Originally overlooked by settlers, Oklahoma was set aside as "Indian Territory" in 1830, divided between the Five Civilized Tribes (Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Cherokee). Natives were relocated from the southeastern U.S. to Oklahoma; the forced march of the Cherokee resulted in over 4,000 deaths from disease, weather, exhaustion, and hunger and has since come to be known as the "Trail of Tears." In 1889, the U.S. government began opening up the unassigned land in Oklahoma for settlement in a series of "land runs." Those who broke the rules and crossed the border early came to be known as "sooners." This derogatory term has since been embraced affectionately by Oklahoma, which proudly bears the nickname "Sooner State."
Oklahoma became the 46th state of the U.S. in 1907, with Oklahoma City as its capital city. Today, Oklahoma is home to the largest Native American population in the U.S. and contains 39 Native American tribal headquarters. Oklahoma's blend of Native American and Western heritages has given it a culture unlike that of any other state.