How Oklahoma City Was Born in a Day

The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis. Anderson (a former book critic for New York) argues that humble Oklahoma City — 27th most populous city in the country, home of the American Banjo Museum — is, in fact, one of the most secretly interesting places in the world.

That claim might seem outlandish, but the historical evidence backs it up.

Consider, for instance, OKC’s bizarre origin story. It reads less like an episode of actual history than a spaghetti western written by a faulty algorithm. The place was founded on a single afternoon, in an event called the Land Run, during which a formerly empty patch of prairie became a city of 10,000. The chaos that ensued was so alarming that the U.S. government never allowed anything quite like it to happen again. This formative absurdity set the tone for everything that followed: the shootouts and power grabs and even — eventually — NBA basketball. Today, OKC remains a city of booms and busts, of grand gambles, huge wins, and crushing losses. It is a place where oil executives have been reduced, overnight, to mowing people’s lawns, where the sky spawns tornadoes wider than Manhattan, and where humans as different as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook improbably co-existed and thrived.

And it all started on a single day
— Read on nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/how-oklahoma-city-was-born-in-a-day.html

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