Oklahoma City shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U. S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population; the population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 643,648 as of July 2017. As of 2015, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,358,452, the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,459,758 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area. Oklahoma City's city limits extend into Canadian and Pottawatomie counties, though much of those areas outside the core Oklahoma County area are suburban or rural; the city ranks as the ninth-largest city in the United States by total area when including consolidated city-counties. Lying in the Great Plains region, Oklahoma City has one of the world's largest livestock markets. Oil, natural gas, petroleum products and related industries are the largest sector of the local economy.
The city is in the middle of an active oil field and oil derricks dot the capitol grounds. The federal government employs large numbers of workers at Tinker Air Force Base and the United States Department of Transportation's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. Oklahoma City is on the I-35 Corridor, one of the primary travel corridors south into neighboring Texas and Mexico and north towards Wichita and Kansas City. Located in the state's Frontier Country region, the city's northeast section lies in an ecological region known as the Cross Timbers; the city was founded during the Land Run of 1889 and grew to a population of over 10,000 within hours of its founding. The city was the scene of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in which 168 people died, it was the deadliest terror attack in the history of the United States until the attacks of September 11, 2001, remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U. S. history. Since the time weather records have been kept, Oklahoma City has been struck by thirteen strong tornadoes.
Since 2008, Oklahoma City has been home to the National Basketball Association's Oklahoma City Thunder, who play their home basketball games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889, when the area known as the "Unassigned Lands" was opened for settlement in an event known as "The Land Run"; some 10,000 homesteaders settled the area. The town grew quickly. Early leaders of the development of the city included Anton Classen, John Shartel, Henry Overholser and James W. Maney. By the time Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City had surpassed Guthrie, the territorial capital, as the new state's population center and commercial hub. Soon after, the capital was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 during the early part of the 20th century. Before World War II, Oklahoma City developed major stockyards, attracting jobs and revenue in Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska. With the 1928 discovery of oil within the city limits, Oklahoma City became a major center of oil production.
Post-war growth accompanied the construction of the Interstate Highway System, which made Oklahoma City a major interchange as the convergence of I-35, I-40, I-44. It was aided by federal development of Tinker Air Force Base. In 1950, the Census Bureau reported city's population as 8.6 % 90.7 % white. Patience Latting was elected Mayor of Oklahoma City in 1971. Latting was the first woman to serve as mayor of a U. S. city with over 350,000 residents. Like many other American cities, center city population declined in the 1970s and 1980s as families followed newly constructed highways to move to newer housing in nearby suburbs. Urban renewal projects in the 1970s, including the Pei Plan, removed older structures but failed to spark much new development, leaving the city dotted with vacant lots used for parking. A notable exception was the city's construction of the Myriad Gardens and Crystal Bridge, a botanical garden and modernistic conservatory in the heart of downtown. Architecturally significant historic buildings lost to clearances were the Criterion Theater, the Baum Building, the Hales Building, the Biltmore Hotel.
In 1993, the city passed a massive redevelopment package known as the Metropolitan Area Projects, intended to rebuild the city's core with civic projects to establish more activities and life to downtown. The city added a new baseball park. Water taxis transport passengers within the district, adding activity along the canal. MAPS has become one of the most successful public-private partnerships undertaken in the U. S. exceeding $3 billion in private investment as of 2010. As a result of MAPS, the population living in downtown housing has exponentially increased, together with demand for additional residential and retail amenities, such as grocery and shops. Since the MAPS projects' completion, the downtown area has seen continued
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
Invisible Man is a novel by Ralph Ellison, published by Random House in 1952. It addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans early in the twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity. Invisible Man won the U. S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Invisible Man 19th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005, calling it "the quintessential American picaresque of the 20th century", rather than a "race novel, or a bildungsroman". Malcolm Bradbury and Richard Ruland recognize an existential vision with a "Kafka-like absurdity". According to The New York Times, former U. S. president Barack Obama modeled his memoir Dreams from My Father on Ellison's novel.
Ellison says in his introduction to the 30th Anniversary Edition that he started to write what would become Invisible Man in a barn in Waitsfield, Vermont in the summer of 1945 while on sick leave from the Merchant Marine. The book took five years to complete with one year off for what Ellison termed an "ill-conceived short novel." Invisible Man was published as a whole in 1952. Ellison had published a section of the book in 1947, the famous "Battle Royal" scene, shown to Cyril Connolly, the editor of Horizon magazine by Frank Taylor, one of Ellison's early supporters. In his speech accepting the 1953 National Book Award, Ellison said that he considered the novel's chief significance to be its "experimental attitude." Before Invisible Man, many novels dealing with African Americans were written for social protest, most notably, Native Son and Uncle Tom's Cabin. By contrast, the narrator in Invisible Man says, "I am not complaining, nor am I protesting either," signaling the break from the normal protest novel that Ellison held about his work.
In the essay'The World in a Jug,', a response to Irving Howe's essay'Black Boys and Native Sons,' which "pit Ellison and Baldwin against Wright and then," as Ellison would say, "gives Wright the better argument," Ellison makes a fuller statement about the position he held about his book in the larger canon of work by an American who happens to be African. In the opening paragraph to that essay Ellison poses three questions: "Why is it so true that when critics confront the American as Negro they drop their advanced critical armament and revert with an air of confident superiority to quite primitive modes of analysis? Why is it that Sociology-oriented critics seem to rate literature so far below politics and ideology that they would rather kill a novel than modify their presumptions concerning a given reality which it seeks in its own terms to project? Why is it that so many of those who would tell us the meaning of Negro life never bother to learn how varied it is?" Ellison's Invisible Man dovetails the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement.
John Oliver Killens once denounced Invisible Man by saying: “The Negro people need Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man like we need a hole in the head or a stab in the back.... It is a vicious distortion of Negro life." Ellison's influences include, among others, The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot. In an interview with Richard Kostelanetz, Ellison states that what he had learned from the poem was imagery, improvisation--techniques he had only before seen in jazz.. Some other influences include Ernest Hemingway, he once called Faulkner the south's greatest artist. In the Paris Review, in the Spring Issue, 1955, in an interview he said this about Hemingway: "At night I practiced writing and studied Joyce, Dostoyevsky and Hemingway. Hemingway. I guess many young writers were doing this, but I used his description of hunting when I went into the fields the next day. I had been hunting since I was eleven, but no one had broken down the process of wing-shooting for me, it was from reading Hemingway that I learned to lead a bird.
When he describes something in print, believe him. Some of Ellison's influences had a more direct impact on his novel as when Ellison divulges this, in his introduction to the 30th anniversary of Invisible Man, that the "character" who had announced himself on his page he "associated so distantly, with the narrator of Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground". Although, despite the "distantly" remark, it appears that Ellison used that novella more than just on that occasion; the beginning of Invisible Man, for example, seems to be structured similar to Notes From Underground: "I am a sick man" compared to "I am an invisible man". Arnold Rampersad, Ellison's biographer, expounds that Melville had a profound influence on Ellison's freedom to describe race so acutely and generously. "resembles no one else in previous fiction so much as he resembles Ishmael of Moby-Dick." Ellison signals his debt in the prologue to the novel, where the narrator remembers a moment of truth under the influence of marijuana and evokes a church service: "Brothers and sisters, my text this morning is the'Blackness of Blackness.'
And the congregation answers:'That blackness is most black, most black...'" In this scene Ellison "reprises a moment in the second chapter of Moby-Dick", where
William James "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist and composer. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording, he led the group for 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing, Helen Humes, Thelma Carpenter, Joe Williams. William Basie was born to Harvey Lee Basie in Red Bank, New Jersey, his father worked as a caretaker for a wealthy judge. After automobiles replaced horses, his father became a groundskeeper and handyman for several wealthy families in the area. Both of his parents had some type of musical background.
His father played the mellophone, his mother played the piano. She took in laundry and baked cakes for sale for a living, she paid 25 cents a lesson for Count Basie's piano instruction. Not much of a student in school, Basie dreamed of a traveling life, inspired by touring carnivals which came to town, he finished junior high school but spent much of his time at the Palace Theater in Red Bank, where doing occasional chores gained him free admission to performances. He learned to improvise music appropriate to the acts and the silent movies. Though a natural at the piano, Basie preferred drums. Discouraged by the obvious talents of Sonny Greer, who lived in Red Bank and became Duke Ellington's drummer in 1919, Basie at age 15 switched to piano exclusively. Greer and Basie played together in venues. By Basie was playing with pick-up groups for dances and amateur shows, including Harry Richardson's "Kings of Syncopation"; when not playing a gig, he hung out at the local pool hall with other musicians, where he picked up on upcoming play dates and gossip.
He got some jobs in Asbury Park at the Jersey Shore, played at the Hong Kong Inn until a better player took his place. Around 1920, Basie went to Harlem, a hotbed of jazz, where he lived down the block from the Alhambra Theater. Early after his arrival, he bumped into Sonny Greer, by the drummer for the Washingtonians, Duke Ellington's early band. Soon, Basie met many of the Harlem musicians who were "making the scene," including Willie "the Lion" Smith and James P. Johnson. Basie toured in several acts between 1925 and 1927, including Katie Krippen and Her Kiddies as part of the Hippity Hop show, his touring took him to Kansas City, St. Louis, New Orleans, Chicago. Throughout his tours, Basie met many jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong. Before he was 20 years old, he toured extensively on the Keith and TOBA vaudeville circuits as a solo pianist and music director for blues singers and comedians; this provided an early training, to prove significant in his career. Back in Harlem in 1925, Basie gained his first steady job at Leroy's, a place known for its piano players and its "cutting contests."
The place catered to "uptown celebrities," and the band winged every number without sheet music using "head arrangements." He met Fats Waller, playing organ at the Lincoln Theater accompanying silent movies, Waller taught him how to play that instrument.. As he did with Duke Ellington, Willie "the Lion" Smith helped Basie out during the lean times by arranging gigs at "house-rent parties," introducing him to other leading musicians, teaching him some piano technique. In 1928, Basie was in Tulsa and heard Walter Page and his Famous Blue Devils, one of the first big bands, which featured Jimmy Rushing on vocals. A few months he was invited to join the band, which played in Texas and Oklahoma, it was at this time. The following year, in 1929, Basie became the pianist with the Bennie Moten band based in Kansas City, inspired by Moten's ambition to raise his band to the level of Duke Ellington's or Fletcher Henderson's. Where the Blue Devils were "snappier" and more "bluesy," the Moten band was more refined and respected, playing in the "Kansas City stomp" style.
In addition to playing piano, Basie was co-arranger with Eddie Durham. Their "Moten Swing", which Basie claimed credit for, was acclaimed and was an invaluable contribution to the development of swing music, at one performance at the Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia in December 1932, the theatre opened its door to allow anybody in who wanted to hear the band perform. During a stay in Chicago, Basie recorded with the band, he played four-hand piano and dual pianos with Moten, who conducted. The band improved with several personnel changes, including the addition of tenor saxophonist Ben Webster; when the band voted Moten out, Basie took over for several months, calling the group "Count Basie and his Cherry Blossoms." When his own band folded, he rejoined Moten with a newly re-organized band. A year Basie joined Bennie Moten's band, played with them until Moten's death in 1935 from a failed tonsillectomy; when Moten died, the band tried to stay together but couldn't make a go of it
Midtown Oklahoma City
Midtown is located northwest of downtown Oklahoma City, surrounded by Automobile Alley to the east and Asia District to the north. It is home to smaller communities like Church Row, it is a 387-acre area with an estimated 3,501 residents. Midtown, like much of the inner city, is experiencing a renaissance as the city cleans out the blight and decay and replaces it with upscale urban amenities like the 5th Street and 10th Street streetscapes. According to MidtownOKC.com, a website provided by property owners and other leaders in Midtown's renaissance, the vision for Midtown is a response to the desire for urban lifestyle options in Oklahoma City. "Active pedestrian street life, including sidewalk cafes and locations utilized for outdoor events and festivals, creates an interactive and enjoyable public life... In this vision, a hip, energized urban population enjoys exceptional restaurants, stylish shops, first-rate art galleries, all located nearby." The vision for Midtown seems to be similar to the nearby Triangle District in downtown Oklahoma City, which considers the Live-Work-Play lifestyle to be the fundamental idea of the project.
The Cottage District, locally known as "SOSA", is an eclectic residential area within Midtown containing several examples of excellent architecture. There are notable construction projects going in Midtown, including numerous local eateries and new housing. Midtown Renaissance official website SoSA subset neighborhood website
Ralph Waldo Ellison was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953, he wrote Shadow and Act, a collection of political and critical essays, Going to the Territory. For The New York Times, the best of these essays in addition to the novel put him "among the gods of America's literary Parnassus." A posthumous novel, was published after being assembled from voluminous notes he left upon his death. Ralph Waldo Ellison, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born at 407 East First Street in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lewis Alfred Ellison and Ida Millsap, on March 1, 1914, he was the second of three sons. Lewis Alfred Ellison, a small-business owner and a construction foreman, died in 1916, after an operation to cure internal wounds suffered after shards from a 100-lb ice block penetrated his abdomen, when it was dropped while being loaded into a hopper; the elder Ellison loved literature, doted on his children, Ralph discovering as an adult that his father had hoped he would grow up to be a poet.
In 1921, Ellison's mother and her children moved to Gary, where she had a brother. According to Ellison, his mother felt that "my brother and I would have a better chance of reaching manhood if we grew up in the north." When she did not find a job and her brother lost his, the family returned to Oklahoma, where Ellison worked as a busboy, a shoeshine boy, hotel waiter, a dentist's assistant. From the father of a neighborhood friend, he received free lessons for playing trumpet and alto saxophone, would go on to become the school bandmaster. Ida remarried three times. However, the family life was precarious, Ralph worked various jobs during his youth and teens to assist with family support. While attending Douglass High School, he found time to play on the school's football team, he graduated from high school in 1931. He worked for a year, found the money to make a down payment on a trumpet, using it to play with local musicians, to take further music lessons. At Douglass, he was influenced by principal Inman E. Page and his daughter, music teacher Zelia N. Breaux.
Ellison applied twice for admission to Tuskegee Institute, the prestigious all-black university in Alabama founded by Booker T. Washington, he was admitted in 1933 for lack of a trumpet player in its orchestra. Ellison hopped freight trains to get to Alabama, was soon to find out that the institution was no less class-conscious than white institutions were. Ellison's outsider position at Tuskegee "sharpened his satirical lens," critic Hilton Als believes: "Standing apart from the university's air of sanctimonious Negritude enabled him to write about it." In passages of Invisible Man, "he looks back with scorn and despair on the snivelling ethos that ruled at Tuskegee."Tuskegee's music department was the most renowned department at the school, headed by composer William L. Dawson. Ellison was guided by the department's piano instructor, Hazel Harrison. While he studied music in his classes, he spent his free time in the library with modernist classics, he cited reading T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land as a major awakening moment.
In 1934, he began to work as a desk clerk at the university library, where he read James Joyce and Gertrude Stein. Librarian Walter Bowie Williams enthusiastically let Ellison share in his knowledge. A major influence upon Ellison was English teacher Morteza Drezel Sprague, to whom Ellison dedicated his essay collection Shadow and Act, he opened Ellison's eyes to "the possibilities of literature as a living art" and to "the glamour he would always associate with the literary life." Through Sprague Ellison became familiar with Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, identifying with the "brilliant, tortured anti-heroes" of those works. As a child, Ellison evidenced what would become a lifelong interest in audio technology, starting by taking apart and rebuilding radios, moved on to constructing and customizing elaborate hi-fi stereo systems as an adult, he discussed this passion in a December 1955 essay, "Living With Music," in High Fidelity magazine. Ellison scholar John S. Wright contends that this deftness with the ins-and-outs of electronic devices went on to inform Ellison's approach to writing and the novel form.
Ellison remained at Tuskegee until 1936, decided to leave before completing the requirements for a degree. Desiring to study sculpture and photography, he moved to New York City on 5 July 1936 and found lodging at a YMCA on 135th Street in Harlem "the culture capital of black America." He met Langston Hughes, "Harlem's unofficial diplomat" of the Depression era, one—as one of the country's celebrity black authors—who could live from his writing. Hughes introduced him to the black literary establishment with Communist sympathies, he met several artists who would influence his life, including the artist Romare Bearden and the author Richard Wright. After Ellison wrote a book review for Wright, Wright encouraged him to write fiction as a career, his first published story was "Hymie's Bull," inspired by Ellison's 1933 hoboing on a train with his uncle to get to Tuskegee. From 1937 to 1944, Ellison had over 20 book reviews, as well as short stories and articles, published in magazines such as New Challenge and The New Masses.
Wright was openly associated with the Communist Party, Ellison was publishing and editing for communist publications, although his "affiliation was quieter," according to historian
Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, Colorado on the northwest. It is the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States; the state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907, its residents are known as Oklahomans, its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City. A major producer of natural gas and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, telecommunications, biotechnology.
Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas. With ancient mountain ranges, prairie and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains, Cross Timbers, the U. S. Interior Highlands, a region prone to severe weather. More than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, ranking third behind Alaska and California. Oklahoma is on a confluence of three major American cultural regions and served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for Southern settlers, a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans; the name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw phrase okla humma meaning red people. Choctaw Nation Chief Allen Wright suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government on the use of Indian Territory, in which he envisioned an all-Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Equivalent to the English word Indian, okla humma was a phrase in the Choctaw language that described Native American people as a whole.
Oklahoma became the de facto name for Oklahoma Territory, it was approved in 1890, two years after the area was opened to white settlers. The name of the state is Pawnee: Uukuhuúwa, Cayuga: Gahnawiyoˀgeh. In the Chickasaw language, the state is known as Oklahomma', in Arapaho as bo'oobe'. Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States, covering an area of 69,899 square miles, with 68,595 square miles of land and 1,304 square miles of water, it lies in the Great Plains near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states. It is bounded on the east by Arkansas and Missouri, on the north by Kansas, on the northwest by Colorado, on the far west by New Mexico, on the south and near-west by Texas. Much of its border with Texas lies along a failed continental rift; the geologic figure defines the placement of the Red River. The Oklahoma panhandle's Western edge is out of alignment with its Texas border; the Oklahoma/New Mexico border is 2.1 miles to 2.2 miles east of the Texas line. The border between Texas and New Mexico was set first as a result of a survey by Spain in 1819.
It was set along the 103rd meridian. In the 1890s, when Oklahoma was formally surveyed using more accurate surveying equipment and techniques, it was discovered the Texas line was not set along the 103rd meridian. Surveying techniques were not as accurate in 1819, the actual 103rd meridian was 2.2 miles to the east. It was much easier to leave the mistake than for Texas to cede land to New Mexico to correct the surveying error; the placement of the Oklahoma/New Mexico border represents the true 103rd meridian. Cimarron County in Oklahoma's panhandle is the only county in the United States that touches four other states: New Mexico, Texas and Kansas. Oklahoma is between the Great Plains and the Ozark Plateau in the Gulf of Mexico watershed sloping from the high plains of its western boundary to the low wetlands of its southeastern boundary, its highest and lowest points follow this trend, with its highest peak, Black Mesa, at 4,973 feet above sea level, situated near its far northwest corner in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
The state's lowest point is on the Little River near its far southeastern boundary near the town of Idabel, which dips to 289 feet above sea level. Among the most geographically diverse states, Oklahoma is one of four to harbor more than 10 distinct ecological regions, with 11 in its borders—more per square mile than in any other state, its western and eastern halves, are marked by extreme differences in geographical diversity: Eastern Oklahoma touches eight ecological regions and its western half contains three. Although having fewer ecological regions Western Oklahoma contains many relic species. Oklahoma has four primary mountain ranges: the Ouachita Mountains, the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, the Ozark Mountains. Contained within the U. S. Interior Highlands region, the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains are the only major mountainous region between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians. A portion of the Flint Hills stretches into north-central Oklahoma, near the state's eastern border, The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department regards Cavanal Hill as the world's tallest hill.
The semi-arid high