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5 Fun Facts About July 16 In Oklahoma History

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

1. On July 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state in the United States, after merging with the Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.

2. In 1933, the public enemy era in Oklahoma came to an end when notorious outlaw George "Machine Gun" Kelly was captured by the FBI in Memphis, Tennessee. Kelly had been on the run since 1930 and was considered one of the most dangerous criminals in the country.

3. On July 16, 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was detonated in Alamogordo, New Mexico, as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. Many of the scientists who worked on the project had ties to Oklahoma, including project leader J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had taught at the University of Oklahoma.

4. In 1965, the town of Tishomingo in southern Oklahoma became the site of the first nuclear power plant in the state. The plant, named the Redbud Nuclear Power Station, operated until 1993 and was decommissioned in 1997.

5. On July 16, 1979, legendary Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkinson died at the age of 63. Wilkinson led the Sooners to three national championships and a record 47 consecutive wins from 1953-1957, the longest winning streak in college football history. He was also a prominent civic leader and served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1951-1952.
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