History

Oklahoma Hall of Fame, telling Oklahoma’s story through its people.

Founded in 1927, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame was created to honor Oklahomans who had given outstanding service to the state during their lifetime and to provide educational programming for students of all ages. Being inducted to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state. The Oklahoma Hall of Fame preserves Oklahoma’s unique history while promoting pride in our great state.

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame inspires Oklahomans of all ages, instilling state pride by telling the stories of extraordinary people. Each of our programs strive to accomplish that goal. We have hosted the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony each November for the past 89 years. We honor Oklahomans who have contributed to our state’s rich heritage by making strides in their industry and bettering mankind.

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame also supports education in a variety of ways, including offering more than $4,000,000 intuition grants and scholarships to Oklahoma high school students and hosting Free Field Trips for students from across the state. Oklahoma Heritage Association Publishing, a program of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, is the leader in publishing Oklahoma's history. At the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, visitors can meet notable and lesser known accomplished Oklahomans through high-tech, interactive exhibits.

Located in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization funded solely by private donations and is governed by a Board of Directors representing the state of Oklahoma. In addition, we have a Teen Board that holds a fundraiser each year and a Second Century Board made up of young professionals responsible for spreading our mission among their peers.

1921

Anna B. Korn authors the Honor Statute designating November 16 as Oklahoma Statehood Day.

1926

Korn hosts the first official birthday party for the state of Oklahoma on November 16, 1926 (A tradition that we still honor during our annual Statehood Day Festival!).

1927

Anna B. Korn founds the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in conjunction with the Oklahoma Memorial Association to officially celebrate Statehood Day and recognize Oklahomans dedicated to their communities and state.

1928

The first Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony is held, honoring Congressman Dennis T. Flynn of Oklahoma City and civic leader Elisabeth Fulton Hester of Muskogee.

1970

Robert A. Hefner, Sr. donates his home, the Hefner Mansion, to the organization as a facility to display the bust and portraits of Oklahoma Hall of Fame members and give the organization a permanent home.

1971

The board of directors votes to change the Oklahoma Memorial Association to the Oklahoma Heritage Association to reflect the organization’s expanded role in the preservation of Oklahoma history.

1972

The Oklahoma Heritage House (Hefner Mansion), home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, opens to the public.

1975

The Association publishes its first book, The Judge: The Life of Robert A. Hefner, by Clifford Earl Trafzer.

1991

The Association expands the Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship Competition to include awarding tuition grants and scholarships to students in every county.

1994

The Association begins offering the $10,000 John W. and Mary Nichols Scholarship to one Oklahoma High School senior each year.

2000

The Oklahoma Heritage Plaza is erected on the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, featuring monuments recognizing all members of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

2001

The Association purchases the historic Mid-Continent Life Insurance Building in Oklahoma City with a gift from Edward L. Gaylord.

2004

Renovations begin on the new Museum.

2005

T. Boone Pickens matches Edward L. Gaylord’s gift, allowing the association to finish renovations and develop exhibits.

2007

The high-tech,interactive Gaylord-Pickens Museum opens to the public.

2008

The Teen Board hosts its first fundraiser, benefiting the Museum’s Free Field Trip program.

2015

The board of directors votes to change the Oklahoma Heritage Association to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame to better represent the goals and mission of the organization.

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CONTACT

  • 1400 Classen Drive
  • Oklahoma City, OK 73106
  • 405.235.4458

More contact info

HOURS

  • Sunday and Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed on July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

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