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Oklahoma City: Capital of Soonerland PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 31 August 2008 17:45

By Lucyl Shirk, published by the Oklahoma City Board of Education, not in print, not too hard to find for sale online or at second-hand book stores.

Steve's note: Before there was "Born Grown," there was "Capital of Soonerland." Both books do a great job at assembling original material and photographs and providing traditional style broad histories of Oklahoma City. Both books fail in that they tend to focus on accomplishments and triumphs, with little attention given to uglier moments in city history. One more note: Clayton Anderson, who for years was the unofficial historian at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, edited "Soonerland."

Review: This new book with the catchy title "Capital of Soonerland" will undoubtedly long remain a standard on library shelves, in showing Oklahoma City's place in history from Indian Territory days to 1957. The story here and the wonderful illustrations, many of them fine prints from old photographs dating back to 1889, give the reader the full impact of the growth of Oklahoma's state capital city in one broad stroke. The illustrations alone - photographs and maps - will satisfy the watcher of television who wants to know more about this hometown. Yet the lively text completes the picture of Oklahoma City today.

The author, Miss Lucyl Shirk, a teacher of social science who was specially commissioned to write and complete a manuscript on the growth of Oklahoma City, achieved a remarkable piece of work on her subject. The text is well organized in twelve sections: "1. Historical Flashback" even goes into the history of Indian ownership of the land that is now Oklahoma City; "2. People Make the City' ... on through "7. Fun for Everyone," "8. Cultural Interests" and last "12. Oklahoma City Looks to the Future" with its "Fantastic? Impossible? Ridiculous? Well, Perhaps" historical record as well as ideas that have been promoted by the Chamber of Commerce under the slogan of "600,000 by 1960."

As a project originally promoted by the Oklahoma City Board of Education, the book was planned to offer facts and amusing stories between two hard covers that anyone might like to know about this city, from those who are convinced of its right to a "place in the sun" among American cities; to the school children who can view the marvelous metropolis in which they live.

This book with its up to the minute information in Oklahoma City's development and growth should be in every home and public library.

- Muriel H. Wright, Chronicles of Oklahoma, 1957

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Last Updated on Sunday, 22 November 2009 04:38