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5 Fun Facts About April 17 In Oklahoma History

---Learn Every Day: OK Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ok To: 618-270-4005---

1. On April 17, 1941, the town of Wilburton, Oklahoma was struck by a deadly tornado that caused severe damage to the town and killed 13 people. The tornado was part of a large outbreak of storms that swept through the central U.S. that month.

2. In 1953, the Oklahoma State Legislature voted to make the redbud tree the official state tree. The bill was signed into law by Governor Johnston Murray on April 17 of that year.

3. On April 17, 1927, oil was discovered in the town of Healdton, Oklahoma. The discovery sparked a boom in oil drilling in southern Oklahoma, which continued for several decades.

4. Civil rights activist Clara Luper led a sit-in at a Katz Drug Store in downtown Oklahoma City on April 17, 1958. The sit-in, which lasted several weeks, drew national attention and helped spur the nationwide movement to desegregate public spaces.

5. On April 17, 1863, a group of Confederate soldiers under the leadership of General William Quantrill attacked the town of Baxter Springs, Kansas, which was then a part of Oklahoma Territory. The attack, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 90 Union soldiers and civilians, was one of the most violent incidents of the Civil War in the region.
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