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5 Fun Facts About July 31 In Oklahoma History

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

1. On July 31, 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building in New York City. While this tragic event did not occur in Oklahoma, it did have ties to the state. One of the pilots aboard the plane, Lt. Colonel William Smith, was a graduate of Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) and had trained at the Enid Army Air Base.

2. July 31, 1954, saw the opening of the Will Rogers Turnpike (also known as the Turner Turnpike). The toll road spans over 88 miles between Tulsa and Oklahoma City and was named after beloved Oklahoma native, Will Rogers.

3. Oklahoma State Senator Brian Crain was born on July 31, 1962, in Tulsa. Crain served in the state senate for 12 years before resigning in 2017 to accept a position as a judge on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.

4. On July 31, 1976, the Stillwater Community Center officially opened its doors. The center serves as a hub for recreational activities, community events, and educational programs in Stillwater.

5. The Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed a new baby giraffe on July 31, 2019. The female calf was named Julu after being born on National Avocado Day (avocado is a favorite snack of giraffes). Julu is still a beloved resident of the zoo and can often be seen running and playing in her enclosure.
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