OKC's Age-Old History

April 22, 1889

  • At the sound of a gun, 10,000 people settled in Oklahoma City as part of the Land Run of 1889.

November 16, 1907

  • Oklahoma becomes the 46th state.


  • Oklahoma City becomes the state capital of Oklahoma.


  • The War Department announces that Oklahoma City will be the location of an air depot. Today, Tinker Air Force Base is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma.

December 14, 1993

  • Oklahoma City citizens vote to pass the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS). This initiative will fund nine projects through a five-year, once-cent sales tax.  Projects included renovations to the Civic Center Music Hall, Cox Convention Center and Oklahoma State Fairgrounds; construction of a 20,000-seat indoor sports arena, the 15,000-seat Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and a downtown library; development of a trolley transit system; development of the Oklahoma River; and construction of the Bricktown Canal.

April 19, 1995

  • The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City is bombed, killing 168 people and injuring more than 500 others. At the time, it was the largest domestic terrorism attack in history.


  • Development begins by the Presbyterian Health Foundation at the 27-acre Oklahoma Health Center Research Park for biomedical research. Today, Oklahoma City is a hub of bioscience activity, with the local industry employing 27,800 workers and brining in estimated revenues of $4.1 billion.


  • Oklahoma City citizens vote to extend the temporary one-cent sales tax to “Finish MAPS Right,” ensuring that all projects would be completed debt free.
  • Oklahoma City’s Triple-A ballpark, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, opens. Today, the stadium is home to the Oklahoma City Dodgers, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.


  • The Cox Convention Center hosts its grand opening after renovations and expansions added more than 100,000 square feet, helping Oklahoma City begin its rise to become a premier visitor destination.


  • As part of the MAPS projects, the Civic Center Music Hall reopens with a complete interior renovation. Today, the Civic Center is home to the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City Ballet, Canterbury Chorale Society, Lyric Theatre and others. It also plays host to touring Broadway musicals and an annual series of national artists.


  • The 20,000 Chesapeake Energy Arena (originally known as the Ford Center) and the 110,000-square-foot Oklahoma City Museum of Art both open in downtown Oklahoma City.


  • The last of the nine original MAPS projects, the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and the Oklahoma River are completed. Today, the Oklahoma River is an official Olympic training site, home to USA Canoe/Kayak and is one of the premier flatwater sport venues in the country.


  • The NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder begin their inaugural season.
  • The citizens of Oklahoma County pass a $55 million bond issue to purchase the former General Motors Assembly Plant and lease it to the Air Force, helping Tinker Air Force Base grow.

December 8, 2009

  • Oklahoma City citizens vote to pass MAPS 3 to continue OKC’s bright future through the $777 million initiative. MAPS 3 includes eight projects: improvements to the Oklahoma River, miles of new walking and biking trails, improvement to State Fair park, new sidewalks, senior health and wellness aquatic centers, a new convention center, a world-class destination park and a modern downtown streetcar. 


  • The Oklahoma City Thunder make their first appearance in the NBA Playoffs, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.


  • The Oklahoma City Thunder make their second appearance in the NBA Playoffs, defeating the Denver Nuggets in the first round and the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round to make their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals. The Thunder were defeated by the Dallas Mavericks in the series 401.


  • The Oklahoma City Thunder earn the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference for the NBA Playoffs. The Thunder sweep the Dallas Mavericks in Round 1 before beating the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. The Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs in six games to win the Western Conference Championship and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time ever. The Thunder win their first home game in the Finals against the Miami Heat before losing the next four games.