If you’re looking to brush up on your Oklahoma trivia or you’re interested in learning new facts about your beloved state, we found some things to add to your Oklahoma fact sheet. From pushing shopping carts in grocery stores to adding money in parking meters, Oklahoma was the first to do these 12 things:
1. Oklahoma was the first state to install a parking meter.
The world's first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935.
2. Oklahoma was the birthplace of Route 66.
Route 66, America’s most beloved highway, was born right here in Oklahoma. Cyrus Avery, a Tulsa businessman and promoter of good roads, spearheaded the national committee that created the U.S. Highway System in 1926. We were the first state to design and install the distinctive historic markers and we are home to the first state-sponsored Route 66 Museum in the nation.
3. Oklahoma was the first home of liliger cubs.
The world's first male Liliger cub was born at a private zoo in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, on May 31, 2014. Liligers are the hybrid offspring of a male lion named Simba and a female liger named Akaria.
4. We were also the first to post the Yield sign.
In 1950, the world’s first yield sign was posted at the corner of First Street and Columbia Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
5. Oklahoma was the first state to allow Nitrogen for executions.
Oklahoma is the first state to approve gassing prisoners with nitrogen in order to carry out death penalty sentences. The state’s Republican Governor Mary Fallin signed the Oklahoma gassing capital punishment bill into law in 2015.
6. Oklahoma has the first and only museum devoted to the collection of lighters in the nation.
The National Lighter Museum in located in Guthrie and is the only museum of its kind in the world, dedicated to collecting and preserving the history of the evolution of lighters.
7. Oklahoma was the site of the first radio station west of the Mississippi (and the third in the nation).
First established in the 1920s, WKY still broadcasts today in a Spanish-speaking format, retaining its original call letters even though stations west of the Mississippi today begin with the letter “K” rather than “W”. Oklahoma City is also the birthplace for radio legend Ted Quillin, one of the noted “Seven Swingin’ Gentlemen” credited with introducing the Hollywood radio market to rock & roll.
8. Oklahoma is home to the first Sonic.
This is the very first Sonic Drive-in, which was founded in Shawnee in 1959.
9. And the first Quiktrip.
Burt Holmes convinced a former junior high school classmate, Chester Cadieux, to invest in and operate the store they decide to call QuikTrip. Burt and Chester opened the first QuikTrip on Sept. 25, 1958 in Tulsa.
10. We were the first to use shopping carts.
The first shopping cart was introduced on June 4, 1937. It was the invention of Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oklahoma. The invention did not catch on immediately. After hiring several male and female models to push his new invention around his store and demonstrate their utility, as well as greeters to explain their use, shopping carts became extremely popular.
11. The state capitol has the first and only working oil well in the United States.
The state capitol complex is the only state capitol grounds in the United States with active oil rigs.
12. We were also the first to sell Girl Scout cookies.
The first Girl Scout cookies ever sold were in Muskogee in 1917. They were personally baked by the Mistletoe Troop, and the profits were used to send gifts to Doughboys fighting World War I.