Oklahoma chronology

The first Spanish conquistadores cross western Oklahoma seeking the fabled riches of Gran Quivira.

France claims vast inland empire that includes Oklahoma.

Treaties that ended the Seven Years’ War between Spain, France, and England award the Louisiana Territory, which includes Oklahoma, to Spain.

Napoleon forces Spain to cede Louisiana to France. Three years later, Napoleon sells Louisiana to the United States. The exact boundaries of the newly acquired territory are undefined.

The Oklahoma panhandle is part of the Mexican province of Texas, remaining a Mexican possession until Texas revolts against Mexican rule in 1836.

Under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico cedes over half of its national territory to the United States after the Mexican-American War. The cession includes Texas, and therefore the last portion of modern Oklahoma officially passes from Mexican to U.S. possession. Oklahoma becomes the 46th state of the United States of America.

The Mexican Revolution erupts, triggering refugee and labor migrations to the north.

On December 17 thirty-two Mexican miners die when a spark from one of the electric cutting machines ignites a gas explosion in the Old Town Company Mine in McAlester. The disaster claims five sets of brothers, all Mexicans.

Ongoing deportations of undocumented Mexicans take place, some of whom are apprehended upon leaving mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in Tulsa.

Since the mid-1990s there has been a noticeable increase in Mexican and other Latino migration to Oklahoma as a consequence of push factors resulting from free trade agreements with Mexico, and pull factors resulting from growing labor demand in areas of construction, agricultural, and service sector employment in Oklahoma.

The US Census Bureau estimates the Latino population in Oklahoma at 234,159, a 30 percent jump from 2000.

In May the American Dream Coalition is formed in response to proposed anti-immigrant legislation known as the Sensenbrenner Bill. Latinos Presentes! an Oklahoma Centennial Hispanic history project is launched.

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