City, seat (1907) of Cleveland county, central Oklahoma, U.S. The city is located on the South Canadian River, immediately southeast of Oklahoma City. Beginning as a tent city in April 1889 when Oklahoma was opened to white settlement, it was named for Aubrey Norman, a Santa Fe Railway surveyor. The city's development was assured when the University of Oklahoma was established there in 1890 on land donated by its citizens.
Oklahoma City is the home of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum andthe National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Oklahoma State Museum of History has an outstanding collection of Native American artifacts. The Oklahoma State Fair is held in the city each September, and State Fair Park is the scene of the International Finals Rodeo in January. Other annual events include the Red Earth Festival (Native American culture; June), a bluegrass festival (October), and several horse shows.
Myriad Botanical Gardens (1988), a 17-acre (7-hectare) recreational park located downtown, has gardens, an amphitheatre, and the seven-story Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. Other attractions include the Oklahoma City Zoo; the Harn Homestead, preserving an 1889 claim; the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame; and the Oklahoma City Art Museum. Omniplex, northeast of downtown, contains museums of science, aerospace, Native American culture, and photography, as well as art galleries,a planetarium, and gardens. The 1917 state capitol building is one of only a few in the country lacking a dome. Bricktown, once an industrial warehouse neighbourhood, was renovated in the 1990s into a popular restaurant, shopping, and entertainment district.