Convention Participants Clamor for Statehood
(Rebroadcast on July 16, 2003)
July 18, 2001
Oklahoma has, in my opinion, one of the wackiest histories of any state in the Union. The progression
from Native American land, to Indian/Oklahoma Territory, to Statehood was a complex and odd journey. Any
standard Oklahoma history text will lay out this evolution (or de-evolution, as some might see it) in
an orderly fashion.
Scales, J. R., & Goble, D. (1982). Oklahoma Politics. Norman, OK: University
of Oklahoma Press.
Baird, W. D., & Goble, D. (1994). The Story of Oklahoma. Norman, OK:
University of Oklahoma Press.
The Stillwater Daily Democrat. July 14, 1905 and July 19, 1905.
Convention participants clamor for statehood this week on the Oklahoma Audio Almanac.
Hello, I’m Steven Kite.
Oklahoma became a state in 1907, but the deed wasn't accomplished easily. Much political wrangling
had to occur before the 46th star could be added to the flag. For the citizens of Oklahoma one of the
first questions to be answered was whether to come into the union as one state or two.
Both Oklahoma and Indian Territory had at various times petitioned for separate statehood. By 1905,
however, it was clear that leaders within the state as well as in Washington, DC would only promote and
approve of the single state option. It was in this week of July 1905 that county and district representatives
from across the state convened in Oklahoma City attending there the largest statehood convention in the
history of the territory. Every seat in the meeting hall was filled and according to reporters at the
scene there were thousands more spectators and hopeful participants waiting on the grounds around the
building for news of the events.
Politicians from around the country attended the event making clear to Oklahomans that they were indeed
supporting the territories bid for statehood. Senator W. W. Blair from New Hampshire addressed the crowd
for a lengthy period expounding on his desire to see Oklahoma admitted as a state. Stated Senator Blair,
“The people down east desire your admittance to the union. You have the ability and intelligence to deal
with any question. Already you have earned your wealth, while many states got their wealth after statehood.
I will be a witness for you in Washington, because you are to be the great eastern state of the great
middle-west.” With the end of Senator Blair’s address the crowd now pumped with the enthusiasm of statehood
rose to their feet and sang “America.” Later in the afternoon, the convention delegates passed various
resolutions and reasons justifying Oklahoma’s admission to the union. The delegates stated that in both
geographical size and population Oklahoma was more than suited to join the ranks of US states. The industries
within the state, natural resources and income potential all boded well for future prosperity. For these
reasons, and many more listed by the delegates, Oklahoma, they argued was in a perfect position for immediate
statehood. Alas, all did not work as planned or hoped by the convention attendees as citizens were forced
to wait two grueling years before they could indeed claim themselves residents of the STATE
I'm Steven Kite.
The Oklahoma Audio Almanac is a production of the OSU Library and Oklahoma's