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5 Fun Facts About July 17 In Oklahoma History

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

1. Oklahoma Territory was formed on July 17, 1890, when President Benjamin Harrison signed the Organic Act into law. The territory was the result of the merger of the Indian Territory and Oklahoma Station.

2. On July 17, 1954, a massive tornado struck the city of Chelsea in northeastern Oklahoma, killing seven and injuring more than 360. The tornado was rated F4 on the Fujita scale, which is used to measure the severity of tornadoes.

3. A significant moment in the history of civil rights in Oklahoma occurred on July 17, 1948, when Governor Roy J. Turner signed a bill abolishing segregation in the state's public schools. Oklahoma was one of the first states in the country to end segregation in its schools.

4. Oklahoma City firefighter Major Andrew Branson died on July 17, 2015, while battling a massive fire at an apartment complex. Branson was the first Oklahoma City firefighter to die in the line of duty since 2012.

5. The Oklahoma City Thunder made their first-ever draft pick on July 17, 2008, selecting Russell Westbrook fourth overall. Westbrook would go on to become one of the most significant players in franchise history and win the NBA MVP award in 2017.
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