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In 1889, over two million acres in present-day Oklahoma was opened to settlement by President Benjamin Harrison. However, land couldn't be claimed until after noon on April 22 of that year. Over 50,000 settlers lined up on that day, and when a canon was fired at noon it was off to the races to claim some land. This monument, designed by local artist Paul Moore, is at 1.5 scale, giving the pieces a larger-than-life appearance.
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.
The Will Rogers Park & Garden Center contains the Ed Lycan Conservatory, the Charles E. Sparks Rose Garden, the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum and the Will Rogers Exhibition Center. The entire park is truly a sight to behold with its lush green fields that cover over 130 acres and tons of botanical wonders spread throughout its trails. Visitors and residents are always here on balmy summer evenings to watch the sunset or to take a leisurely stroll. For more sporty activities, the park also contains a Frisbee-golf course and it is the location for the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
Martin Park provides a little natural respite for Oklahoma City's denizens with its nearly three miles of foot trails amongst thick foliage and plenty of local fauna. Visitors can reserve nature guides who describe the region's natural history or they can come alone to enjoy the tranquility. Either option notwithstanding, the park has informational stands along the way that tell you about native plants and animals. A couple of other relaxing activities include feeding turtles in the freshwater pond or taking a moment to bird watch. Highlights for the kids include 'Prairie Dog-Town' and the 'Squirrel Observatory', both are informative and fun. Whether you are alone or with the family, an afternoon strolling through the park is a great way to unwind. Admission is free.