5 Interesting Facts About Oklahoma

The name Oklahoma comes from two Choctaw words, “okla” and “humma” meaning “red people”. Oklahoma was a part of the Louisiana purchase and became the 46th state in 1907. It is the only state that produces Iodine. The state flower is the Mistletoe.  

Shopping Cart

The handy shopping cart that everyone uses at the grocery store was invented in Oklahoma City. Sylvan Goldman owned a chain of supermarkets in Oklahoma. He wanted to make shopping more convenient for his customers and how they might move more groceries at once. So, one night after work in 1936, he began to think on how to do this. He combined a wooden folding chair, a basket and some wheels. Then with the help of a mechanic named Fred Young, they created the first shopping cart that was made up of a metal frame and two wire baskets. Goldman called his invention “folding basket carrier” after his inspirations. It took a while for them to catch on and eventually others added to the design.  

Center of the Universe

Have you ever wondered where the center of the universe is? Well, it happens to be in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Center of the Universe in downtown Tulsa may not be much to look at but it does seem to defy the laws of physics. It is made up of bricks and a small concrete circle. Just follow the brick path to the center. The weird thing about it is that when you stand in the center and make a noise, it is echoed back even louder. It is some sort of amplified echo chamber. No one knows quite why it does this, it was not planned that way. However, it does make for a neat place to visit.  

Green Hill Monster

In Southeastern Oklahoma there is a legend of Bigfoot known as the Green Hill Monster. Some have claimed to have stories passed down for generations in their families. However, there weren’t really any recorded sightings until 1970. The story goes that a group of local high schoolers were cruising the backroads near Talihina one night. One of the boys wandered off into the thick forest. There he claimed to have seen a large, hairy creature and ran back to the group. They reported it to the police who found dead deer near the area. Since then, many others have said they have seen a similar creature. Now, there is an annual Bigfoot festival in Honobia where people share their sighting stories and those who are curious attend. Recently, there has been a Bill introduced to have an official Bigfoot hunting season. 

Girl Scout Cookies

Everybody loves the time of year that you can find Girl Scouts set up at booths selling their cookies. There are now many kinds and everyone has their favorites. How did this tradition get started though? Just a few years after the founding of the Girl Scouts a troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma sold cookies as a service project. The Mistletoe Troop baked the cookies themselves and sold them at the local high school. Over the next couple of decades, the idea spread and a sugar cookie recipe was used. By the 1930s, it was nationwide and they had their own box design. Now, there are thousands of Girl Scouts who sell Girl Scout Cookies but it was all started by a small troop in Oklahoma.  

Tornado Warning

Tornados are very common in Oklahoma. In fact, it is part of Tornado Alley and is hit by around 56 tornados each year. As soon as it is known that a tornado could form, a tornado warning is issued letting people know. The very first tornado warning occurred on March 25, 1945 at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. A tornado had hit near the base on March 20th. After that a couple of people were tasked with trying to see if they could forecast a tornado. They studied weather reports and charts. On the 25th they noticed similar conditions to when the last tornado happened so they issued a warning. No one was hurt during that tornado.