Asher, Oklahoma is a small town in Pottawatomie County with a population of just under 500. However, despite its small size, there have been a number of significant historical events that have taken place near Asher.
1. Indian Removal Act of 1830: In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed this act which authorized the forced removal of Native American tribes from their ancestral lands. One of the affected tribes was the Seminole Nation, which had a large presence in what would later become Oklahoma. Many Seminole people were forcibly removed from their lands and relocated to present-day Oklahoma. The Trail of Tears, which was the forced migration of Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw tribes, also passed near Asher.
2. Land Run of 1889: In 1889, the federal government opened unassigned lands in Indian Territory for settlement. This event is known as the Land Run of 1889, and thousands of people rushed to claim their free land. Many settlers arrived in the area around Asher during this time, establishing farms and homesteads.
3. Battle of the Washita River: On November 27, 1868, Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Black Kettle on the Washita River, near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma. The attack resulted in the deaths of around 150 Cheyenne, including women and children. The site of the battle is now a National Historic Site, and some of the Cheyenne involved in the battle are buried in a nearby cemetery.
4. The Aviation School: The Airline Mechanic and Technician School (AMTS) in Shawnee, Oklahoma was the first of its kind in the United States, established in 1927. The aviation school trained World War II pilots and served as an important center for aviation production during the war. After the war, it became the Spartan School of Aeronautics, which is still in operation today.
5. The Great Depression: The Great Depression that began in 1929 had a significant impact on Oklahoma, as the state was largely dependent on agriculture. Many farmers in the area around Asher suffered during this time, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established to provide work relief for unemployed men. A CCC camp was established near the town, where workers cleared land, dug ponds, and built roads.
6. The Civil Rights Movement: Oklahoma played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, which aimed to end segregation and discrimination against African Americans. Activists and groups like the NAACP worked to end discriminatory practices in schools, housing, and employment. In nearby Norman, the University of Oklahoma became one of the first universities in the South to integrate its student body in 1950.
7. Tinker Air Force Base: Located near Midwest City, Tinker Air Force Base was established in 1941 as a repair and overhaul facility for military aircraft. It has since grown to become one of the largest military installations in the world, employing more than 26,000 civilians and military personnel. The base played a key role in the Cold War and continues to provide logistical support for military operations around the world.
Overall, Asher and the surrounding area have been witness to a number of significant historical events, from the forced removal of Native American tribes to the establishment of aviation schools and military installations. These events have helped shape the region and continue to be an important part of its history and identity.
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