Two Years with a Big Impact on the Historic Sites of Oklahoma City were 1889 and 1995

Oklahoma City’s history was strongly influenced by two years in particular: 1889 and 1995. The first was the year of the historic Land Rush, which began with 50,000 homesteaders staking their claim in this wild land 10,000 of whom would unite to create Oklahoma City. The second date is perhaps more well known to Americans today. It was an April day in 1995 when American terrorists took the lives of 168 Americans (including 19 children) by bombing the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building. Both of these events have left their imprint on the city, and they both are remembered in historic sites of interest in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Travelers visiting Oklahoma City have a wide range of interesting sites to explore, as noted below.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
www.NationalCowboyMuseum.org

This museum, located in Oklahoma City, embraces one of the most popular eras in American history. It features one of the most all-encompassing collections of Western art in the world. Stunning works of art and sculpture capture the glory and expansion of the country westward. Visitors will be able to explore a wide variety of galleries, beautiful gardens, and enjoy a special children’s section. Included in the museum’s collection is a Native American gallery; Prosperity Junction, a frontier town replica; a gallery focused on performers of the West, which is a tribute to the movie cowboy; and a 1950s-era American Rodeo arena, which showcases the history of the working rodeo.

Oklahoma History Center
www.OKHistory.org

Located just across from the State Capitol (another historic site of interest in Oklahoma City) lies the Oklahoma History Center, where visitors can enjoy more than 200 years of the state’s history under one roof. Five state-of-the-art, Smithsonian-quality galleries trace the history of Oklahoma from its Native American heritage to modern day space flight and everything in between. The center’s interactive, multimedia exhibits cover everything from Civil War memorabilia to pioneer wagons to sunken riverboats to the invention of the shopping cart.

45th Infantry Division Museum
www.45thDivisionMuseum.com

Covering the military history of Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry Division, this museum offers displays from the 1500s through modern-day Desert Storm operations. It includes the country’s third largest collection of military firearms and the world’s largest assembly of property from Adolf Hitler.

Harm Homestead Museum
www.HarmHomestead.com

Claimed during the 1899 Land Rush, this ten-acre historic property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Comprised of seven buildings, the homestead’s grounds include a one-room schoolhouse, the first two-story house built in Oklahoma, and a home ordered directly from the Sears catalog, where Mr. Harm and his family once lived.

Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots
www.MuseumofWomenPilots.com

Named for the original number of members in its 1929 charter, this museum provides visitors with a unique collection of aviation memorabilia. This historic site is home to the international organization of women pilots and located near the Will Rogers World Airport.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
www.OklahomaCityNationalMemorial.org

Not only Oklahoma City, but the entire country, felt the effects of April 19, 1995, when American terrorists bombed the federal government building in the center of town. Today this stunning memorial and museum are dedicated to the individuals who lost their lives and their loved ones on that fateful day. The Memorial Museum allows visitors to follow the day through the voices, images, and articles of survivors, family members and rescue staff in a fitting tribute.

Oklahoma Railway Museum
www.OklahomaRailwayMuseum.org

Operating on the first and third Saturday of every month, visitors can enjoy a train ride on the old Missouri, Kansas, and Texas lines. The museum also offers a wide range of artifacts that will lure visitors in with its railway tales. The museum covers both railway and street rail transportation from the 19th and 20th centuries.

World of Wings Pigeon Museum
www.PigeonCenter.org

Making some unlikely, but family friendly, historic viewing is the World of Wings Pigeon Museum. Each summer children and their parents descend on the museum to learn the important roles that homing pigeons played in both World Wars I and II.

Whether travelers are exploring the Wild West or the role of carrier pigeons in World War II or just enjoying a ride aboard a restored train, the historic offerings on tap in Oklahoma City will not fail to entertain. They will also help teach and encourage visitors to remember the past that has come before.