This Day in Oklahoma History


01 July

Battle of Cabin Creek

American Civil War -- Col. James M. Williams of the First Kansas Colored Infantry led a Union supply train from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma (then Indian Territory). As he approached the crossing of Cabin Creek, he learned that Confederate Col. Stand Watie, with about 1,600 to 1,800 men intended to assault him there. Watie was waiting for about 1,500 reinforcements under the command of Brig. Gen. William L. Cabell to join him before attacking the supply train. Cabell, however, was detained due to high water on Grand River. Cabin Creek also had high water, preventing a crossing at first, but when it had receded enough, Williams drove the Confederates off with artillery fire and two cavalry charges. The wagon train continued to Fort Gibson and delivered the supplies, making it possible for the Union forces to maintain their presence in Indian territory and take the offensive that resulted in a victory at Honey Springs and the fall of Fort Smith, Arkansas. more...

Wednesday, July 01, 1863

02 July

Nathan Boone

Captain Boone, son of Daniel Boone, under orders of Gen. Zachary Taylor, Army Department Commander, in summer of 1843 lead exploratory expedition of western prairies. Party departed from Ft. Gibson May 14, and reached as far north as central Kansas. Party crossed Cimarron River July 1st, and made camp just south of River on Trader Creek on Sunday July 2nd, 1843. more...

Sunday, July 02, 1843

02 July

Battle of Locust Grove

Federal troops suddenly attacked a Confederate camp along the ridge near here are dawn, July 2, 1862. The surprised Confederates hardly returned fired before their officers and heavy supplies where captured. Yet, hot fighting in the woods lasted nearly all day. more...

Wednesday, July 02, 1862

04 July

Play Ball

In 1880 coal miners from Ohio and Pennsylvania settled near Krebs in Indian Territory, and baseball provided them a clean, healthful diversion from the rigors of mining. On July 4, 1882, the first organized baseball game was played at Krebs. A crowd of three hundred gathered to watch Krebs host nearby Savanna. Using sacks of hay and cans for bases, the game included fan violence, gambling, and anguish for the Krebs catcher, who played without a glove or mask. Krebs prevailed thirty-five to four. More...

Tuesday, July 04, 1882

05 July

Bill Doolin escapes from jail

The famous outlaw Bill Doolin escapes from an Oklahoma jail after only a few months of captivity. More...

Sunday, July 05, 1896

05 July

Charles Nathaniel Haskell Passes Away

Oklahoma's first Governor, Charles Nathaniel Haskell, passed away on this day in 1933. Charles Nathaniel Haskell , Democrat. Served from 1907 to 1911. Oklahoma's first State Governor was born March 13, 1860, in Putman County, Ohio. He was educated as a lawyer, admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1881, and began practice in Ottawa, Ohio. In 1901, he moved to Muskogee, Indian Territory, where he added to his law practice the promotion of railroads. He was a leader in the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention in 1906. After his term as Governor, from November 16, 1907 to January 9, 1911, he engaged in the oil business. He is buried in Muskogee. more...

Wednesday, July 05, 1933

05 July

Boise City Bombed

Boise City was the only city in the continental United States to be bombed during World War II. The bombing occurred on July 5, 1943, at approximately 12:30 a.m. by a B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber. This occurred because pilots performing target practice became disoriented and mistook the lights around the town square as their target. No one was killed in the attack (only practice bombs were used and the square was deserted at the time), but the pilots were embarrassed.

Monday, July 05, 1943

05 July

The Failure of Penn Square Bank

Penn Square Bank was a large commercial bank located in the Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. The bank made its name in high-risk energy loans during the late 1970s and early 1980s Oklahoma and Texas oil boom. As a result, primarily, of irresponsible lending practices, Penn Square Bank failed during July of 1982. Ranks as one of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC's) most publicized, most difficult, and most colorful bank resolutions. more...

Monday, July 05, 1982

09 July

Vance Air Force Base Gets Its Name

On this day the Enid Army Flying School was renamed after a local World War II hero and Medal of Honor winner, Lt. Col. Leon Robert Vance, Jr. more...

Saturday, July 09, 1949

10 July

45th Infantry Division Lands in Italy

The Thunderbirds trained at Fort Sill, OK; Camp Barkeley, TX; Fort Devens, MA; Pine Camp, NY; and Camp Pickett, VA. They had trained hard for their part in World War II, and on July 10, 1943 the division participated in their first of four amphibious landings. In all the division served 511 days in combat; fighting their way across Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. The National Guard Division of the southwest became highly regarded by both regular army forces and the enemy for their valiant efforts and fighting abilities. more...

Saturday, July 10, 1943

14 July

Dalton Gang Train Robbery

In what was their most daring deed to date, on Thursday July 14, 1892, eight members of the Dalton Gang held up the Missouri-Kansas-Texas train at Adair, I.T. Read More: Wikipedia

Thursday, July 14, 1892

15 July

Stafford Apollo-Soyuz

Oklahoman Thomas Patten Stafford logged his fourth space flight as Apollo commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission, July 15-24, 1975, a joint space flight culminating in the historic first meeting in space between American astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts. more...

Tuesday, July 15, 1975

16 July

Red River Bridge War

The Red River Bridge War was a 1931 bloodless boundary conflict between Oklahoma and Texas over an existing toll bridge and a new free bridge crossing the Red River. On this date Oklahoma governor "Alfalfa Bill" Murray ordered the new bridge open, by executive order. Murray issued this order on the grounds that the land on both sides of the river belonged to Oklahoma, per the Louisiana Purchase treaty of 1803. Murray sent highway crews across the new bridge to destroy the barricades. more...

Thursday, July 16, 1931

16 July

World's first parking meter installed

The world's first parking meter, known as Park-O-Meter No. 1, is installed on the southeast corner of what was then First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on this day in 1935. More... Carl C. Magee, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is generally credited with originating the parking meter. He filed for a patent for a "coin controlled parking meter" on May 13, 1935. More...

Tuesday, July 16, 1935

16 July

President Obama Visits the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution

President Barack Obama visits the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution outside of El Reno, Oklahoma, marking the first visit by a sitting President to a federal prison.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

17 July

Battle of Honey Springs

American Civil War -- Union and Confederate troops had frequently skirmished in the vicinity of Honey Springs Depot. The Union commander in the area, Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt, correctly surmised that Confederate forces, mostly Native American troops under the command of Brig. Gen. Douglas H. Cooper, were about to concentrate and would then attack his force at Fort Gibson. He decided to defeat the Confederates at Honey Springs Depot before they were joined by Brig. Gen. William Cabell's brigade, advancing from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Blunt began crossing the swollen Arkansas River on July 15, 1863, and, by midnight on July 16-17, he had a force of 3,000 men, composed of whites, Native Americans, and African Americans, marching toward Honey Springs. Blunt skirmished with Rebel troops early on the morning of the 17th, and by mid afternoon, full-scale fighting ensued. The Confederates had wet powder, causing misfires, and the problem intensified when rain began. After repulsing one attack, Cooper pulled his forces back to obtain new ammunition. In the meantime, Cooper began to experience command problems, and he learned that Blunt was about to turn his left flank. The Confederate retreat began, and although Cooper fought a rearguard action, many of those troops counterattacked, failed, and fled. Any possibility of the Confederates taking Fort Gibson was gone. Following this battle, Union forces controlled Indian Territory, north of the Arkansas River. more...

Friday, July 17, 1863

17 July

Delta Queen Docks at Port of Catoosa

The Delta Queen leaves Memphis for a seven day cruise up the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. She docks at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa on July 17. The celebration at the first arrival of a commercial passenger boat at Catoosa signals kickoff of the 25th Anniversary celebration. more...

Monday, July 17, 1995

22 July

Charles Urschel Kidnapping

On this day Charles F. Urschel, a wealthy businessman from Oklahoma City, was kidnapped by George "Machine Gun" Kelly. After a ransom of $200,000 was paid, Urschel was released. Kelly was later arrested on September 26, 1933. He was sentenced to life in prison, and served the remainder of his days at the Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. more...

Saturday, July 22, 1933

24 July

Red River Bridge War - Martial Law Declared

The Red River Bridge War was a 1931 bloodless boundary conflict between Oklahoma and Texas over an existing toll bridge and a new free bridge crossing the Red River. On this date Oklahoma Governor Murray declared martial law at the site, enforced by Oklahoma National Guardsmen. Murray directed the guardsmen to allow anyone to cross either bridge, after more...

Friday, July 24, 1931

24 July

Arkansas River Navigation System

Rivers and Harbors Act authorizing the building of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System is passed by Congress. The plan includes hydropower, flood control, recreation, and navigation from Catoosa, Oklahoma to the Mississippi River. more...

Wednesday, July 24, 1946

25 July

Happy Birthday Blog Oklahoma

Exploring Oklahoma History's sister site Blog Oklahoma was founded on this day as a web ring for Oklahoma bloggers. Blog Oklahoma has grown into a diverse and interesting community of people who blog in and about Oklahoma.

Friday, July 25, 2003

27 July

The 1973 McAlester Prison Riot and Fire

On this day a riot at McAlester Prison took three lives, caused several serious inquiries, burned 24 buildings started around 2:30 p.m. close to the mess hall. A good part of the prison which the earlier generation of prisoners helped build was destroyed by the later generation of prisoners. Sixty years of work was undone in a few hours, inflicting a heavy loss of over 20 million dollars on Oklahoma's taxpayers. More...

Friday, July 27, 1973