Tulsa Area History

We're Moving

central library remodel

The Central Library location will close this Friday, August 30th, for a two-year renovation. 

During the renovation, the Tulsa and Oklahoma collection will move to a temporary nonpublic facility at 44th and Sheridan. If your research requires browsing this collection, we will be taking appointments once our move is complete. In the meantime, research staff will continue to offer research services via text, IM, email, and phone.

Capital Punishment In Our State: A (Very) Brief History

legal executions in nebraska, kansas and oklahoma

According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma exectuted a total of 176 men and 3 women at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary between 1915 and 2011. Eighty-two were executed by electrocution, one by hanging (a federal prisoner), and 96 by lethal injection.

The last execution by electrocution took place in 1966. The first execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma occurred in 1990.

According to R. Michael Wilson, thirty-one men were hanged and thirty-six men were executed by firing squad in Indian Territory between 1840 and 1899.

New In The Digital Collections: A Mixed Bag Of Resources

bishop's

To prepare for the Central Library location close, Central employees are cleaning out desks and offices, organizing materials for the movers, and tying up loose ends as needed. 

In the Local History and Digital Collections Department, two or three items have been cleared from their temporary repository, and various digitization requests have been filled. 

Big Mac Prison Riot, 1973

aerial view of oklahoma state penitentiary

Riot-A violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd; an outbreak of violent civil disorder or lawlessness--Oxford English Dictionary 

Forty years ago, on July 27th, 1973, a violent prison riot erupted at the the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. It resulted in four deaths (one death was the result of a heart attack),  more than 20 injuries, the destruction of many buildings, and an estimated damage of over $20 million. 

J. J. Cale: 1938-2013

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Tulsa, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist  J. J. Cale died last week at the age of 74.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff writes, "His music took the edges off honky-tonk and blues, dressed them in a smoking jacket and ascot, and made them smooth."  You can hear Cale's smoking jacket and ascot adorned combination of blues, country, and rock on these cds:

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