Category

The first parking meter

October 26th, 2005 No comments

[Parking meter]

The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935.

Carlton Cole Magee, who had invented and patented it, started the Magee-Hale Park-O-Meter Company to manufacture his parking meters. These early parking meters were produced at factories in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

From that early beginning, the use of parking meters by municipalities, colleges and universities, and private parking facilities has increased to the point that today, in the United States alone, there are an estimated five million parking meters in use.

Based on this number, if every parking meter collected only 25 cents per day, the gross revenues generated by parking meters in the U.S. for one day would be 1.25 million dollars ($1,250,000).

For more information on the history of parking meters, you can visit The Parking Meter Page.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Wagon trains

October 24th, 2005 No comments

[Wagon train]

Wagon trains, groups of covered wagons, were used to convey people and supplies to the West before the coming of the railroad. Wagon trains were used by pioneers traveling to new territories, or by professional wagoners carrying goods between the cities and the settlements.

A typical covered wagon was the Conestoga, large enough to transport up to seven metric tons, and drawn by four to eight horses. On the prairies of the Middle West and on the Great Plains, the Prairie Schooner was the preferred wagon. It was much lighter and about half the size of a Conestoga, and rarely needed more than two or four horses.

Wagon trains were organized with an almost military discipline: the order of wagons both on the trail and in camp was strictly regulated. At night the wagons were drawn into a circular corral, and a guard was kept to prevent possible surprise attacks.

The image shows the “Wagon Train” oil painting by Dustin Lyon.

Categories: Oklahoma!

The Oklahoma State Seal

October 21st, 2005 No comments

[Oklahoma Seal]

Oklahoma was the 46th state to be admitted to the Union. The Oklahoma State Seal consists of a large five-pointed star surrounded by forty-five small stars, representing the 46 states of the USA at that time.

The center of the large star contains the seal of the Territory of Oklahoma, and its five rays contain the seals of the Five Indian Nations.

The seal of the Territory of Oklahoma depicts two representatives of the white and red races shaking hands beneath the scales of Justice.

The seals of the Five Indian Nations are: for the Cherokee Nation, a seven pointed star surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves; for the Chickasaw Nation, an ancient warrior standing with bow and shield; for the Creek Nation, a sheaf of wheat and a plow; for the Choctaw Nation, an unstrung bow, three arrows and a smoking pipe-hatchet; and for the Seminole Nation, a tribesman paddling a canoe across a lake, taking goods to sell at the Trading Post.

The circular band surrounding the seal reads: Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma 1907.

[From the Oklahoma Constitution, Article 6, Section 6-35]

Categories: Oklahoma!

The Five Tribes

October 20th, 2005 No comments

The Five Tribes are five Native American nations which lived in Southeastern North America: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. Each of them had advanced systems of government, education and law enforcement.

In the first half of 19th century, the Five Tribes were deported from their traditional homelands east of the Mississippi and forced to settle in Indian Territory, in present day Oklahoma.

The Five Tribes remained independent until 1907, when Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged to create the State of Oklahoma.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Far and Away

October 16th, 2005 No comments

[Far and Away]

What they needed was a country big enough for their dreams… that’s the tagline of “Far and Away”, a 1992 movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Cruise and Kidman play Irish immigrants seeking their fortune in 1890s America, eventually taking part in the 1893 Oklahoma Land Run.

To follow their dream, they decide to join the wagon trains and arrive in Oklahoma Territory just in time for the big race. Don’t miss the following Land Run scenes!

By the way, Ron Howard was born in Duncan (OK) and is of Irish descent. He is currently filming “The Da Vinci Code”, based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel. The movie is scheduled for release in May 2006.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Tex Willer

October 14th, 2005 No comments

[Tex Willer]

Tex Willer is the longest-lived character of Italian comics; his stories have been published uninterruptedly for over fifty years, since 1948.

Tex is a real tough guy, ironic, anti-racist and enemy of all kinds of injustice. Tex is a Ranger and, after his marriage with the beautiful Lilyth, daughter of Navajo Chief Red Arrow, has become the honorary leader of the Navajos, with the name Eagle of the Night. Tex was deeply in love with his wife, and after her death has never become involved with any other woman.

In his many adventures (in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico) Tex can always count on two close friends: Kit Carson, an older Ranger, and Tiger Jack, a silent Navajo warrior. Tex and Lilyth’s son, Kit Willer, has later joined the trio.

Often Tex, Kit Carson, Tiger and Kit end up in a world of magic, where the western scenario mixes with horror, fantasy, and gothic themes. So Tex enemies are not only outlaws and rebels, but also black magician Mephisto, his son Yuma, or misterious secret sects.

To learn more, you can visit the site of the publisher, Sergio Bonelli Editore.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Columbus Day

October 10th, 2005 No comments

[Three ships]

On October 12, 1492, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus reached the New World.

The first celebration of the discovery of America was organized by the Italian population of New York City on October 12, 1866. The next year, more Italian organizations in other cities held banquets, parades and dances on that date. In 1869, when Italians of San Francisco celebrated October 12, they called it Columbus Day.

Certainly Columbus, perhaps against his will, opened the door to European colonization, the exploitation of native peoples and the slave trade; but I’d rather view Columbus Day as the historical meeting between European and American peoples, symbolizing the meeting of all the Continents to live and prosper peacefully together.

Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October (October 10th this year). For more information, you can visit the Wilstar Holidays site.

Categories: Oklahoma!

A fried okra recipe

October 5th, 2005 2 comments

[Okra pods]

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh okra
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Fried okra is part of the official Oklahoma State meal. There are many fried okra recipes, I found this one in the Cook’s recipes site.

  1. Wash and slice okra into 1/2 inch thick rounds; pat dry with paper towels;
  2. Combine eggs and buttermilk; add okra, and let stand for 10 minutes;
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper;
  4. Drain okra, small portions at a time, using a slotted spoon;
  5. Dredge okra, small portions at a time, in flour mixture;
  6. Fry in 2 to 3 inches of oil at 375*F (190*C), until golden brown;
  7. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

An even simpler variant requires just to mix cut okra with flour mixture to coat, then fry in 1/2 to 3/4 inch of oil until golden brown.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Okra

October 2nd, 2005 No comments

[Okra flower]

Fried okra is part of the official Oklahoma State meal. Okra (also known as gumbo), is a tall-growing annual vegetable from the same family as hibiscus. The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable.

The hibiscus like flowers and upright plant (3 to 6 feet or more in height) have also ornamental value for backyard gardens.

If interested, you can visit “A Guide to Growing, Storing and Preparing Vegetables” by the University of Illinois Extension and the “Vegetables” pages by the Purdue University Horticulture Department.

Categories: Oklahoma!

Labor Day

September 5th, 2005 No comments

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It recognizes the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and other industrial cities started to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date.

This year Labor Day is celebrated on September 5th. For more information, please visit the Department of Labor.

Categories: Oklahoma!