15 Things You Might Not Know About Oklahoma
1. Oklahoma's official state meal, as set forth in 1988 by House Concurrent Resolution 1083, is black-eyed peas, chicken-fried steak, okra, squash, corn on the cob, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, strawberries and pecan pie. And some Tums...
2. It follows, then, that the shopping cart was invented in Oklahoma. Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City, conceived of the "folding basket carrier" in 1937 after brainstorming ways for customers to carry their groceries.
3. Because of the frequent sightings, there is an annual Big Foot Festival in eastern Oklahoma.
4. Check it: Voicemail was patented by a man from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Gordon Matthews created the technology in the 1970s and patented VMX (Voice Mailbox Express) in the 1980s.
5. According to the Aerospace Corporation, an Oklahoman is the only person to have ever been hit by falling “space junk.” The woman, hit by falling debris from the U.S. Delta II rocket, was not injured, but she did think twice before imparting the lessons of Chicken Little’s cautionary tale on her children.
6. Each April, the town of Beaver, Oklahoma, is host to the World Championship Cow Chip Throw. You can enter one of four divisions: Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Teams (4 people) and VIP. The tradition began in the 1970s as a way to pay homage to Oklahoma's early settlers, who would trade wagonloads of cow chips (which were used as cooking fuel) for for food and supplies.
7. Back in the old days—we’re talking Triassic-old—Oklahoma was located near the equator.
8. Nowadays, Oklahoma City, the state capital, is equidistant from Los Angeles and New York City.
9. Everyone knows that Oklahoma is where the wind comes sweeping down the plain; but perhaps you were unaware that the nation’s first Tornado Warning was issued in Oklahoma on March 25, 1948. Thanks, in part, to the warning, no injuries resulted from the tornado that touched down at Tinker Air Force base that evening.
10. The state flower is mistletoe. Pucker up!
11. Oklahoma City is also one of only two state capital cities whose name includes the name of the state. Can you think of the other?
12. Oklahoma serves as headquarters for thirty-nine American Indian tribes.
13. At around 200, Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state.
14. Please do not try to catch a whale in any of those manmade lakes; whaling is illegal in the state of Oklahoma.
15. Some Oklahoma cities with silly names: Loco, Cookietown, Bushyhead, Corn, Moon, Forty-One, and IXL.