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30 Facts about Oklahoma from 30 Years Ago

5:42 AM EDT on August 3, 2021

Over the last couple of weeks, Galen Culver and his pals at KFOR have been celebrating 30 years of the iconic special segment series "Is This A Great State or What?"

Although our state's politicians can make you give the "or What?" part of the name some serious consideration, the series does its best to tell charming, somewhat quirky stories about the little-known people in this state who are doing good in the community, and making Oklahoma a more tolerable place to live

Anyway, we'd like to commend Glen for 30 years of focusing on some of the positive aspects of this state. In honor of this achievement, we'd like to take it back to where it all began. So here's 30 facts about Oklahoma in 1991!

1. Azerbaijan Separated from the USSR

Somehow Stitt’s PR folks are going to spin this to be part of Oklahoma history.

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2. Sonic Became a Publicly Traded Company

Fun fact! The introduction of the hard seltzers made turned approximately 35 Oklahoma Sonic stockholders into billionaires overnight.

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3. The OKC Dodgers Had an Unfortunate Name

Because everyone knows the best way to remember the history of mass displacement of Native Americans and stolen land is by naming a minor league baseball team after the atrocity.

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4. Tara Blume Joined KFOR

The same year her husband began hosting “Is This a Great State or What?” and probably the last year she listened to a new album.

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5. The Oklahoma County Jail Opened  

It was built to hold 1,200 inmates, but as of April holds around 1,700 folks and probably a few dozen human rights violations.

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6. Frontier City Obtained the Wildcat Coaster

The roller coaster has been there for 30 years, but unfortunately, it’s only been open about a week without incident.

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7. White Water Bay Got Its Name

Though the park was already 10 years old, it was finally renamed to White Water Bay in 1991. Though the name has technically been changed since then, it will forever remain as “White Water Bay” in the hearts of Oklahomans because we’re stubborn.

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8. Chevrolet Introduced the Truck Promotion “Like a Rock”

Though the promotion only ran until 2004, it inspires 63% of Oklahoma truck decals to this day.

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9. The Web Browser Was Developed and the Internet Made Unrestricted

Which leads to you reading this article on your favorite obscure local social blog site 30 years later.

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10. Our Blessed Mother Reba McEntire Wins Top Female Vocalist of the Year

The Academy of Country Music bestowed this award upon our patron saint in 1991 and she’s deserved to win it every year since.

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11. Jim Inhofe Had a Birthday

Sure, Hayley. This is the same for EVERY year for EVERYbody. But come on, man. How often does a guy turn 800 years old?

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13. Your Favorite Goofy Ginger Woman TLO Contributor Was Born

You might have a different favorite ginger TLO contributor. You might have a different favorite woman TLO contributor. You might even have a different favorite goofy TLO contributor. But you have to admit, I’m your favorite goofy ginger woman TLO contributor.

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14. Gas Prices Were Freaking Low

Oklahoma gas prices were averaging at $1.20 per gallon in 1991. It would take a goddang global pandemic for the price to drop that low again.

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15. 19-year-old Kevin Stitt plucked his first eyebrow 

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16. You’d Probably See this Braum’s Commercial

I don’t know why they ever took it off the air.

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17. Iraqi Museums Were Looted in the 1991 Gulf War

And some of the artifacts were found in Hobby Lobby’s possession in 2014.

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18. Frankie Avalon Wanted You to Eat at Sonic

Real bad.

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19. Oklahoma Had the Heaviest Halloween Snowfall on Record

I’m sure all the kids loved that their moms made them wear long johns under their Little Mermaid and Red Power Ranger costumes.

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20. The USSR Fell

But the socialist, communist agenda continues to be a living, breathing threat that is attempting to undermine the rights of God-fearing Oklahoma corporations to exercise their rights as people.

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21. David Walters was Governor

According to the Oklahoma Gazette’s “Best of OKC” in 1991 he was also voted “Best State Official,” “Best Jerk,” and “Best Local Disappointment.” Par for the course when it comes to Oklahoma politicians. Speaking of which…

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22. There Were Some Strange “Best of OKC” Choices

Olive Garden was voted “Best Italian Food” and there was a category for “Best Socialite.” See if you compare to who was voted the “Best Dressed” man and woman in OKC in 1991.

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23. Enid Got a New Nickname

The Oklahoma legislature apparently named Enid the “Purple Martin Capitol of Oklahoma.” Do with that information what you will.

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24. The Oklahoma Legislature was Majority Democrat

I ain’t lying.

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25. Teachers Got a Break

Thanks to House Bill 1017, in 1991 teachers’ salaries got an increase schedule and K-6 class sizes were capped at 20 students…theoretically speaking.

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26. Nano-TLO Founder Patrick Riley Would’ve Turned 22

According to her ID, at least.

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27. Minimum Wage was $4.25

Which is still more than the current waitstaff/tipped minimum wage in Oklahoma.

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28. Oklahoma! The Musical Came Out on VHS

Having the ability to watch the musical from the comfort of your own home left Oklahoma high school theatre clubs with no choice but to diversify their repertoire (though not their costumes) and spend the next 10 years putting on “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”

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29. Barry Switzer was the Best Local OKC Maverick

Okay, I still cannot get over the bonkers categories of the “Best of OKC” in 1991. I don’t know what “Best Local OKC Maverick” is supposed to mean, but I’m sure Barry Switzer earned it.

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30. State Law Protected Smokers

In 1991, Oklahoma state law was changed and employers could no longer discriminate against employees who smoked cigarettes while off the clock. This set the precedent of protecting your goddang right to perform vape tricks in the car on your lunch break in this state.

Dr. Pepper Cans Looked Like This

I’m sure they still look like that if you reach far enough back in your grandma’s fridge.

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Hayley is aging like fine wine. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek and become a contributing member of TLO here.

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