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April 19, 1995 was one of the darkest days in Oklahoma City's history. On that day Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was attacked by Timothy McVeigh, subsequently killing 168 people. The site contains two parts, the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and the museum itself. Inside the museum, you will see 168 empty chairs; one for each innocent victim, 19 of which included children. The most endearing tribute, however, is the part of the fence that has been left over from the makeshift memorial that stood here for five years after the attack. Today, visitors will see letters, photos, flowers and other precious sentiments left by survivors and visitors. Also prominently featured in the memorial is the Survivor Tree, it has become a symbol of hope to the people of Oklahoma City. Admission to the outside memorial is free, but the museum charges a fee.
For more than a century, this downtown cathedral has served the Catholic community in Oklahoma City. St. Paul's suffered significant damage as a result of the Murrah bombing, but has since rebuilt, dedicating one of the new structures to those who died on April 19. Guests are invited to attend one of three Sunday services at the cathedral, or visitors can come to its quiet sanctuary to pray and pay their respects to bombing victims.
This home was built for one of the Oklahoma City's most beloved benefactors, William Overholser. Now nearly a century old, this residence reminiscent of a French chateau gives visitors a glimpse into Oklahoma's early development. Overholser was a successful businessman and the first president of the city chamber of commerce. The interior of the home retains its original antique furnishings and some of the other highlights include imported rugs and decorative stained glass windows. Tours are given every hour starting at 10, and it is always closed during inclement weather.
This museum is housed in the ornate Mid-Continent Life Insurance building and its primary goal is to inform visitors about the many contributions that Oklahomans have provided to their state and country. Some of the highlights are the 'Bust Gallery', which displays the sculptured likenesses of famous Oklahomans like Maria Tallchief, Ralph Ellison and Mickey Mantle. There is also an interactive exhibit about the Chickasaw Nation and the Chesapeake Oklahoma Theater is located inside. Additionally, the museum provides a backdrop for other events such as field trips, workshops, weddings, etc.
The Harn Homestead and 1889ers Museum is where city benefactor William Fremont Harn developed this quintessential frontier homestead. The estate contains a one-room schoolhouse, a grandiose Victorian mansion and a petting-zoo/farm on the grounds. The land was claimed during the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 and today the complex offers hands-on education about the work ethic during the late 19th Century as well as providing field trips and day camps. The 9.4 acre facility is also available for corporate events, weddings, birthday parties, etc.
When President Teddy Roosevelt signed Oklahoma into statehood in the fall of 1907, its original capitol was in Guthrie. Three years later the capitol moved to Oklahoma City and strangely enough it is the only one with working oil rigs on the grounds. This building is the centerpiece of the entire Capitol Campus and both representative chambers are located in the east and west wings, respectively. The capitol historical society offers tours on the hour from 9am-3pm and reservations are highly recommended. Admission is free, and when your done with the campus and capitol, the trendy neighborhoods of Lincoln Terrace and Capitol View have many restaurants and bars that provide perfect places to rest your feet.
This Dutch Colonial mansion of 12 rooms and 14,000 square feet has been the home of the governor since 1928. There is an Oklahoma room with a carpet featuring the state seal. The Phillips Pavilion was added on the grounds for larger parties, because the inside dining area was only able to seat 60 for dinner. The new pavilion also features a gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs and Made-in-Oklahoma items. Guided tours are offered on Wednesdays. Admission is free.