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What is today Oklahoma has been inhabited for centuries by various Native American tribes, and was part of territory belonging variously to Spain, France, Mexico, and the independent Republic of Texas until 1845, when Texas was annexed by the United States. A majority of modern-day Oklahoma was also part of the US' Arkansaw/Arkansas Territory until 1828, when the border between Arkansas and the future Indian Territory was fixed. During the Civil War, the entirety of the territory was claimed, but never effectively controlled, by the Confederacy (though the Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee/Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole, supported and had signed treaties of friendship with the CSA). Following a series of 'land rushes' in the late 1880s that greatly increased the number of settlers in the western portion of Indian Territory, Congress officially created the separate Oklahoma Territory in May 1890, with the territorial (and later state) capital at Guthrie. Oklahoma's population grew rapidly, and only eighteen years later, it was admitted to the Union as the 51st state on September 12, 1908.
Oklahoma is subdivided into 37 counties. Below are listed the five largest in the state by population.
|1||Oklahoma County||Oklahoma City||510,000|
|5||Canadian County||El Reno||88,000|
In Popular Culture
- The state is the setting for the hit 1943 Broadway musical Oklahoma!, the bestselling 1917 novel Indian Territory and its 1933 film adaption (both by William Lincoln) the latter of which starred Walter Brennan and William's youngest son Michael.
- One of the main protagonists of Elijah Lane's popular Last on Mars tetralogy has been mentioned to be a native of a small town in Canadian County.