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The Land Run of 1889

July 31st, 2005

[Oklahoma Bride]

In March 1889 U.S. President Benjamin Harrison declared the Unassigned Lands of the Oklahoma Country open for settlement.

The Land Run started on April 22 at noon; to participate in the run, one had to be the head of a family and at least eighteen years old. After staking a claim, participants had to register their claim at a designated land office, and had to settle on the claim within six months to avoid losing it.

The settlers of 1889 later called themselves the Eighty-Niners (89ers), while the participants who entered the Unassigned Lands before the official start became known as Sooners.

This historical moment, that gave birth to Oklahoma City, Edmond, Guthrie and other cities, has been the subject of many books and novels; a recent one is “Oklahoma Bride” by Carol Finch (Harlequin Books, 2003).

To read more on the 1889 Land Run, you can visit the Oklahoma Historical Society.

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