Oklahoma City is the biggest city, as well as the capital of the state of Oklahoma in the United States. It is the seat of Oklahoma County and ranks in the thirty-first position of American cities in terms of population. In terms of land area, this city ranks seventeenth of all American cities. Oklahoma City covers an area of six hundred and twenty-one square miles and has a population of over five hundred and fifty thousand residents. Oklahoma City has a thriving livestock market and petroleum products are a major part of the city’s economy. The city also has several energy companies and is a major center of manufacturing.
Oklahoma City was settled in 1889 and the area was known as the ‘unassigned lands’ because the area hadn’t been given to any Native American tribes. The federal governement opened the area up to settlement and over ten thousand settlers located in the area. Over the next ten years, this number had more than doubled. When Oklahoma was admitted into the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City has becomer the population center and the commercial center of the state. Thanks to the foresight of early city leaders such as Henry Overholser, John Shartel and Anton Classen, Oklahoma City was transformed into a beautiful Victorian city that had a regional center of commerce, a railway hub and a trolley system. The city had a population of over sixty-four thousand residents and petitioned the state for the right to be the state capital. A vote was held and Oklahoma City went on to become the capital of the state of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City experienced a steady rate of growth until 1928, when oil was discovered in the city. Soon, oil wells sprung up everywhere and the sudden flow of oil money into the city accelerated its growth. Though the oil barons escaped the ravages of the Great Depression, many residents of the city weren’t so lucky. On the south bank of the North Canadian River sprung up a shanty town (also known as Hooverville) that was populated with unemployed workers. World War II brought economic recovery to the city because of the increased production of military industries and after the war, the city became a major hub of the National Interstate Highway system. Today, the economy of Oklahoma City has diversified to include the areas of information technology, health services and administration. Oklahoma City has two fortune 500 companies; Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy. The city is also the home to Tinker Air Force Base, United Parcel Service, Sonic Drive In, Cox, Xerox, Boeing, Dell and AT&T.
A popular attraction in the city is the Science Museum of Oklahoma. This museum was founded in 1958 as the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, and located on the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. The Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation was then founded on the fairgrounds. In 1978, the name was changed to Omniplex Science Museum and moved to the Kirkpatrick Center Museum Campus. Over the years, several additions were added to it, which included OmniDome Theater, Oklahoma Air and Space Museum and the Kirkpatrick Gardens. In 2007, it was renamed to its current name and has since added new exhibits and galleries.
Another prominent attraction in the city is the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. This zoo is situated on one hundred and ten acres of land and is home to more than seventeen hundred animals. It is open to the public everyday of the week, but on holidays such as New Years Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas an admission fee is levied. Around the zoo are attractions such as Lincoln Park Golf Course, Lincoln Park, Northeast Lake and the Zoo Amphitheater. Adjacent to the zoo are a whole variety of other attractions which include the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum, Remington Park Racetrack, 45th Infantry Division Museum, Coles Garden, Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum and Tinseltown USA. Key exhibits of the zoo include Cat Forest Overlook, Aquaticus, Butterfly Garden, Island Life and Oklahoma Trails. The zoo also has a climbing wall, a carousel, trains, swan paddleboats, Sea Lion Show and a safari tram. Animals featured at this zoo include lions, tigers, laughing kookaburra,snow leopards, Galapagos tortoises, Abaco Island boas, gorillas, California sea lions, black bears, alligators, Bison, Black-tailed rattlesnake, Black Poison Dart Frogs, Asian Elephants, Golden-headed Lion Tamarin, Meerkat, Sable Antelope, Southern Three-banded Armadillo, Canadian Geese, Eurasian Eagle Owls, Tundra Swan, Northern Mockingbirds, West African Crowned Crane, Red Bellied Piranha, Yellow Tang, Shortnose gar, Lookdown, Emperor angelfish, Common Clownfish, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, Chilean Rose Tarantula, Monarch Butterfly and Bark Scorpions.
Other attractions in Oklahoma City include Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Overholser Mansion, Remington Park, AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, World of Wings Pigeon Center, 45th Infantry Division Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Martin Park Nature Center, Bricktown, Tener’s Western Outfitters, Harn Homestead, National Stockyard Exchange, Lake Hefner Golf Course, Oklahoma History Center, Bricktown Brewery, White Water Bay, 1889er Museum, End of the Trail Statue, State Museum of History, National Softball Hall of Fame, International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Firefighters Museum, Black Liberated Arts Center, Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion, Carpenter Square Theatre at Stage Center, Earlywine Park, Earlywine Park Golf Course, Lincoln Park Golf Course, Silverhorn Golf Club, Will Rogers Park, St Pauls Episcopal Cathedral, Trosper Park Golf Course, Myriad Botanical Gardens, University of Oklahoma Golf Course, Myriad Convention and Civic Center, Western Avenue and the Ford Center. Oklahoma City is also home to a number of restaurants, bars and hotels. Restaurants in the city include Cattlemens Steakhouse, Bricktown Brewery Restaurant, Chelinos Mexican Restaurant, Melting Pot Restaurant and the Nonna’s Euro-American Restaurant. Hotels in the city include Bricktown Hotel and Convention Center, Colcord Hotel, Biltmore Hotel, Sheraton Oklahoma City Hotel, Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites and the Courtyard by Marriott in Downtown Bricktown. No matter if your looking for historical attractions, nightlife, beautiful parks and gardens or interesting museums, your more than likely to find what your looking for in this city.