Cherokee Strip Day

Cherokee Strip Day

September 16
September 16, 1893, was the date of the last and largest of the "land runs" that opened western Indian territories to white settlement. The Cherokee Strip encompassed more than six million acres of mostly grassy plains where white homesteaders wanted to graze their animals. Anyone who wanted to claim and settle the 160-acre parcels had to line up on the morning of September 16 and race to plant his flag at a chosen spot. The lure of free land attracted an estimated 100,000 prospective settlers, mostly young men who could withstand the harsh climate.
Cherokee Strip Day is a festival day in Oklahoma—particularly in the communities of Ponca City, Enid, and Perry—towns that sprang up as a result of the 1893 run. The celebrations last several days and include parades, picnics, dances, and rodeos.
See also Oklahoma Day
CONTACTS:
Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
15 Robinson St., Ste. 801
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
800-652-6552 or 405-521-2409; fax: 405-521-3992
www.oklatourism.gov
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 649
AnnivHol-2000, p. 156