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THE SOONER YOU GO ... Great things to see at Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
A bust of Jim Thorpe. Thorpe, of the Sac & Fox tribe, was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist who called Oklahoma home.
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Last week, cub reporter Sullivan West reported on what he saw while visiting the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and a sampling of the sculptures on display. This week, Sullivan focused on pictures, portraits and more at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY – As I walked out of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame / Gaylord –Pickens Museum this week, I said, “Wow! That was fun. We should bring everybody else to come see it.”

And I meant it. There was a lot there and a lot of famous Oklahomans I did not know about, via portraits, photographs and other bits of information that lifted my pride for my state. In fact, I learned that a lot of famous people, more than I originally thought, lived in Oklahoma or were born in Oklahoma.

I had never been to this museum before, and it was right in my neighborhood. Housed in the four-story, former Mid-Continent Life Insurance building, there are plenty of portraits and photos and busts (like Jim Thorpe, above and the eyepatch-wearing pilot Wiley Post) featured, but even for kids there are things to do and interact with.

On the second floor, there is an area called Makerspace where can learn and invent things and learn what different jobs are like, from musician or oilfield worker. 

One let me be a pretend jet pilot which was a lot of fun. Some kids nearby pretended they were in a rock band on stage. It was really cool.

All parts of Oklahoma life were represented, from members of the Native tribes already here, to settlers who came later and helped build the state. Business executives, athletes, musicians, artists, social activists, educators and tribal leaders, are among the many people featured in this very informative museum.

I learned about Elizabeth Warren (a senator from Massachusetts and Oklahoma native now running as a Democrat for US president); NASA Apollo astronaut Thomas Stafford, originally from Weatherford; Oklahoma City jazz guitarist Charlie Christian; country/pop star Carrie Underwood of Checotah; Gen. Tommy Franks; and Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, from Pawhuska. 

There was also interesting art work, musical instruments, clothing and statements, from famous Oklahomans like Will Rogers, who said: "You've got to go out on a limb sometimes becauase that's where the fruit is."

The lady at the front was very friendly and helpful. And they had a gift shop full of books, trinkets and other things unique to our great state!

And just so you know, the 92nd Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony will be Thursday, November 21, 2019. For more information go to


Learning a lot at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame!
Thursday, April 11th, 2019 1:47pm to Saturday, April 11th, 2099 1:47pm
Oklahoma Hall of Fame / Gaylord-Pickens Museum
1400 Classen Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73106

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