On this day in 1889:
“The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land run into the Unassigned Lands and included all or part of the 2005 modern day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The land run started at high noon on April 22, 1889, with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres (8,000 km²).
The Unassigned Lands were considered some of the best unoccupied public land in the United States…Due to the Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, legal settlers could claim lots up to 160 acres (0.65 km2) in size. Provided a settler lived on the land and improved it, the settler could then receive the title to the land…Many settlers immediately started improving their new land or stood in line waiting to file their claim. Many children sold creek water to homesteaders waiting in line for five cents a cup, while other children gathered buffalo chips to provide fuel for cooking. By the second week, schools had opened and were being taught by volunteers paid by pupils’ parents until regular school districts could be established. Within one month, Oklahoma City had five banks and six newspapers.”
Pictured: A land rush in progress.