News from Voices of Oklahoma…

8th Anniversary of Voices of Oklahoma

It was April 10, 2010, when the oral history website Voices of Oklahoma was launched. We are very proud that our first storyteller was Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. Wilma’s story was recorded August 13, 2009, a short eight months before she passed on April 6, 2010.

Now eight years later, we have interviewed over 200 Oklahomans, fifty of whom are no longer with us. We feel an obligation to capture and publish as many stories as we can from the older generations, so they will not be lost to future generations. The website has become a valued source of unique historical information regularly accessed by students, educators, and the general public.

Voices of Oklahoma works in partnership with many foundations and individuals who have supported the mission from the very beginning. For the last three years, our relationship with the University of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities has advanced the work of preserving these oral histories for all of Oklahoma.

As we observe our eighth anniversary, we urge you and your family to record your personal stories. We are preserving our state’s legacy one voice at a time and you can do the same with your family’s legacy.


Listen to Wilma Mankiller tell her story in her own words. Despite the many challenges she faced, professionally and personally, she never gave up while leading her nation and setting an example for us all to admire.

We urge you to share our website Voices of Oklahoma with your friends and family as we move into our ninth year of preserving our state’s legacy one voice at a time.

History Byte-Black History Month

Photo taken at Katz Drug in Oklahoma City.

It was August 19, 1958, when thirteen young children sat down at the whites-only lunch counter of Katz drug store in Oklahoma City, OK. The protest helped start a movement which led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This history byte focuses on the children who remained committed to nonviolence.

Thank you for listening, and for sharing these great stories with your friends!

J. Paul Getty History Byte – Voices of Oklahoma

The new movie All the Money in the World tells the story of the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s 16-year-old grandson. The notorious billionaire had many ties to Tulsa, having lived at the Mayo Hotel for some time during the 1940s.  

In this History Byte, Bill Vandever and Henry Zarrow both share their recollections of meeting Getty: