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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

HistoryEdit Main article: History of Oklahoma City See also: Timeline of Oklahoma City Map of Indian Territory (Oklahoma) 1889, showing Oklahoma as a train stop on a railroad line. Britannica 9th ed. Oklahoma City was settled on April 22,[12] 1889, when the area known as the "Unassigned Lands" was opened for settlement in an event known as "The Land Run".[13] Some 10,000homesteaders settled the area that would become the capital of Oklahoma. The town grew quickly; the population doubled between 1890 and 1900.[14] Early leaders of the development of the city included Anton Classen, John Shartel, Henry Overholser andJames W. Maney. Lithograph of Oklahoma City from 1890. By the time Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City had surpassedGuthrie, the territorial capital, as the population center and commercial hub of the new state. Soon after, the capital was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City.[15] Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 during the early part of the 20th century; it was prominently mentioned in Bobby Troup", later made famous by artist Nat King Cole. Before World War II, Oklahoma City developed major stockyards, attracting jobs and revenue formerly in Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska. With the 1928 discovery of oil within the city limits (including under the State Capitol), Oklahoma City became a major center of oil production.[16] 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 and I-44. It was also aided by federal development of Tinker Air Force Base. In 1950, the Census Bureau reported city's population as 8.6% black and 90.7% white.[17] Patience Latting was elected Mayor of Oklahoma City in 1971, becoming the city's first female mayor.[18] Latting was also the first woman to serve as mayor of a U.S. city with over 350,000 residents.[18] Oklahoma City National Memorial at Christmas. As with 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 many older historic 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 conservatoryin the heart of downtown. Architecturally significant historic buildings lost to clearances were the Criterion Theater,[19][20] the Baum Building,[21] the Hales Building,[22][23] and the Biltmore Hotel.[24] In 1993, the city passed a massive redevelopment package known as the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS), 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; central library; renovations to the civic center, convention center and fairgrounds; and a water canal in theBricktown entertainment district. Water taxis transport passengers within the district, adding color and 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.[25] 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, services, and shops. Since the MAPS projects' completion, the downtown area has seen continued development. Several downtown buildings are undergoing renovation/restoration. Notable among these was the restoration of the Skirvin Hotel in 2007. The famed First National Center is being renovated. Residents of Oklahoma City suffered substantial losses on April 19, 1995 when Timothy McVeigh detonated a bomb in front of the Murrah building. The building was destroyed (the remnants of which had to be imploded in a controlled demolition later that year), more than 100 nearby buildings suffered severe damage, and 168 people were killed.[26] The site has been commemorated as the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.[27] Since its opening in 2000, over three million people have visited. Every year on April 19, survivors, families and friends return to the memorial to read the names of each person lost. The "Core-to-Shore" project was created to relocate I-40 one mile (1.6 km) south and replace it with a boulevard to create a landscaped entrance to the city.[28] This also allows the central portion of the city to expand south and connect with the shore of the Oklahoma River. Several elements of "Core to Shore" were included in the MAPS 3 proposal approved by voters in late 2009.

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