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Land Run of 1889

When looking at cities with dramatic foundings, I think the Oklahoma City metro should take second place, behind Romulus and Remus fighting over Rome. In a single day, the area that is now the OKC metro had a population of 50,000 boomers and sooners.


People waiting in Purcell before the Land Run.


The dramatic birth of the Oklahoma City metro

On April 22, 1889, 117 years ago, an estimated 75,000 people lined up at the borders to the Unassigned Lands, an area that now coincides with the Oklahoma City metro in central Oklahoma. Runners had the choice of a 160 acre farm lot or a city lot. 10,000 blacks also made the run, including upper and middle class blacks. As a result, several all-black towns were created in central Oklahoma, including Langston which is now home to Langston University.

By nightfall on April 22, Guthrie, the territorial capitol of Oklahoma, and Perry south of modern OKC, both had a population of about 15,000 living in makeshift tents and shacks. Oklahoman Station (later OKC) had 10,000 residents. A December 1889 report stated that Oklahoma Territory (today's central Oklahoma) had a population of 50,000.


OKC 10 months after the Land Run


And Broadway by 1911.

Today, parades and events across "Oklahoma Territory" are held to comemmorate the Land Run. Guthrie, the heart of old Oklahoma, has a week long 89er Days Celebration, culminating in a downtown carnival and parade.
 

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Damn, they really built fast back in those days. A full-sized main street -- complete with streetcars -- in only 10 months!
 

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Justadude said:
Damn, they really built fast back in those days. A full-sized main street -- complete with streetcars -- in only 10 months!
^^ The first photo is from 10 months after the Land Run. The second photo with the streetcars and all those buildings was from 1911, 22 years after the initial settlement. They look like they've been there for a few years, it wouldn't surprise me given the time period that OKC was developed to that level within the first 10-15 years.
 

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It is quite interesting and impressive how Oklahoma and OKC came into being but it is still a shame that it was essentially the last free land taken from the natives.(if you exclude Alaska)
 
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