Oklahoma City Trivia Facts

Oklahoma State Capitol
© Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

File the information away for future conversation tidbits, or use it to create a game with family and friends where you test each other's knowledge. Either way, it's important to get to know the ins and outs of your city. From bit of history and crazy trivia to current information and statistics, here are some interesting facts about Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

Current Information and Statistics

  • The state capital, Oklahoma City is currently the largest city in Oklahoma.
  • According to the 2010 census, it is the 31st largest in terms of population in the United States, though population has increased significantly since then and current projections have the city size as 27th, just behind Portland and ahead of Las Vegas, Louisville and Baltimore.
  • In land area, it is the 4th largest in the nation. Only Anchorage, Jacksonville and Houston encompass more square miles. However, much of that area is rural and sparsely populated.
  • The median household income is $48,557, among the lowest in the nation.
  • And the cost of living is the among the lowest in the nation.
  • The city's tallest building is the downtown Devon Energy Center at 844 feet. It is the 49th tallest building in the United States.
  • Oklahoma City's climate is "humid subtropical," a classification that indicates significant temperature variation hot summer to chilly winter, as well as a large amount of precipitation throughout the year. 
  • In terms of demographics, the most recent census numbers peg Oklahoma City as being composed primarily by three races: 62.7 percent White, 17.2 percent Hispanic or Latino and 15.1 percent Black or African American.
  • The current mayor is Mick Cornett, first elected in 2004. A new mayor will be chosen in 2018, as Cornett has elected to run for governor.

Historical Facts

  • The name "Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw words "okla," meaning "people," and "humma," meaning "red." Literally translated, the name means "red people."
  • The city was settled during the Land Run on April 22, 1889 and officially incorporated July 15, 1890.
  • Those who snuck over the boundaries the night before the Land Run to claim the area around Oklahoma City are known as "Sooners."
  • Oklahoma City became the state's capital in 1910 when a petition garnered enough support to move it from Guthrie. The state Governor at the time, Charles Haskell, is said to have led a midnight run to Guthrie to get the state seal.
  • The Lee-Huckins Hotel served as the capitol building until 1917 when the current capitol was finished.

Interesting Trivia

  • Oklahoma City is one of only two capital cities with their state name as part of the city name. The other is Indianapolis, IN.
  • The capitol building at 23rd and Lincoln is the only capitol in the nation with an oil well under it.
  • The capitol building was originally supposed to have a dome, but a lack of funds prevented it. A dome wasn't added until 2002.
  • Tinker Air Force Base is the 2nd largest military air depot in the nation.
  • Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state.
  • Oklahoma has more shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.
  • The first ever parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.
  • The first ever shopping cart was invented and used in Oklahoma City at Standard Food Markets in 1937.
  • The automated Twist Tie machine was invented in 1961 by Earl Burford and first used at the Rainbow Bakery in Oklahoma City, now known as the Sara Lee Bakery.
  • The nation's premiere softball organization, the Amateur Softball Association of America, was founded in 1933 and is based in Oklahoma City.
  • The Oklahoma City Museum of Art houses one of the largest collections of pieces by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.
  • WKY, AM 930 in Oklahoma City, was the first radio station transmitting from west of the Mississippi River.
  • As part of a renewal plan, Oklahoma City planned to build a gigantic shopping mall called "The Galleria" in the 1960's. Money ran out, however, and only a parking garage was actually constructed.
  • The Oklahoma City bombing of April 19, 1995 is the considered the deadliest domestic terrorist attack in the nation's history. According to the FBI, "domestic" refers to the individual or group behind the attacks rather than their location. It was the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until the events of September 11, 2001.