Home-grown Terror

For a sense of the continuity of the of the terrorist tradition in America, consider this actual sequence of events: The FBI smashes a dead-serious plot to overthrow the federal government and reveals that for more than a year the right-wing militias involved were undergoing army-style training, fired up by inflammatory talk radio. They Planned to use their bombs, rifles, and machine guns to wage guerrilla warfare on American cities, and they claimed friends and allies in government and the military.Read more »

Thomas Gilcrease And His Western Museum

How Creek Indian number 1501 repaid a debt

In August 1902 a twelve-year-old farm boy named Thomas Gilcrease, being one-eighth Creek Indian on his mother’s side, received a 160-acre allotment in the land of the Creek Nation, one of the Five Civilized Tribes, which occupied what yet remained of Indian Territory in America. Not long before, by act of Congress, the Creeks had ceased to be a self-governing tribe.Read more »

“Just What In The Hell Has Gone Wrong Here Anyhow?” Woody Guthrie and the American Dream

We seem to be in the midst of a Woody Guthrie boom. Its crest was the 1976 film Bound for Glory , which attracted considerable critical attention before it went out into shopping center cinemas across the land.Read more »

Rout Of The Varmints

At the time World War I was nearing its end, I was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as an officer-instructor in light field artillery (horse-drawn three-inch cannon known as French 75’s).Read more »

He Took The Bull By The Horns

In the early days of the century, a fearless cowboy named Bill Pickett roused audiences on two continents by giving the fledgling sport of rodeo one of its most exciting events.

Ask nearly any American today to define the word bulldogging and he’ll do a pretty fair job. So, for that matter, will many Europeans. But even as recently as the late 1800s, rodeo was still not much more than a Spanish word meaning roundup , and bulldogging was a term familiar only to a select group—people who knew Bill Pickett. Read more »

Land!

When the Oklahoma District was opened, boomers staked their claims. Sooners staked theirs sooner. Thousands of both were on hand, all with a single aim:

Among the fifty states, no other had a beginning like Oklahoma’s. Its settlers did not arrive singly, or in small groups, but in masses of thousands, all at once. Many of them, moreover, rushed to areas where cities were likely to develop, hoping that the claims they staked out would fall on a choice corner of a still-unplatted town; in order to run their lines for lots and streets, surveyors had to elbow their way through mobs of squatters.Read more »