Collinsville, Oklahoma is a small town located in the northeastern part of the state. Despite its size, it has a rich history that dates back to the late 1800s. Over the years, many significant events have taken place in or near the town that have helped shape the state and the country.
1. The Cherokee Outlet Land Run
On September 16, 1893, the Cherokee Outlet Land Run took place near Collinsville. This event was a race in which settlers could claim free land that had previously been owned by the Cherokee Nation. Over 100,000 people participated in the land run, and it resulted in the settlement of many towns and cities throughout Oklahoma, including Collinsville.
2. The Tulsa Race Massacre
The Tulsa Race Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Riot, took place just a few miles south of Collinsville in 1921. The massacre was sparked by an altercation between a black man and a white woman in an elevator, which led to a white mob attacking and killing hundreds of black residents in Tulsa's Greenwood District. The event is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history.
3. The Dust Bowl
In the 1930s, Oklahoma was hit hard by the Dust Bowl, a severe drought that led to massive dust storms and crop failures. Collinsville was one of the many towns that suffered during this time, as farmers struggled to grow crops and make ends meet. Many families were forced to leave the area in search of better opportunities.
4. The Tulsa State Fair
The Tulsa State Fair is an annual event that has been held near Collinsville since 1903. The fair attracts thousands of visitors each year and features a variety of attractions, including live music, carnival rides, and agricultural exhibits.
5. The Phillips 66 Company
The Phillips 66 Company, one of the largest oil companies in the world, was founded in nearby Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1917. The company helped spur the growth of the oil industry in the area, which had a significant impact on the local economy.
6. The Skiatook Lake Project
In the 1960s, the Skiatook Lake Project began construction just north of Collinsville. The project was intended to provide flood control, water supply, and recreational opportunities for the area. Today, Skiatook Lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and camping.
7. The Challenger Explosion
On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff, killing all seven crew members on board. One of the crew members, Ellison Onizuka, was a native of Hawaii, but he had strong ties to Oklahoma. He had attended the University of Oklahoma and had lived in Collinsville as a child. Today, a park in Collinsville is named in his honor.
In conclusion, Collinsville, Oklahoma, and the surrounding area have been the site of many significant historical events throughout the years. From the settlement of the land in the Cherokee Outlet Land Run to the tragedy of the Tulsa Race Massacre, to the growth of the oil industry, and the creation of Skiatook Lake, these events have shaped the town and its residents. The history of Collinsville serves as a reminder of the challenges and triumphs that have shaped the state and the country as a whole.
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