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Mrs. Korn Tidies Up a Mess

February 11, 2004

Almanac Transcript

Mrs. Korn tidies up a mess this week on the Oklahoma Audio Almanac.

Hello, I'm Steven Knoche Kite.

With the granting of statehood for Oklahoma on November 16, 1907 there ensued no small amount of parties, merrymaking and general celebration. So great was the enthusiasm in fact that every year afterwards great celebrations occurred throughout in the state in honor of the birthday of the state of Oklahoma. This was no well organized affair however; groups of people held different celebrations at different times, there was no coordination to the events and they might take place weeks or months apart. Some towns held a celebration for Oklahoma statehood during the time of their annual pioneer days, or settlers days. Other institutions held their celebrations on different days every year. With all of this mixed up celebrating going on, it shouldn't have been unexpected when someone stepped up to sort out the matter.

In 1921 Mrs. Anna Korn of El Reno Oklahoma, tired of celebratory clutter, authored a resolution designating November 16, as the official state birthday, and the official day for celebrating Oklahoma statehood. That Mrs. Korn was successful in her action came as no surprise to those who knew her, before moving to Oklahoma she authored a successful resolution declaring an official state day for her home state of Missouri. Now finally with the help of Mrs. Korn, the state could have synchronized celebrations of statehood and boy did they ever. Mrs. Korn not only accomplished her first task but also sat on an official statehood celebration committee that planned annual events and nominated individuals into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Under the direction of the committee, statehood day rose to be an all out blow-out.

In 1927 Tulsa out did everyone else with a four day extravaganza featuring numerous parades, expositions and demonstrations all with different themes including a pageant of transportation. In Oklahoma City, the same year, a parade through downtown featured floats from almost every county and almost as many marching bands. In 1932 Governor Murray threw a city-wide party with a historical theme featuring many pioneers from the territory days and families of famous Oklahoman's from days past.

Today Oklahoman's don't have to fret and worry about when to celebrate Oklahoma day, or endure the confusion caused by numerous celebrations on different days. We should all take time out to thank Mrs. Anna Korn and her resolution of an official day of celebration occurring every year on November 16th. It was in this week of 1921 that the resolution passed and Oklahoma's birthday became official.

The Oklahoma Audio Almanac is a joint production of Oklahoma's Public Radio and the Oklahoma State University Library.

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