Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the state of Oklahoma. The county seat ofOklahoma County,the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 620,602 as of July 2014.As of 2014, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,319,677, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,459,758 (Chamber of Commerce) residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area. Oklahoma City's city limits extend into Canadian, Cleveland, andPottawatomie counties, though much of those areas outside of the core Oklahoma County area are suburban or rural (watershed). The city ranks as the eighth-largest city in the United States by land area (including consolidated city-counties; it is the second-largest city in the United States by land area whose government is not consolidated with that of a county).
Oklahoma City, lying in the Great Plains region, features one of the largest livestock markets in the world. Oil, natural gas, petroleum products and related industries are the largest sector of the local economy. The city is situated in the middle of an active oil field and oil derricks dot the capitol grounds. The federal government employs large numbers of workers atTinker Air Force Base and the United States Department of Transportation's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (these two sites house several offices of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Department's Enterprise Service Center, respectively).
Oklahoma City is on the I-35 Corridor and is one of the primary travel corridors into neighboring Texas and Mexico. Located in the Frontier Country region of the state, the city's northeast section lies in an ecological region known as the Cross Timbers. The city was founded during the Land Run of 1889, and grew to a population of over 10,000 within hours of its founding. The city was the scene of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in which 168 people died. It was the deadliest terror attack in the history of the United States until the attacks of September 11, 2001, and remains the deadliest act ofdomestic terrorism in U.S. history.
The Science Museum Oklahoma (formerly Kirkpatrick Science and Air Space Museum at Omniplex) houses exhibits on science, aviation, and an IMAX theater. The museum formerly housed the International Photography Hall of Fame (IPHF) that exhibits photographs and artifacts from a large collection of cameras and other artifacts preserving the history of photography. IPHF honors those who have made significant contributions to the art and/or science of photography and relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 2013.
The Museum of Osteology houses more than 300 real animal skeletons. Focusing on the form and function of the skeletal system, this 7,000 sq ft (650 m2) museum displays hundreds of skulls and skeletons from all corners of the world. Exhibits include adaptation, locomotion, classification and diversity of the vertebrate kingdom. The Museum of Osteology is the only one of its kind in America.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has galleries of western art and is home to the Hall of Great Western Performers. In contrast, the city will also be home to The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum that began construction in 2009 (although completion of the facility has been held up due to insufficient funding), on the south side of Interstate 40, southeast from Bricktown.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial in the northern part of Oklahoma City's downtown was created as the inscription on its eastern gate of the Memorial reads, "to honor the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995"; the memorial was built on the land formerly occupied by the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building complex prior to its 1995 bombing. The outdoor Symbolic Memorial can be visited 24 hours a day for free, and the adjacent Memorial Museum, located in the former Journal Record building damaged by the bombing, can be entered for a small fee. The site is also home to the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, a non-partisan, nonprofit think tank devoted to the prevention of terrorism.
The American Banjo Museum located in the Bricktown Entertainment district is dedicated to preserving and promoting the music and heritage of America's native musical instrument – the banjo. With a collection valued at $3.5 million it is truly a national treasure. An interpretive exhibits tells the evolution of the banjo from its humble roots in American slavery, to bluegrass, to folk and world music.
The Oklahoma History Center is the history museum of the state of Oklahoma. Located across the street from the governor's mansion at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in northeast Oklahoma City, the museum opened in 2005 and is operated by the Oklahoma Historical Society. It preserves the history of Oklahoma from the prehistoric to the present day.