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Creek Act of August 4th, 1965 /
Eastern Oklahoma UFOs
(Rebroadcast on August 1, 2001)

August 2, 2000

Historian's Notes

I've always pondered the ethnic make-up of the Oklahoma landscape and wondered why did blacks go here, or Germans there, etc. When I finally found out why the central portion of eastern Oklahoma held such a large population of African-Americans I thought the answer was so fascinating that it deserved its own Almanac segment. So, in it went!

The phenomenon of UFOs visiting the Earth is as old as recorded history. There does, however, seem to be a correlation between cultural strife or the fear of cultural annihilation and an increase in UFO sightings. For information on UFOs during periods of cultural duress I recommend any work focusing on the cold war's effects on home life in the United States. And besides, any time I can work a story about UFOs into the Almanac, I'll do it!

Resources for "Creek Act of August 4th, 1965":

The Angie Debo Papers are held at OSU's Special Collections & University Archives.

Resources for "Eastern Oklahoma UFOs":

Farris, D.A. (1995). Mysterious Oklahoma. Edmond, OK: Little Bruce.

Other information can also be found in local newspapers from the period.

Almanac Transcript

Hello, I'm Steven Kite welcoming you to the Oklahoma Audio Almanac where we turn the pages of history to bring you the stories of our state's past.

It was in this week in 1865 that the Creek Tribe in Indian Territory freed their slaves offering them instead full tribal membership. The Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Tribes had all owned slaves prior to the Civil War. With the defeat of the southern forces in 1865, all slaves were freed including those held in Indian Territory. The land held by the Creeks, the Arkansas-Verdigris River Valley between Tulsa and Muskogee, is an area of rich fertile soil and had been the site of numerous large plantations.

After the war many ex-slaves of the Creek Nation returned to the home site of their previous owners establishing small farms of their own. The Creek Act of August 4th, 1865 not only provided for the freeing of Creek slaves and tribal membership, but also offered the freed citizens full participation in tribal politics as well as inclusion in the tribal education system. When the Creek lands were allotted out at the turn of the century the African-Americans, as members of the tribe, each received 160 acres. Even today the Arkansas-Verdigris Valley is rich with African-American culture as towns such as Red Bird, Taft and Boynton provide living reminders of events occurring this week in 1865.

Itís not known if early day residents of eastern Oklahoma ever spotted odd lights in the night sky but several Tulsa residents witnessed such an event on August 2nd, 1964. It was in the early evening of that date when numerous citizens reported seeing unusual objects flying through the skies of the Tulsa area. A local amateur photographer managed to snap some pictures of the objects, but authorities offered no logical explanation for the objects or the photographs. Approximately twenty-four hours after the Tulsa sightings occurred residents of Hugo reported seeing mysterious lights flashing in the night sky. Residents of Atoka, Finley and Boswell also reported seeing the lights. Amateur astronomers identified the object as a meteor, yet extensive searches for fragments revealed no evidence of such. FAA authorities in Fort Worth claimed to have no knowledge of the two mysterious night-time sightings...and that's what happened this week in Oklahoma history.

I'm Steven Kite.

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

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