Monday, April 23, 2012

Land Run Fun!

Yesterday was the 123rd anniversary of the very first Oklahoma Land Run.  We spent the day celebrating with the students of Imperial Academy.  In13  the years that I spent in Oklahoma public schools and the 4 that Tabitha spent in them, we had never done this.  It was a lot of fun.  Here is a brief history of  what the land runs were all about.


"April 22 was Oklahoma Day! Previously known as 89ers Day or Land Run Day, it marks the date in 1889 when the Oklahoma Territory opened for settlement. For those who didn't grow up in Oklahoma, Boomers were those souls who waited until the BOOM of the cannon at high noon to set off and stake their homestead. Sooners didn't see a reason to wait and chance losing the prime lands, so they hid out and staked their property a little SOONER than legal." (Yes, the University of Oklahoma has named their sporting teams for a bunch of cheaters.  That's my own bit of info there.)

"There were actually seven land runs in Oklahoma. April 22, 1889, the first land run began at high noon and involved the settlement of the Unassigned Lands. In September 1891 there were three land runs to settle Iowa, Sac and Fox, Pottawatomie, and Shawnee lands; County B, later renamed as Pottawatomie County; and County A, later renamed as Lincoln County. On April 19, 1892, a run settled the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands. On Sept. 16, 1893 the largest land run in U.S. history opened nearly 7,000,000 acres of land purchased from the Cherokees for $7,000,000. The final land run was held May 23, 1895 to settle the Kickapoo lands."  (Part of the deal with the runs was that you had to make improvements in the land that you were given.  You had a certain length of time in which to do it.  If you did then the land was yours free and clear.)

After they all staked their claims, we were treated to live music and a great potluck.  Then the kids could put up their tents if they brought them. The main stakes Elijah had for his were too blunt to go into the ground, so we made a tent today as part of our history lesson. He is planning on sleeping in it.  We'll see how that goes. 

They also has games and activities for everyone to enjoy including stilts, wagon races, and bread making

Tractor ride bandit


He's not very happy.  He jumped off of his bike and the handle bar jammed into his ribs.
Sharing with his friend.

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