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Did You Know? Capitals and the Capitol


By Jan Barrick, CEO, Alpha Plus.
Featuring a passage about Oklahoma history from the Success with OAS series.


In Oklahoma history, the original state capital was not in Oklahoma City. In fact, 116 years ago there was no state capitol building. In this selection, you can learn more about Oklahoma’s unique past.

Capitals and the Capitol

From 1907 to 1910, Oklahoma’s first capital was Guthrie in Logan County. Guthrie is about 32 miles north of Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma’s first governor was Charles N. Haskell. After statehood, the people of Oklahoma voted to move the capital. The time of the move was midnight on June 12, 1910. When Governor Haskell approved moving the capital to Oklahoma City, the state seal was moved to its new home. It was at Irving High School and other locations over the next few years.

While a “capital” is a seat of government, a “capitol” refers to the building housing that seat. The state’s capitol building in Oklahoma City is on 100 acres of land. It is the only capitol in the world with active oil wells on site. One oil well is in the middle of a flower bed. Petunia One is the name of the well.

Before the capitol building turned 100 years old, state leaders built a dome to complete it. “The Guardian” is the name of the bronze statue on top of the dome. His body faces the east. He looks toward the south. Governor Frank Keating spoke as the statue was put in its place.

State Senator Enoch Kelly Haney, a member of the Seminole Nation, sculpted the statue. He wept as he watched it being raised. Over four thousand people saw the capitol-crowning event in 2002. More than ten-thousand joined in the Oklahoma Centennial Celebration in 2007.

This passage is from our Success with OAS English language arts series. If students can answer the following questions, they are learning to acquire and refine information as in Standard 6 of the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS).

1. Which of the following questions is best answered by paragraph 1?

   A. What county is Oklahoma City in?

   B. How many people live in Guthrie, Oklahoma?

   C. Where was the original capital of Oklahoma?

   D. Who decided to change the capital of Oklahoma?

2. Which of the following questions is best answered by paragraph 3?

   A. How many oil rigs are on the Capitol grounds?

   B. Who put in the oil rigs?

   C. Where is Petunia One?

   D. What else is on the 100-acre land?

Stay tuned for more selections about Oklahoma’s past and present and opportunities for student success with OAS!

- Jan Barrick, CEO, Alpha Plus Educational Systems

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