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Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles, Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state.
Oklahoma also has a rich African American history. There were many black towns that thrived in the early 20th century because of black settlers moving from neighboring states, especially Kansas. The politician Edward P. McCabe encouraged black settlers to come to what was then Indian Territory. He discussed with President Theodore Roosevelt the possibility of making Oklahoma a majority-black state.
Social tensions were exacerbated by the revival of the Ku Klux Klan after 1915. The Tulsa Race Riot broke out in 1921, with whites attacking blacks. In one of the costliest episodes of racial violence in American history, sixteen hours of rioting resulted in 35 city blocks destroyed, $1.8 million in property damage, and a death toll estimated to be as high as 300 people. By the late 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan had declined to negligible influence within the state.
Annual ethnic festivals and events take place throughout the state such as Native American powwows and ceremonial events, and include festivals in Scottish, Irish, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Czech, Jewish, Arab, Mexican and African-American communities depicting cultural heritage or traditions. During a 10-day run in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma State Fair attracts close to one million people, and large pow-wows, Asian festivals, and Juneteenth celebrations are held in the city each year.
Oklahoma is an important producer of natural gas, aircraft, and food. The state ranks second in the nation for production of natural gas, and is the 27th-most agriculturally productive state, ranking 5th in production of wheat. Four Fortune 500 companies and two Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in Oklahoma, and it has been rated one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, with the 7th-lowest tax burden in 2007.
Oklahoma is located in a temperate region and experiences occasional extremes of temperature and precipitation typical in a continental climate. Most of the state lies in an area known as Tornado Alley characterized by frequent interaction between cold and warm air masses producing severe weather.
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