Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory collectively entered the United States as Oklahoma, the 46th state. Oklahoma, with a name derived from the Choctaw Indian words okla, meaning “people,” and humma, meaning “red,” has a history of human occupation dating back fifteen thousand years. The United States acquired Oklahoma from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1907, Congress decided to admit Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory into the Union as a single state, with all Indians in the state become U.S. citizens.
Representatives of the two territories drafted a constitution, and on September 17, 1907, it was approved by voters of the two territories. On November 16, Oklahoma was welcomed into the United States by President Theodore Roosevelt. Oklahoma initially prospered as an agricultural state, but the drought years of the 1930s made the state part of the Dust Bowl. During the Depression, poor tenant farmers known as “Okies” were forced to travel west seeking better opportunities. In the 1940s, prosperity returned to Oklahoma, and oil production brought a major economic boom in the 1970s.
But none of this would have been possible if not for the action of the warring territories. It was only when the Indian territory and Oklahoma territory joined together to be a part of a bigger family – the United States – that they realized their ultimate dreams.
So it is with life. It is when one person joins another person, or one church joins another church, that the kingdom’s work can really be done.