Posted by: Bob Fisher | May 20, 2009

Oklahoma: An Historical and Heritage Destination

oklahomathemusical

Many thanks from Travelosophy to Austin Tackett of Travel Oklahoma for this contribution to our Historical and Heritage Travel: Journeys Through Time series.

DESTINATION

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Cheyenne, OK

This national historic site marks the site of Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s 1868 surprise dawn attack on the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle.

The park’s new visitor center, which is now open to the public, features exhibits, a bookstore, and a 27-minute film Destiny at Dawn. Park ranger-led talks are available at the historic site’s overlook on Hwy 47A.

Contact the park for program schedules. A 1.5 mile self-guided trail is also available to visitors; proper shoes and clothing are advised. This site is a unit of the National Park Service.

A special “History Day” event will take place on Saturday, November 17, 2009.

SITE

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was created to honor “those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever” by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

The Memorial and Museum are dedicated to educating visitors about the impact of violence, informing about events surrounding the bombing, and inspiring hope and healing through lessons learned by those affected.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial includes the Field of Empty Chairs with each chair honoring one of the 168 people who were killed; the monumental bronze-clad Gates of Time; a shallow 318 foot long reflecting pool; the promontory and Survivor Tree; Rescuers Orchard and a special area for children.

The Memorial Grounds are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The 24,000 square foot interactive learning Memorial Museum tells the story of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Visitors to the museum hear the only known recording of the explosion, see the chaos and devastation immediately following the bombing and learn from family members of those killed, survivors and rescuers, in their own words, about recovery and rebuilding. Powerful video programs, moving oral histories, bomb-damaged artifacts and touching stories all combine to create a powerful and unforgettable experience.

EVENT

Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival, Cox Convention Center Oklahoma City, OK; Jun 5 – 7, 2009

The Red Earth Festival is an exciting event featuring people representing over 100 tribes from across North America, gathering to share the richness of their cultures with the world. Over the years Red Earth has matured into one of the most respected visual and performing arts events of its type, setting the standard for many of today’s Indian art shows. Includes dance competition, art market, parade and more.

INSTITUTION

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

Formerly known as the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, this museum has tripled in size since 1995. It features art from Prix de West Award winners, the finest contemporary artists in the nation, as well as significant works by master artists Charles Russell, Frederic Remington, and Albert Bierstadt, among others.

Outside, the stunning landscape boasts both botanical and natural gardens. Of the numerous heroic-sized works on display, visitors are awed by James Earle Fraser’s famous 18-foot sculpture, “The End of the Trail”; Colorado sculptor, Gerald Balciar’s 16,000-pound white marble cougar, aptly named “Canyon Princess”; and “Windows to the West,” five breathtaking Western landscapes by Albuquerque artist Wilson Hurley.

The complex also contains Prosperity Junction, a 14,000 square foot turn-of-the-century Western town, and such major exhibition galleries as The American Cowboy Gallery, The American Rodeo Gallery, and The Western Performers Gallery. The Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West Gallery features displays on the contributions of the Buffalo Soldier and the development of the West.

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