Blog

Free Field Trips!

Throughout my years in high school, I have had many defining moments and realizations. The most impactful being when I began to understand my role in serving others. Helping others is a key characteristic in many great Oklahomans. Having both my mother and father working in medicine and law enforcement, I have always known what it means to serve. However, it was only when I began to volunteer and help other people that I truly understood the impact service has on my life.

Whether it be through volunteering around the community, or committing to service after graduation, I have learned how much seemingly simple acts of service can affect people. For example, something as simple as assisting an elderly person rearrange their home, had a very positive affect on both of our lives.

As I am approaching graduation in May, time seems to be slowing down as I look forward to the future. I look at those around me and feel great pride remembering all the people who have made an impression on me, over the years. Only now, can I truly grasp how the decisions I have made and the...

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On an amazing night in Tulsa, we celebrated the 91st Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony. The event showcased the deserving Class of 2018 Honorees and their Presenters, which were loudly and enthusiastically supported by the hundreds of guests in attendance. Oklahoma state pride and a commitment to bettering the state of Oklahoma were sentiments shared by all guests, who were inspired to continue to make an impact in the communities where they live, work, and play.

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Wow! What an amazing day at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame! We had so much fun reading a story about fall, watching Charlie Brown in the theater, playing in the courtyard and painting pumpkins! There were so many smiles! Thank you for coming to Fall Y'All and for celebraiting with us!

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Oh the places you’ll go, oh the sights you will see! Today at the museum our guests have joined the fun for the Dr. Seuss themed Friendly Friday! It was a treat to have Frank Merrick as our guest storyteller today, reading Oh the Places You’ll Go. After heading upstairs, the kids created lovely Halloween collages and masks of their own during craft time with visiting artist Patrick Riley. Our guests then got to enjoy all the excitement the museum has to offer, including our wonderful exhibits, our hay maze, and a special screening of Horton Hears a Who!

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Throwback Thursday sprang to life with Hall of Fame member Bart Conner reading “Rainbow Fish”. The Olympic champion displayed a glittering gold medal for guest to see while taking pictures and signing autographs. It is pretty hard to describe the moment that you see an Olympic GOLD Medal! I'll try. It was AMAZING! It was SO shiny! It is SO heavy!

Our partner the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City showed us some moves with a fun active game involving “Frozen” cards. This game offered chances to do some push-ups, squats and even burpees! Kids enjoyed coloring the craft and then headed to our theater for the movie, “Toy Story”.

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Sometimes you have to pick sides, but today at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame we celebrated two different schools, united by our love for Oklahoma. What a spirited day at The Oklahoma Hall of Fame! Bedlam Day was host to many special visitors, including Dr. Ann Caine who serves on our board of directors, as well as spirit squad members from The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. We started the day with a special story time lead by Dr. Caine, reading Austin Plays Fair by Tony and Lauren Dungy and made special football themed crafts with our favorite artist Patrick. Thank you to all the future Sooners and Pokes for making today great!

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The glamour! The stars! The bright lights! The POPCORN!

Fall Y’all has Gone to the Movies today! Guests arrived via our red carpet and walk of fame featuring Members of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, then they were treated to story time and Oklahoma Gourmet Popcorn by our special guest, DJ Boles. Guests got to learn about one of Oklahoma’s most beloved movie stars, Will Rogers with the story Will Rogers: Our American Legend. The kids then delighted in a fun movie-theater themed collage craft with our guest artist, Patrick Riley. Afterwards, many of our guests enjoyed a special showing of Sing in our Chesapeake Oklahoma Theater.

We can't wait to have you visit tomorrow!

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There was no better place to be than at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame today! We had some much fun reading with Curious George, making our own Candy Land craft and watching Wreck-it Ralph! We all got sweet treats to take home and even played in the rain!

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The Oklahoma Hall of Fame was rocking today! With sounds of Jazz echoing the hallways, we enjoyed the funky and smooth sounds provided by OK Sessions! This gig had some real heat and those cats put together a real jam session on the keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums! What an awesome day movin' and groovin' at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame!

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Great Outdoors Day was a hit with a special thank you to Virginia and John Groendyke who read Where the Wild Things Are. Also a special thanks to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for exhibiting various animal furs and skulls for our visitors to handle. Teaching Artist Patrick Riley continued the fun with creating animal masks and coloring your own fishes! Plus with the outside games, hay maze, and take home s’mores added so much extra fun!

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Everyone has a story to tell! Today, we had a great opportunity to hear stories that were exciting and meaningful. With help from Governor Bill Anoatubby from the Chickasaw Nation, we heard about a cool rattlesnake and from special Chickasaw storytellers, we heard about how the rabbit got his tail! It was a great day to explore the hay maze and take home a special prize!

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Fall Y’All was off to an excellent start and even the stormy weather couldn’t put a damper on the fun! Starting us off was story time with Mike Turpen, who read Born on Broadway. The kids really enjoyed getting to interact with Mr. Turpen and his story, while also learning from him a little bit about Oklahoma’s own Broadway star, Kelli O’Hara!

Next, our guests loved their chance to become Broadway stars themselves! Thanks to our partners from the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, we were treated to a performance from the hit musical The Music Man and then everyone got a chance to be a part of the show! Watching our guests, and even our own team members, become Broadway actors and march about the room in a parade was truly a joy to witness!

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Gayle Curry

Cancer touches everyone, loved ones, friends, colleagues, or yourself. It might be mild and treatable or it can be severe and devastating. I’ve come to see that EVERYONE is affected by cancer.

My mom was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 and my dad with pancreatic cancer in 2016. Cancer is a hard disease to wrap your brain around because you can’t see it. You just see the symptoms. You see the outside of a person. But what is this invader on the inside? I needed to know what it looks like, how it works, what it does.

Being a visual person, I explored what cancer actually looks like under a microscope. It’s quite beautiful for such an ugly disease. A paradox. Cells are mostly colorless; labs use vibrant dyes to show the contrast between healthy and abnormal cells. What I found was something quite striking and eerie. It was captivating, even beautiful. How can something so malignant possess so much beauty?

To process this paradox and find meaning, I created a body of work dedicated to my family, friends, and strangers who have experienced cancer. Whether a...

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We all know that healthy eating and exercise are good for us, but did you know that an Oklahoman is the one who developed that concept? Yes, Oklahoma Hall of Fame Member Dr. Kenneth Cooper pioneered the theory of exercise for good health and coined the term “aerobics,” which has now been translated into more than 40 languages. It’s incredible to think that this concept, which is very much a part of our daily lives (whether we follow it or not), was developed by a fellow Oklahoman and is now accepted worldwide.

On September 20th, our Friends of the Medallion enjoyed a special event featuring Dr. Cooper as the speaker. We met at Cooper Hotel and were able to see his vision in action through the Cooper Institute, a research facility, Cooper Clinic, where people from across the country receive yearly...

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Summer Thursday has come to a close as school gets back in session and September is upon us, but we couldn’t be happier with the summer we had! We saw so many of our returning visitors and met some wonderful new people in our community. Each program brought in a great group of visitors that we hope enjoyed it as much as we did! Thank you for making the 2018 Summer Thursdays so exciting and fun! We loved having you at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame!

We worked with some awesome community partners that we are very grateful to and hope to work with again. We loved having the Central OK Humane Society, the Thunder Rolling Book Bus and Thunder Girls, OSUOKC Farmers Market, and the OKC Ballet back for Summer Thursdays. We also had the chance to work with new partners such as the Toy and Action Figure Museum, YMCA, and Hearts for Hearing. Working with community partners allowed us to reach so many more visitors and share both missions with the community.

Thank you to all of those who visited and came to enjoy the summer with us! It was definitely a fun one and we hope you all...

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There’s nothing quite like rounding out another Oklahoma summer with local brew, good eats, music, and 400 of your greatest friends. Yes, it may sound like an evening at one of your favorite spots. But no! The Second Century Board, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, just wrapped our 4th annual Born & Brewed event on Friday, August 17th.

This evening has, for the past two years, been a highlight of my summer. And, if you attended, I hope you felt the same. For me, I find that returning to work on Mondays and working alongside a younger crowd, I always feel a little more “hip” in my content in contribute to the routine “water cooler” chat! Why? Allow me to share.

1. Local. Craft. Brew. This year we had over 15 breweries share their love for craft beer. Not only are they providing samples of some of their favorites from their shop, they are providing the science and methodology for how they came to this particular taste, what it means when they say “sour,” and why passion makes a great brew! I’m not what you would call a “beer enthusiast,” but I...

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Oh the places we'll go! Where to begin with Stories Across Our State? How about Tishomingo, with a jaunt through Coalgate, Atoka, Heavener, Stigler, Wilburton, Antlers, and Hugo. And don’t forget Hollis out west! What a great program this has been this year! We met wonderful people throughout these towns and experienced so many wonderful stories and activities.

Stories Across Our State is a free program designed to get kids excited about literacy and teach them about our state's history and heritage. Thanks to the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation we were able to meet 230 wonderful people in 9 different towns. Each librarian helped us coordinate and reach as many people as possible with this program. We spent time talking with visitors and exploring the towns we were in. Because of this program, we were also able to give a copy of Jane McKellips’s Dust Storm to each child that attended the program!

Travelling with us was Christopher Nick, the illustrator of Dust Storm! At each location, Christopher did a presentation for the visitors that went...

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Today we had the Oklahoma City Ballet here and we loved seeing so many of our guests dressed up to join in the fun! We started with the chicken dance, but were doing plies by the end of it! Our visitors loved making their own ballerinas with teaching artist Al Bostic as well. Dance Day was a great experience and we loved having a great partner and so many dressed up guests!

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One of the highlights of Hoops day is seeing how excited children got when they heard they would get a free book from the Thunder Bus! Combing one of their favorite sports team, an awesome colorful bus, and letting them choose their new favorite book while getting to meet the Thunder Girls is a great experience to witness. Volunteers from Ascent helped us celebrate Hoops Day too by shooting baskets with kids as they waited their turn on the Book Bus. Our visitors loved having more people to play games in the Courtyard with and we are so appreciative of our volunteers and partners. Hoops Day was another awesome day here at the Hall of Fame!

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Have you ever ridden a dinosaur? I know that is a strange question to ask someone….but have you ever ridden a dinosaur? I have. And it was awesome. Today’s Summer Thursday’s theme was Dinosaur Day and it was legendary! Straight up pre-historic! I got to interview a special T-Rex and we learned that they can’t touch their toes.

We had over 250 guests exploring the Jungle…I mean Museum! First, we read “Me Want Pet” by Oklahoma author Tammi Sauer. We had a very special guest reader today, Oklahoma Hall of Fame Member class of 2013, Reggie Whitten! Mr. Whitten even brought fossils with him today! Next, we created stegosaurus headbands with teacher artist Al Bostick.

The last activity of the day was planting dinosaur food (carrot seeds) into ice cream cones with our friend Cody Yount with the OSU OKC Farmer’s Market! We could not have greeted so many faces today without the help of our volunteers from Ascent! Thank you guys! We had a full day and can’t wait for next week’s Summer Thursday! Come back and see us!

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Helping Hands!

What a spectacular day of crafts, courtyard chalking, story time, popsicles and watching the movie UP! So many guests got into the spirit of the day and were so helpful! Our friends at Hearts for Hearing gave us great insight into the importance of helping others and we learned a lot about the great work they do to help children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk for a lifetime. Take a minute today to help a friend, or even somebody you don't know! You will have a big impact!

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Oklahoma Born & Brewed

Question: What is better than sharing an evening with family, friends and fellow Oklahomans?

Answer: Nothing, and it’s easy to say that Oklahoma Born and Brewed is all of those things and more.

For those that have never attended, or even for those that have joined us the past three years, Oklahoma Born and Brewed is a night like no other. The theme of the event every year is Oklahoma: from the food selection, flower arrangements, to the breweries, the event lives up to the theme and features the state’s best of the best.

The feature of the event is you guessed it, the breweries. With the help of the Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma we secure the best breweries, currently brewing or in progress, to feature at the event. This year we’re excited to have 14 breweries joining us including (405) Brewing Co., Angry Scotsman Brewing, Anthem Brewing, Bricktown Brewery, Cabin Boys Brewery, Coop Ale...

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Bring a Buddy

Every day is better with a buddy! We had such an awesome day with a story about a shark and his buddy, a craft where we made a transparent squid, and settled into the theater for a classic buddy movie, Fox & the Hound. What a great way to spend time with a buddy!

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As part of Chesapeake Energy’s HELP program, members of the Marketing Accounting team partnered with the Oklahoma Hall of Fame to assist with their weekly Summer Thursday event on July 19th. This week’s theme was Dog Days of Summer, and it lived up to its name because it ended up being one of the hottest days of the summer! What better way to spend the day than in the nice air conditioning and getting to play with puppies??

Activities included story time, getting to craft our very own puppy, exploring the museum’s many displays, as well as getting to meet some furry friends from the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. The HELPers had a blast helping out the kids with their puppy dog crafts and learning about all of the things the Hall of Fame has been doing in the community. We are excited that we got to help out with such a fun event and look forward to coming back and visiting very soon!

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Friends of the Medallion

On June 21st, the Friend of the Medallion hosted an event at the Aubrey K. McClendon Whitewater Center at the downtown Riversport Adventure Park. The event speakers talked about the past, present, and future of the OKC MAPS projects. Highlighting the event was keynote speaker Ron Norick, former Oklahoma City mayor and visionary of the MAPS program.

Mayor Norick provided insightful background on the history of MAPS including the precipitous event that kicked it off; the failure to land a contract with United Airlines maintenance in Oklahoma City. He spoke on how he and the planning team recovered from this disappointment and held their vision strong. Tom McDaniel, chairman of the MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board, told of the implementation and planning to get MAPS to where it is today. In addition to the well-known MAPS 3 projects such as the Convention Center, Scissortail Park and Streetcar, the project also have opened 2 new Senior Health and Wellness Centers with an additional 2 planned to open by 2021.

Mike Knopp concluded the event detailing the origins of the...

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Katie Brown

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame…What an unexpected treasure! I am beyond blessed to have been a part of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame these past weeks. I am honored to have been able to spend this time with such amazing people in this incredible place. The staff here are the very picture of excellence and show a true love and a singular focus for their mission. The Hall of Fame is inspiring generations of Oklahomans to do more and be more. No matter how old we get, we should never stop learning and I have learned so much during my time here!

Being the Educator in Residence has been a joy for me and an experience I will never forget. I love seeing the awe on the faces of the children as they move from room to room. I love watching them point to portraits with big round eyes and ask, “Who is that?”. I am proud to be part of a place that puts education at the top of the list and goes above and beyond to connect Oklahoma’s students to the stories that have made our state what it is today! I hope that my small contribution serves the Hall of Fame and the schools in our state well....

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We had such a great day with Route 66 Day! Oral enjoyed reading so much that he did it again and all of our guests helped him with the story of Route 66. We had OSUOKC Farmer’s Market in to help us plant again and our visitors loved it! Each kid got to take home their own plant and Cody from the Farmer’s Market taught them how to care for it. We also had volunteers from BKD here to help us today and that was great! They were such a great help and our visitors loved getting to meet, craft, and plant with them!

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What a great day!

Stars & Stripes Day was such a fun experience for all of our guests! We had our development officer Oral Blankson reading and the kids loved helping him act the book out. We all got to make our own shooting stars during craft time too. All at once each of the kids rose their red, white, and blue stars up in the air and made a “WHOOSH” sound as their stars flew! We watched the classic This is America Charlie Brown to celebrate the 4th of July. We had such an enjoyable day with our guests!

It may be hot outside, but it is always cool at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame!

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Whew! Am I tired! We did so much moving today that I could use a nap! It is funny though, I feel GREAT! There were so many smiling faces here today, it was so fun.

Our director of museum experience Marissa Raglin reading our story, Froggy Bottom Blues, and making all of our visitors into an awesome band!

Our partners at the YMCA did great leading our guests through exercises! It was great to see so many kids and their parents get active and enjoy the class together with such engaging leaders from the YMCA!

I have to admit, I also liked sitting in the Chesapeake Oklahoma Theater watching Madagascar! See you next week!

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What a great day celebrating all things Superhero! We had Kevin Stark from the Toy and Action Figure Museum and he read to all of our guests and then helped them create their own villain and superhero. All of the guests got creative so our superhero had a toucan nose and fox ears! The Incredibles played in the theater and we made the coolest craft and learned a lot about how to make colors out of other colors. Needless to say, we had a great time today! Remember...YOU are the HERO of your OWN story!

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The Second Century Board had the honor of hosting Gary England to present on his life, his career and Oklahoma weather. England has made many contributions to Oklahoma and beyond through his innovations in weather technology, many severe weather broadcasts, and of course his appearance in the movie Twister.

After growing up in Seiling, OK, England joined the Navy but after his time serving was happy to return to his home state to attend college at the University of Oklahoma. After graduating, he spent a short stint of his career in New Orleans but again couldn’t wait to get back home, “the grass is always greener in… Oklahoma” said England.

When asked about memorable TV moments England had lots of stories but said “the things that make you grow in TV and help the viewers connect are often just the real moments that happen by accident.” When asked about his developments in weather technology and what motivated him he said “I started everyday asking myself how can we make things better? How can we save lives?” Great...

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Today Governor Keating came to read his book Will Rogers: Our American Wordsmith for Cowboy Day! Our visitors loved hearing from such an inspiring Oklahoma legend. Governor Keating stayed after and spoke with many guests and the kids loved getting to meet him. There were some awesome crafts designed by some creative kids! After popcorn and a movie, we loved planting our own flowers with help from OSU Farmers Market to take home!We had such a great crowd for Cowboy Day and we are thankful to both our guests and Oklahoma Hall of Fame reader! We had a Yippie Ki-Yea Day!

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Ikbi means “to create” in the Chickasaw and Choctaw languages. In our new exhibit; IKBI: Chickasaws and Choctaws Sharing Our History and Culture Through Art, it was an honor to work with the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations to curate an incredible temporary exhibition that showcases the incredible talent and rich heritage of each Nation. This exhibition would not have come together without the hands of many, including Laura Stewart, executive officer of the Arts and Humanities Division of the Chickasaw Nation and Verree Shaw, marketing director of the Choctaw Nation.

Here are two beautiful works created by talented artists included in Ikbi, on display May 31 through September 22, 2018.

Joanna Underwood Blackburn is a contemporary artist inspired by tribal lifeways and designs of the Southeast. Her modern artwork depicts themes of nature, textures, and patterns. Joanna studied graphic design at the University of Oklahoma where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. While there, she was introduced to various art disciplines including ceramic sculpture. This...

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All Star Day!

All Star Day was so much fun! Despite the weather being soggy and wet, we had a great crowd. Teaching artist Brendon Williams led our guests through a craft about all stars. The craft was enjoyed by the kids, but the most interesting part was how Brendon kept everyone (including staff!) engaged with his process. To get the visitors to focus on him, Brendon used the gloomy weather and we made our own thunder! Brendon led everyone in a ‘boom, boom, clap’ that went right along with the weather and then he rapped to the rhythm about the craft that day! The energy in the room built until everyone was joining him!

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THANK YOU for a great ten days of Free Family Fun! During Spring Thing each day had its own theme so we really got to invest in those day by day. One day we were wearing cowboy boots and petting horses and the next we were playing with puppies in the Courtyard! Every visitor had the opportunity to dress up and really embrace those themes with us, which always enhances the experiences. Having different themes everyday also created a new experience each time for our return visitors. One of my favorite parts about these programs that run for several days straight is that we really get an opportunity to get to know our visitors, and encourage them to join us for our other programs in the future!

Overall, this program went so well! We had a chance to interact with so many new visitors and reconnect with a lot of our return guests. We always enjoy getting to spend days with our visitors, but being able to influence young kids to enjoy learning and exploring is my favorite part. Days like Hoops Day where kids are having a great time meeting Rumble, but also being encouraged to...

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Mid-Continent Life Insurance Construction

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame was founded in 1927 by Anna B. Korn to celebrate the wonderful history of Oklahoma and to honor Oklahomans for outstanding service to their state. The Oklahoma Memorial Association was the first name of the organization that would organize the induction ceremony and statehood banquet every year. Also happening in 1927, the Mid-Continent Life Insurance Building in Oklahoma City opened to the public and, just a few blocks away, Judge Robert A. Hefner, Sr. was moving his family into the home that would become known as the Hefner Mansion. The histories of these Oklahoma institutions would be connected over the course of the next 90 years. This is the history of the homes of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Robert A. Hefner, Sr. first arrived in Indian Territory in 1906, to practice law in present-day Ardmore, Oklahoma. After seeing all of the opportunity Oklahoma had to offer, he moved his family from Texas to Ardmore in 1909. In 1926, Hefner, Sr. was elected a Justice of the State Supreme Court. This meant that he needed to relocate his family to Oklahoma...

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Class of 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 Class of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame! We had a great night of celebration and excitement as this deserving class was showcased to a full house of dignitaries, friends and family. This group truly personified our passion vision: The Oklahoma Hall of Fame believes there are no limits to what is possible. Every day we celebrate the legacy of inspring Oklahomans with all generations because Oklahomans are changing the world!

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Inspiring the Next Generation

At the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, we believe there are no limits to what is possible. Every day we celebrate the legacy of inspiring Oklahomans with all generations because Oklahomans are changing the world. We strive to ensure that people in all 77 counties know that they can make a difference in our state, our country, and our world. Each of our organization’s programs strive to accomplish that goal.

The Oklahoma Hall of Fame addresses the need to build character, pride, and community to facilitate the growth of our youth in a positive environment. By experiencing our state’s rich history and heritage through its people, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame inspires people to reach their full potential.

Our mission now lives larger and louder than ever through our publications and growing presence on social media and digital platforms. Today you can search and find the “how to” of anything from changing a flat tire to building a drone. So, what is our “how to”? When people visit the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, they leave having learned the five characteristics of all...

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Inspiration

For two weeks this fall, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Gaylord-Pickens Museum was transformed into the perfect family fall fun zone. Daily story time, crafts, movies, and exploring the hay maze to find a special prize made for two great weeks of smiles and good times for all...Fall Y'All! Here are some highlights from our great staff who had a blast with our guests!

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Now Oklahoma students have one more reason to read about the accomplished Oklahomans depicted in our I Am Oklahoma Children's Series - all five of the current titles have been added to the Accelerated Reader list! These books tell the stories of opera singer Leona Mitchell, scientist Jordan Tang and more.

Accelerated Reader is software for K-12 schools for monitoring the practice of reading. Students select books on their reading level, read independently, and take an independent comprehension test on the computer. Each book is worth a certain number of points based on its length and reading level.

You can get copies of the I Am Oklahoma Children's Series from our Museum Store, bookstores statewide and Amazon.com.

Click here to learn more about our publishing arm Oklahoma Heritage Association Publishing. We are the leader in publishing Oklahoma's history!

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Last week we had the honor of inducting six outstanding individuals to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, recognizing them with the state's highest honor. The 2016 honorees were: Rita Bly Aragon, Michael Burrage, Dan Dillingham, Becky Dixon, Kelli O'Hara and Russell Westbrook.

The Induction Ceremony included speeches from each of the honorees and biographical video vignettes. Kelli O'Hara entertained the sold out crowd with two musical numbers, V. Burns Hargis and Mike Turpen emceed the event.

Watch the 89th Annual Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony On Demand on Cox, Sunday, November 27 at 6:00 p.m. on KAUT-TV and Saturday, December 17 at 4 p.m. on OETA.

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