Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sooners

Statue Commemorating the Land Rush
Today, at noon in 1889. a landrush was held in Oklahoma, opening up formerly Indian lands, lands that had been given to the Indians forever (but we all know what forever means to a government----till they change their minds), to white settlers.  Under the Homestead Act these new settlers would be given 160 acres, free.  Many people came in early under cover of darkness to stake out their new land, these people became known as Sooners.  Many court cases were fought over land these Sooners claimed.
Some say the people who had petitioned  the government for years to open the Oklahoma Territory for white settlers were the ones who became known as Boomers.  Others say that the people who had waited for the Boom of the cannon to signal the start of the land rush became known as Boomers, and because they waited they often ended up with not so desirable lane.
Today Boomer Sooner is the official fight song of the University of Oklahoma.
An even bigger land rush took place in 1893 when 100,000 people showed up to claim 40,000 parcels of land in the north eastern corner of the state.
The remaining Cherokees petitioned to become a separate state, but this was denied in 1902, finally all of Oklahoma, including the remaining Indian territories became a state in 1907.
My family, well, they'd been living in the Indian Territories for years, intermarrying with the local tribes.  They got their land when the last of the Cherokee reservations were broken up and each family was given 160 acres.


4 comments:

  1. Great commemorative statue - have never been able to reconcile myself to the fact that the Native American people were deprived of what was, after all, their own land.

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  2. I don't know much about American history, this was an interesing post thank you xxx

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  3. Janet; have you read 'The Kinta Years'-by Janice Holt Giles. Her parents moved to OK Territory as teachers when she was a child. Among other things she describes the Cherokee background of many of the families she knew.

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  4. Thanks Minion, I went to Amazon and ordered the book, sounds interesting.

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