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.
Science Museum Oklahoma is a center for learning with its Planetarium and a massive 70-foot (21 meter) diameter Dome Theater in addition to other hands-on, interactive galleries. Some of the museum galleries include the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame, the Kirkpatrick Air and Space Museum and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. The Air and Space museum has one of the most complete collections of historic aviation memorabilia in the country. In addition to displays, the museum is available for birthday parties, corporate events and it even hosts several excursions and day-camps for students throughout the year.
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.
One of its kind, the American Banjo Museum is home to a vast collection of music, media, documents and memorabilia. all connected to this instrument with origins in Africa. With over 300 banjos alone, the museum boasts the largest public exhibition them in the world. The banjo is said to have been introduced to this country by African slaves as it had derived from a similar instrument. Over the centuries, the banjo has come to win the hearts of musicians and music fans everywhere, and is today used in a range of musical genres like jazz, folk music, country music and bluegrass music. A visit to this museum will tell you more about this mystical five-stringed melody-maker.