United States of America, Quarter Dollar 2008

The state quarter from Oklahoma shows a bird and a flower (a Scissor-tailed flycatcher and Indian blankets). If there were a caption, it might be 'The Sooner State'. The byname came from the white settlers who staked their claims on the choicest pieces of land before the official opening date. To the American government, the territory of Oklahoma seemed worthless in the early 19th century. It was this used as an Indian Territory, where thousands of Native Americans who were expelled from their ancestral homelands were transported to from across North America. Whites were not allowed to settle within the Indian Territory. However, many of them came anyway. This increased presence of Whites prompted the United States Government in 1889 to release two million acres (about 8000 kmĀ²) to white settlers. This incited the 'Oklahoma Land Run', during which thousands came live in the new land. The winners were the 'sooners', those white settlers thus who had illegally claimed the Indian Lands before the official release.