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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

From Academic Kids

The State Capitol of Oklahoma
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The State Capitol of Oklahoma
Looking at Downtown Oklahoma City
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Looking at Downtown Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the state of Oklahoma in the United States of America. It is the county seat of Oklahoma County. The city's name is sometimes abbreviated to 'OKC.' Non-residents often refer to Oklahoma City as 'Oak City,' but locals never use this name. Residents of outlying suburbs or rural areas often call Oklahoma City simply "The City."

Oklahoma City is a large, diverse and growing city, and is the civic and commercial center of the state. It is one of the largest cities in the Great Plains of the United States, and is the largest city in population of the 5 "plains states" (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) as well as four of the six neighbouring states (Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico) to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City is the 29th-largest city in the nation, according to a 2003 report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The city's population on July 1, 2003 totaled 523,303 with more than 1.25 million residents in the metropolitan area.

Oklahoma City was the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, the largest act of terrorism on American soil prior to the September 11th attacks and the most destructive act of domestic terrorism in American history.

Contents

Geography

Template:US City infobox According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1,608.8 km² (621.2 mi²). 1,572.1 km² (607.0 mi²) of it is land and 36.7 km² (14.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.28% water.

Oklahoma City is the third largest city in the country in terms of geographic area, although its urbanized zone is a mere 244 mi² - resulting in an urban population density more comparable to that found in other major cities.

Oklahoma City is the second largest city in the nation still in compliance with the Clean Air Act (after Jacksonville, Florida)

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Oklahoma City is the principal city of the eight county Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area, the state's largest urban area.

North: Guthrie
Edmond
West: Bethany
Yukon
Mustang
El Reno
Oklahoma City East: Del City
Midwest City
Choctaw
Shawnee
South: Moore
Norman

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there were 506,132 people, 204,434 households, and 129,406 families residing in the city. The population density was 321.9/km² (833.8/mi²) for the entire city but was more than 2600/mi² in the urbanized areas. There were 228,149 housing units at an average density of 145.1/km² (375.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.41% White, 18.37% Black or African American, 3.51% Native American, 3.48% Asian American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 5.28% from other races, and 3.89% from two or more races. 16.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 204,434 households, 30.8% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.04. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,947, and the median income for a family was $42,689. These figures are among the lowest in the nation for a city of this size, but the cost of living is considerably below the national average. Males had a median income of $31,589 versus $24,420 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,098. 16.0% of the population and 12.4% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.0% of those under the age of 18 and 9.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. Oklahoma City, as has many other Southwestern cities, been fighting an influx of illegal aliens into the metro.

Oklahoma City has the nation's second lowest cost of living among major U.S. cities, which is some 25 percent below the national average. Unrestrained by natural boundaries such as mountains or oceans, Oklahoma City annexed huge swaths of land in the 1960s, leading to an abundance of housing and cheap land. While sprawl has stretched the infrastructure of the city government and, some have complained, diluted the character of the city, the average commute from the far flung outskirts of the city is quick and mostly gridlock-free because of the city's interstate system (Mayor Mick Cornett remarked in 2005's "State of the City" address that Oklahoma City was one of the few major cities where "police look for speeders at rush hour").

Edmond, the premier northern suburb, is Relocate America's 3rd best city in America, and the best small town in America according to Universal Publications of New York.

Transportation

Near the geographic center of the nation, Oklahoma City is an integral point on the U.S. Interstate Network. Most Highways Throughout the City are 6-8 Lanes and have a level of congestion lower than most comparably sized cities. Interstate 35, Interstate 40, and Interstate 44 bisect the city, Interstate 240 connects I-40 to I-44 in South OKC, OK 74 Lake Hefner Parkway (aka Interstate 644) runs through Northwest Oklahoma City, Kilpatrick Turnpike makes a loop around North and West Oklahoma City, Airport Rd. runs through Southwest Oklahoma City and Leads to Will Rogers World Airport, U.S. 77 Broadway Extension connects Central Oklahoma City to Edmond, and Interstate 235 spurs from I-44 in North Central OKC into downtown Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 and was prominently mentioned in Nat King Cole's 1946 jazz classic, "(Get Your Kicks) on Route 66."

Oklahoma City is served by two primary airports, Will Rogers World Airport and the much smaller Wiley Post Airport (incidentally, the two honorees died in the same plane crash in Alaska). Will Rogers World Airport is currently undergoing a major reconstruction period. Tinker Air Force Base, in East OKC, is a major BRAC maintenance and deployment facility for the Navy and Air Force and the second largest military institution in the state (after Ft. Sill in Lawton).

Amtrak has an Art Deco train station downtown, with daily service to Fort Worth via the Heartland Flyer. Greyhound and several other intercity bus companies serve Oklahoma City at Union Bus Station, Downtown.

METRO (http://www.gometro.org/) Transit is the public transit company. They recently opened a new bus terminal downtown at NW 5th Street and Hudson Avenue. Talks have begun on creating a Light Rail system for the City, though the city's congressman, Ernest Istook, is strongly opposed.

There were plans in the early 1990s to build a light rail system for the city as part of the MAPS urban redevelopment program, but the project stalled repeatedly on issues of funding (Ernest Istook, the city's congressman and chairman of the congressional transportation committee, played a major role in killing federal funding for the project). There is still a good chance that a light rail trolley system may be built, but the relocation of I-40 south of downtown OKC will destroy an existing rail yard that is an essential part of the plan.

History

See History of Oklahoma City

Major Attractions

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Skyscrapers of Downtown Oklahoma City

Besides the skyscrapers that cluster in the city's central business district, one of the more prominent landmarks downtown is the Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Botanical Gardens (http://www.myriadgardens.com/), a large downtown urban park. Designed by I. M. Pei after the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the Crystal Bridge is a tropical conservatory that contains foliage more akin to the Amazon River basin than the Great Plains of North America. The park has several amphitheaters where live theater and concerts can be seen and heard in the summer. There is also a lake in the middle of the park inhabited by large goldfish. Waterfalls and fountains add life-giving oxygen to the lake as well as an added attraction for visitors. The park is also home to the free Twilight Concert Series (summer) and the city's top festivals, including the annual Festival of the Arts, ranked the second best arts festival in the nation, (April), the annual Downtown Salute (http://www.downtownokc.com) (a month-long festival in July complete with parades, free concert acts, and the three-day long Bricktown 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks), and Opening Night (December 31/January 1).

Image provided by Classroom Clipart (http://classroomclipart.com)
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Image provided by Classroom Clipart (http://classroomclipart.com)

The Oklahoma City Zoological Park (http://www.okczoo.com/) is highly ranked nationally and is the oldest zoo in the Southwest US. It is home to numerous natural habitats, WPA era architecture and landscaping, and hosts major touring concerts during the summer at its amphitheater.

The Omniplex (http://www.omniplex.org/) Museum in the Kirkpatrick Center (named for Oklahoma oilman and philanthropist John Kirkpatrick) is one of the largest Science Centers and General Interest Museums in the country. The Kirkpatrick Center houses many informative exhibits on science, photography, aviation, etc, as well as the Omnidome OMNIMAX theater. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has galleries full of priceless western art and treasures and is home to the Hall of Great Western Performers.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial in the northern part of Oklahoma City's downtown was created, as the inscription on its eastern gate says, "to honor the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995". The outdoor Symbolic Memorial can be visited 24 hours a day for free, and the adjacent Memorial Museum, located in the former Journal Record building damaged by the bombing, can be entered for a small fee. The site is also home to the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (http://www.mipt.org/), a non partisan, non profit thinktank devoted to the prevention of terrorism.

The Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center is the new downtown home for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (http://www.okcmoa.com/). The museum features visiting exhibits, original selections from its own collection, a theater showing a wide variety of foreign, independent, and classic films each week, and a fine dining restaurant. OKCMOA is also home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world including the three-story Chihuly tower in the Museum's atrium.

The capitol building's dome (http://www.oklahomadome.com/) was recently finished as it was one of the few state capitol buildings that did not have a dome atop the structure. Solomon Andrew Layton's original design for the capitol included a dome, but steel rationing during World War I prevented its completion. The effort to build a dome for the capitol was promoted by city and state leaders in the late nineties, and was completed in 2001.

Also in downtown Oklahoma City, Ford Center plays host to major concerts and is home to the city's professional sports teams as is the [Cox Business Services Convention Center Arena (http://www.coxconventioncenter.com/)], formerly known as the Myriad, which is across the street. and the [SBC Bricktown Ballpark (http://oklahomaredhawks.com/stadium/)] nearby. The newly renovated art deco Civic Center Music Hall (http://www.okcciviccenter.org/) showcases performances from ballet and opera performance to traveling Broadway shows and concerts. Stage Center for the Performing Arts (http://www.stagecenter.com/) is home to many of the city's top theater companies. The building that houses Stage Center, designed by John Johansen is a modernist architectural landmark, with the original model displayed in MOMA in New York City.

Other theaters include the Lyric Theatre (http://www.lyrictheatreokc.com/) and the Jewel Box Theatre (http://www.jewelboxtheatre.org/), both in midtown and the new 1,200 seat Kirkpatrick Auditorium (http://www.okcu.edu/music/musictheater.asp) and 488-seat Petree Recital Hall at Oklahoma City University.

Six Flags Frontier City (http://www.sixflags.com/parks/frontiercity/) is a western themed amusement park with numerous coasters, rides, and games for all ages. The park also hosts a national concert circuit at its amphitheater during the summer. White Water Bay is a Six Flags Water Park located north of Will Rogers World Airport. Of special note, Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc. world headquarters is located in North Oklahoma City.

Walking trails line Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser in the northwest part of the city and downtown at the canal and the Oklahoma River. Part of the east shore of Lake Hefner has been developed into upscale offices and restaurants, but the majority of the area around the lake is taken up by parks and trails, including a new leashless dog park and the popular postwar era Stars and Stripes Park. Lake Stanley Draper, the city's largest and most remote, offers more of an escape from the big city and has a more natural feel. The city is implementing a new trail system that will be akin to a bicycle freeway system, allowing residents to access all of the natural beauty of the region and still be within stomping distance to city attractions.

Neighborhoods

Downtown

  • Bricktown:

The Bricktown Entertainment District (http://www.bricktownokc.com/) in downtown Oklahoma City is the largest entertainment district in the region, and is one of the city's most popular destinations. The historic area has seen a major renaissance over the last 10 years, and is now bustling with fine restaurants, dance clubs, live music venues, classy retail shops, offices, lofts and condos. The Bricktown Canal stretches one mile through the district and runs to a park past the Oklahoma Land Run Monument (http://www.paulmooresculptor.com/land_run.htm). When completed, the Land Run Monument will be a series of 36 giant statues stretching over two football fields on the south canal. When completed, it will be one of the largest monuments in the world. Lower Bricktown boasts a brand new movie complex (http://harkinstheatres.moviefone.com/showtimes/theater.adp?theaterid=7627) run by Harkins Theaters, Bass Pro Outdoor World, and upscale retail. Several new hotels, are planned in addition to additional retail and housing.

  • Automobile Alley

This neighborhood along Broadway in northeast downtown was a popular retail district in the 1920s and was home to most of Oklahoma City's car dealerships. The area declined with the rest of Downtown in the 1970s and 1980s, but recently an effort to redevelop the area has transformed the showrooms and storefronts of the area into lofts and offices. Also in the area are many of Oklahoma City's earliest churches along Robinson Ave. (known as "Church Row") and the city's first high school, now the local offices of SBC.

  • Deep Deuce

Deep Deuce, a few blocks north of Bricktown, ignited the downtown Oklahoma City urban housing boom in the late 1990's. The area consists mostly of low rise apartment buildings and various formerly vacant mixed use buildings. Deep Deuce was the largest African American neighborhood downtown in the 1940s and 1950s, and was a regional center of jazz music and African American culture. Bands such as the Count Basie Orchestra, the Blue Devils, the Charlie Christian Band, and others resided in this OKC neighborhood. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was once rejected for a position at the Calvary Baptist Church in Deep Deuce for being "too young". Much of the neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for I-235 in the 1960s, but the Bricktown boom has made the area (with its prime location between Bricktown and the growing biotech cluster east of I-235) attractive to developers. Precious little of the neighborhood's original character still exists.

  • The Arts District

The area now known as the arts district covers the part of west downtown that includes the civic center, considered the premier performing arts venue of the Southwest, the new Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which features the world's largest piece of Chihuly Glass, the Myriad Gardens, Stage Center, the new central library, several local theaters, and at its northern edge, the Oklahoma City National Memorial. This close proximity to the principal cultural attractions downtown has made it the location of some very upscale condos and apartments, with more planned for the near future, such as Legacy at Arts Central.

InnerCity Northside

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This geodesic dome (also known as the "Gold Dome"), a local landmark, sits in the heart of the Asian district at 23rd and Classen. Once threatened with demolition, it is now being redeveloped to become an Asian Cultural Center
  • Asia District

Oklahoma City has the largest Asian population in the state and is home to a rapidly growing cultural district called simply, Asia District (http://www.asiandistrictokc.com/) as it encompass culture and cuisine from Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai, Korean, and Filipino. Centered primarily along Classen Boulevard from 22nd Street to NW 30th, the district has a multitude of restaurants, Asian-oriented retail, Asian supermarkets, and attractions. Asia District is also known as "Little Saigon", "Little Asia", and "the Asian District".

Although the Asia District is very culturally and visibly diverse, the most obvious cultural influence in the area is Vietnamese. Several thousand Vietnamese refugees settled in the city during the 1970s after the fall of Saigon, leading the revival of what had been up to that point been a neighborhood in decline due to the suburban exodus of the middle class. As the new Oklahomans built the community, more immigrants moved into the area, not only from Vietnam and Southeast Asia, but from all around the world. Today the Asia District has a bustling cosmopolitan scene full of noodle caf鳬 college students from nearby Oklahoma City University, art galleries, quaint apartments, retail shops and restaurants of every stripe.


  • Eastside and NE OKC

The Eastside district, ( is home to the state's largest African American community and is experiencing a renaissance of its own. Once a perfect example of urban blight and neglect, the Eastside has seen significant development recently. An African American Heritage Museum is currently in the works along with a efforts to revive the NE 23rd Business District. Other Eastside attractions include the newly domed and beautiful State Capitol of Oklahoma, the 45th Infantry Museum, the Oklahoma Historical Society Museum, the OU Health Science Center,

The Eastside is considered to be THE most economically diverse neighborhood in the city, with land values ranging from astronomical in the millionaire community of Lincoln Terrace, to poverty at the public housing districts of Walnut Avenue, both within a mile of each other.

NorthEast Oklahoma City is home to many of the city's legendary museums and major attractions. The so called Adventure District includes Omniplex Science Museum, Oklahoma City Zoo, Remington Park Parimutual Racetrack, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Stadium, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Six Flags Frontier City amusement park, exclusive restaurants and clubs, and numerous tree-lined boulevards and neighbourhoods (including neighborhoods such as Lincoln Terrace, Britton, North Highland, Walnut Avenue, and Spencer).

  • NW 39th Street Enclave

Oklahoma City has a vibrant, thriving Gay community, which is also the largest in the state. As with many of OKC's neighborhoods, the lack of established boundaries makes it hard to give an exact location, but generally speaking, this community is principally located along NW 39th Expressway between Pennsylvania and May Aves, however there are related businesses and neighborhoods diffused throughout the surrounding area.

The NW 39th Street Enclave rivals Bricktown in terms of sheer volume of clubs, bars, and nightlife (The Habana Inn (http://www.habanainn.com/) claims to be "the largest gay resort in the southwest") yet the city leaders do not actively promote the district as a tourist venue. It should be noted that while the area is home to most of the GLBT commerce and community in the city, it is by no means exclusively gay and is also home to many broadly directed businesses and offices. Likewise, there are businesses aimed at gays and lesbians throughout the rest of the city. Gay OKC Web Portal (http://www.gayokc.com/), Gayly Oklahoman (http://www.gayly.com/)


  • The Paseo and Midtown

The Paseo Arts District (http://www.okclive.com/paseo/) was built in 1929 as the first commercial shopping district north of downtown Oklahoma City. This faux Spanish village with its stucco buildings and clay tile roofs is the home of Oklahoma City's artists' community, the only such district in the state. Located along Paseo Drive at roughly N. Walker Ave and NW 28th Street, the district is home to a number of chic bars and restaurants and hosts an arts festival in the spring. In this immediate area are several historic neighborhoods including Mesta Park, Edgemere, Jefferson Heights, and Heritage Hills, home to college students, bohemians, and yuppies. Further south is St. Anthony's Hospital (the oldest and largest hospital) at the northern edge of downtown.

Suburban Northside

  • Mayfair and Belle Isle

Mayfair and Belle Isle are a pair of middle class, mid century neighborhoods surrounding Penn Square Mall and Baptist Hospital. Also nearby is Lake Hefner, a favorite spot for bikers and joggers.

Northwest Expressway, the city's main artery to the northwestern suburbs, is a strip mall filled, restaurants bearing, continuously congested 6-lane boulevard with highway intersections, hotels, and office towers scattered along at various intervals. Most of the large scale highrises and hotels in OKC outside of downtown, (including the architecturally interesting United Founders Tower), are located here, in the NW Business District.

  • Nichols Hills and The Village

Nichols Hills, just north of Belle Isle, is an enclave of the rich and extremely rich. The streets are lined with mansions, the commerce is upscale, the restaurants are gourmet, and the country clubs are exclusive. There are other such enclaves throughout the city, but Nichols Hills is notable even among them for sheer extravagance. The Village, immediately north, is a middle class post-war neighborhood which looks somewhat out of place next to its neighbor to the south. The Village is the location of Casady School, the largest and poshest private high school in the city.

  • Bethany and Warr Acres

Bethany and Warr Acres are located in the suburban inner western part of the city. These suburbs, which until recently were in decline, are home to the metro's most competitive tax rates, and have attracted numerous big box retailers. There are a large number of historic motels, restaurants, and bars along old Route 66 (now NW 39th St), Lake Overholser and growing Korean, East Indian, and Pakistani communities.

Bethany is home to Southern Nazarene University (http://www.snu.edu/home.asp) and has a well preserved main street area along 39th Street. Lake Overholser, the city's oldest lake and originally its primary reservoir, has proposals for resort development.


  • Quail Springs/Memorial Corridor

At the far northern edge of the city along Memorial Road and the John Kirkpatrick Outer Loop Turnpike is a huge swath of suburban development rapidly creeping toward Edmond, the city's largely affluent northern suburb. Over the past 20 years this area has been transformed from grazing land and farm prairie into a broad ribbon of office parks, housing tracts, chain restaurants, a regional supermall - Quail Springs Mall, Mercy Health Centre, and a great number of strip malls and box stores. This area is also infamous for one of the most congested and difficult intersections in the city, Memorial Road and N. Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Memorial Corridor will not make it into tourist brochures any time soon, but the area is popular to the locals nonetheless. In addition to the suburban sprawl, this area is also home to Martin Park Nature Center (http://www.okc.gov/query.html?parks/martin_park/index.html), a fairly large nature preserve with several hiking trails and lots of natural wildlife.

InnerCity Southside

  • Stockyards City

Located at the Agnew Exit South of I-40 to Exchange Ave, Stockyards City (http://www.stockyardscity.org/) is home to the largest stocker/feeder cattle market in the world. Stockyards City recaptures the architectural flavor of the early part of the Twentieth Century, with gaslights and wooden storefronts. Many of the businesses in Stockyards City date back to the early 1900s when the area was home to several major meat packing companies. The district still has weekly cattle auctions as well as the venerable Cattleman's Steakhouse (http://www.cattlemensrestaurant.com/).

A number of special events have sprung up as well, including Longhorn Cattle Drive each December, sidewalk sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the Stockyards Stampede the first weekend each June.

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A sports supply store with hand painted sign, Capitol Hill


  • Capitol Hill and Riverside

Oklahoma City has the largest Hispanic population in the State with the majority residing in the Southside and West Oklahoma City. The Capitol Hill and Riverside districts, due south of downtown, are the center of Hispanic oriented commerce in the city.

Capitol Hill (located deceptively far from the actual capitol) was founded as a separate city during the land run and was later annexed into Oklahoma City. Hence, it has its own impressively well preserved main street business district along SE 29th Street, which has seen a revival in recent years. Capitol Hill was a popular middle class suburb early in the century, but as the population moved into the outer suburbs and the trolley lines that had connected it to downtown stopped running, the neighborhood went into decline.

While Capitol Hill still has some serious problems with crime and gangs, it is also now one of the liveliest of OKC's neighborhoods. You can find almost anything in Capitol Hill, from recording studios to the oddly placed Oklahoma Opry to soccer supply shops and street side taquerias (so-called Roach-Coaches, Yummie!!).


  • Meridian Avenue/"Airport Heights"

The new Meridian Avenue "Hospitality" Corridor is along one of the cities busiest arteries, S. Meridian Avenue, and extends from mid tier west Oklahoma City, to suburban Southwest Oklahoma City. The busiest section of the corridor is just north of Will Rogers World Airport and survives primarily on traffic generated by it. There are numerous hotels, restaurants, night clubs, and attractions located in the district. In addition there are several corporations, including Hobby Lobby, headquartered within a mile of the corridor.

The Hospitality Corridor is also located in close proximity to the South Bank of the Oklahoma River, leading city leaders to envision regular water taxi service from hotels and restaurants in the area to Bricktown via the newly navigable waterway.

Education

Oklahoma City is home to many colleges and universities, including Oklahoma City University in midtown and Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City in Northwest OKC. The OU Health Science Center is located due east of downtown Oklahoma City while the University of Oklahoma (Sooners) is located just south of the city in the suburb of Norman . The third-largest university in Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma is located just north of the city in the suburb of Edmond. Oklahoma City Community College is the largest community college in the state.

Oklahoma City also has public vo-tech schools, such as Metro Technology Centers (http://www.metrotech.org) and Francis Tuttle.

There are also a number of private colleges and universities in the city, including Oklahoma Christian University, Southern Nazarene University (http://www.snu.edu/home.asp), University of Phoenix - Oklahoma City Campus (http://www.phoenix.edu/ZipLocations.asp?Orga=34), Mid-America Christian University, American Christian College and Seminary, Metropolitan College, and the Downtown College Consortium (http://www.downtowncollege.com) in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma City Public School (http://www.okcps.org/) district is the largest in the state and is one of the few urban districts in the nation with a growing enrollment, due largely because of the so-called MAPS for KIDs city-wide improvement plan. Putnam City Public Schools (http://www.putnamcityschools.org/), which covers suburban northwest Oklahoma City, is the largest suburban school district in the state and includes the venerable PC North (http://www.putnamcityschools.org/pcnorth/) High School. Numerous other suburban districts circle the urban OCPS district and the city has very well developed private and parochial schools, including Casady School in posh suburban Nichols Hills and the schools of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Sports

Oklahoma City is home to several professional sports teams including the Oklahoma RedHawks minor league baseball team (PCL, AAA), a farm team for the Texas Rangers. Others include the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz arena football team, the Oklahoma City Lightning (Women's Football: NWFA), the Oklahoma Storm (USBL), and the Oklahoma City Blazers hockey team (CHL).

The University of Oklahoma sport teams are always the largest draw in the city as they host numerous sporting events and tournaments every year including the world famous OU Sooners football games, held at Owen Field in suburban Norman. In addition, the NAIA leading OCU Stars (http://www.okcu.edu/athletics/) play at the new Abe Lemons Arena at Oklahoma City University. OCU also has a top-rated rowing program.

The Ford Center, downtown, hosts many events each year including touring concerts, NBA exhibition games, college basketball games for the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, and other spectator events and conventions. Ford Center was recently selected as the site of the 2005 NCAA Men's Basketball First & Second Round, and will host the Men's and Women's Big 12 Conference Basketball Tournaments in 2007. Nearby Bricktown Ballpark (home of the Oklahoma RedHawks) hosted the Big 12 Baseball Tournament in 2005 and will be the site again in 2006, and 2007.

Other notable sporting events in the city include the World Cup of Softball (http://www.asasoftball.com/complex/worldcup.asp) and the annual NCAA Women's College World Series (http://www.asasoftball.com/complex/ncaa_wcws.asp) played at the "Don E. Porter" Hall of Fame Stadium as well as horse races at Remington Park and the many horse shows and equine events that take place at the state fairgrounds each year.

Defunct Sports Teams

Additionally, Oklahoma City was home to several now defunct sports teams:

Additional Information

Famous Persons from OKC

Major Companies Headquartered in Oklahoma City

Other businesses that have a significant presence or are large employers in the area:

Famous Inventions from OKC

  • Shopping cart; Sylvan N. Goldman, of Oklahoma City, invented the shopping cart in 1937 for use in his Standard Food Markets and Humpty Dumpty Supermarkets (the Omniplex science museum even features a statue of its creator, depicted pushing a shopping cart).
  • Parking meter; Carl C. Magee, of Oklahoma City, patented the parking meter (filed May 13, 1935, patent no. 2,118,318 issued May 24, 1938) and the first meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935).

Famous Songs from or about OKC

  • "Route 66", Nat King Cole
  • "Heart of Rock 'N Roll", Huey Lewis and the News
  • "A Little Too Loose", Mr. Big
  • "Christmas at the Zoo" the Flaming Lips
  • "Oklahoma Borderline" by Vince Gil

External links

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Wikitravel has a travel guide about Oklahoma City.

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