Date Archive Almanac Home Special Collections and University Archives Home KOSU Home
Oklahoma Audio Almanac -- Click to return to OAA home
Search Almanac
Browse Almanac
Archive for All Dates
Archive for 2000
Archive for 2001
Archive for 2002
Archive for 2003
Archive for 2004

U.S.S. Oklahoma / Cynthia Ann Parker

December 6, 2000

Historian's Notes

The anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor is such a landmark date in our history that I felt it had to be included in the Almanac. There were several ways I could have accomplished this task. The best way I thought of was to talk with Oklahomans who were actually there. The EASIEST way to include Pearl Harbor in the Almanac was to talk about the battleship, U.S.S. Oklahoma. Beyond being relevant, because it was the beginning of our involvement in World War II, the story of the U.S.S. Oklahoma is a great piece of state and national history and culture.

The story of Cynthia Ann Parker is interesting. I had never heard anything about it until I discovered the material in the Angie Debo collection. I enjoyed the story and thought others would as well.

Resources for "U.S.S. Oklahoma":

Chronicles of Oklahoma (Autumn 1999). 77 (3).

Resources for "Cynthia Ann Parker":

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

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 that the U.S.S. Oklahoma was bombed and sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941 the US Navy was hit in a surprise attack on their fleet docked at the naval base in Pearl Harbor. The U.S.S. Oklahoma, only one of dozens of ships hit during the raid, was struck broadside by three torpedoes at approximately 8:00AM. In a matter of minutes the ship capsized trapping hundreds of sailors below decks. Of the 480 crew members aboard only thirty-two survived. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the U.S.S. Oklahoma was decommissioned retrieved from the harbor and sold as scrap metal to a company in California. The ship, being towed to its ultimate death in 1944, sank to the bottom once more when the towing line snapped, landing this time at a depth too great to merit retrieval. Many of the surviving crew members believed it appropriate that the ship sank with dignity intact, rather than being dismembered in a scrap yard. The U.S.S. Oklahoma sent to its watery grave this week in 1941.

This week also marks the anniversary of the death of Cynthia Ann Parker. Ms. Parker was buried on December 4th, 1910, and her life is one of the more interesting stories in the annals of Oklahoma history. In 1836 at the age of nine Cynthia Parker was taken from a Texas frontier town by a Comanche raiding party. The young girl was raised as a full member of the Comanche tribe, married a chief and eventually had two sons and a daughter. She was eventually recaptured by Texas Rangers and kept by force in a white settlement. Her son Quanah grew to assume leadership of that particular band of the Comanche and out of respect for his lost mother assumed her name Parker. Quanah Parker would be the last of the Comanche leaders to surrender to the U.S., doing so in 1876. Chief Parker, after his surrender and relocation to an Oklahoma reservation, searched for and found his mothers grave in Texas. Having received money and aid from the U.S. government for the purpose, Chief Parker had his mother exhumed and brought to Oklahoma where she was re-buried in the Comanche reservation cemetery, this week in 1910.

I'm Steven Kite.

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

Date ArchiveAlmanac Home    Special Collections and University Archives Home  KOSU Home