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Oklahoma History Center Traveling Exhibits

Visit the locations listed below to see Oklahoma History Center traveling exhibits.

All-Black Towns of Oklahoma

Shortly after the 1889 Land Run opened the Oklahoma Territory to settlement, black leaders hoped to make the newly-opened lands a home for oppressed African Americans throughout the United States. Oklahoma was promoted as the land where African Americans could come for the dream of "self-government." As many as fifty communities arose where only African Americans lived and governed themselves. Even though "Jim Crow" became the law of the land after statehood, All-Black towns survived and continue to thrive in modern Oklahoma.

On Exhibit

Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History
Stillwater, Oklahoma
February–March 2018

Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
February–March 2019

Black Hope/Black Dreams

Black Hope/Black Dreams features the accomplishments of three individuals who had a vision for greater opportunity and equality for themselves and others. Edward (Edwin) Preston McCabe arrived in Oklahoma Territory in 1889. He was experienced in finance, law, land development, and politics. McCabe sought a place where African Americans could establish their own towns similar to other groups of Americans. Roscoe Dunjee was a newspaperman, activist, humanitarian, and a man of extraordinary conviction and legendary accomplishment. Founded in 1915, Dunjee's newspaper was titled The Black Dispatch. Dunjee also took aim at the legal system and the issues, incidents, and laws that deprived African Americans of their rights of citizenship and human dignity. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher was the first African American admitted to the University of Oklahoma Law School on June 18, 1949, and the first to graduate in August 1951. Through her, African Americans succeeded in challenging the separate but equal doctrine as it applied to educational opportunities.

On Exhibit

Carl Albert State College
Poteau, Oklahoma
February 2018

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry

Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry was organized by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Dr. Jess C. Porter from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Part of the exhibit content was drawn from the Oklahoma State University library and features their Women of the Dust Bowl oral histories. Mount Holyoke College Library, which houses the Caroline Henderson papers (letters, essays and articles by a woman who farmed throughout the Dust Bowl) were also an inspiration for the exhibit.

On Exhibit

Sand Springs Cultural and Historical Museum
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Early June–early August 2017

General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum
Hobart, Oklahoma
September–October 2017

Bishop Kelley High School
Tulsa, Oklahoma
February–March 2018

Family Album: Photographs by Pierre Tartoue

One of the great powers of photography lies in its ability to connect us to our past and to signal how far we have come. They have the distinct ability to remind us of not only who we were, but also who we continue to be. The photographs of Pierre Tartoue (1885–1976) operate in this manner.

Tartoue was born in the harbor town of Saint-Nazaire on the western shores of France, and in his lifetime made his way across most of the continental United States. From the late 1930s to early 1950s he spent most of his time in Oklahoma, painting and producing photographs that witnessed a tremendous renaissance in American Indian communities, including the emergence of large intertribal expositions and powwows. This rebirth would not have been possible without strong multi-generation American Indian families.

Lincoln County Historical Society, Museum of Pioneer History
Chandler, Oklahoma
Late June–early September 2017

Bullock Texas State Museum
Austin, Texas
Late September–mid-November 2017

Mickey Mantle: Baseball Hero in Black and White

In the 1950s, increased television viewing and media coverage combined with his athleticism helped to propel Mickey Mantle into a superstar, often compared to Babe Ruth. The Oklahoma native known as the "Commerce Comet" exemplified the spirit of a hero through his determination, perseverance, and courage. The Daily Oklahoman extensively covered Mantle throughout his career and life. Oklahomans and baby boomers across the nation were captivated by his talent and sportsmanship. This exhibit explores his life through black and white photographs seen in newsprint and uses the original reporters' captions to highlight this Baseball Hall of Famer's milestones.

On Exhibit

Dobson Memorial Center Museum
Miami, Oklahoma
April–May 2017

Oklahoma Sports

This exciting traveling exhibit provides a window into the history and culture of Oklahoma sports. Many people take pride in the successes of our major colleges and the Oklahoma City Thunder, while every some communities live and die with their local high school football and basketball teams. Homegrown athletes who achieved national and international success such as Mickey Mantle, Shannon Miller, Jim Thorpe, and Johnny Bench are treated as Oklahoma royalty. From the warrior tradition of American Indians to the pioneering spirit of men and women who made the land run, Oklahoma's history is packed with competitors.

On Exhibit

Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History
Stillwater, Oklahoma
May–June 2017

Bring These and Other Exhibits to Your Community

The Oklahoma History Center offers several traveling exhibits on a variety of topics.

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