September 5, 1953

Oklahoma-song book
The first official song of the State of Oklahoma was Oklahoma: A Toast until the song was changed to Oklahoma! in 1953.

After the popularity of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical Oklahoma!, Oklahoma State Representative George Nigh (later the 22nd governor of Oklahoma) introduced a bill to change the state song to the main title from the musical. Governor Johnston Murray approved the bill on September 5, 1953. Prior to this, the official state song was “Oklahoma (A Toast)” written in 1905 by Harriet Parker Camden.

The statute for the state song is available on the Oklahoma State Courts Network.

For more information on Governor George Nigh, view the finding aid and select archival materials on Digital Prairie.

Photo credit: Oklahoma State Archives