OKLAHOMA lies on the edge of America's central plain. Lush forests have been replaced by vast Central plains where cowboys, Indians, and buffalo once roamed. This marks the frontier strip where the American Wild West flourished in contrast to the "civilized" Eastern states. During the nineteenth century this was Indian territory, occupied by tribes displaced (i.e., exiled) as European settlers moved west. It was a destination for the Trail of Tears, a series of forced removals of Native Americans from their ancestral homeland -- a sad period in our history. It's not surprising that the territorial plain states from Wyoming to Oaklahoma were among the last to be admitted to the union during the 1900s.
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