Oklahoma's '89er Day Celebration, is an annual April event commemorating Oklahoma's first land run, held on April 22, 1889, to open the Unassigned Lands of central Oklahoma to non-Indian settlement. The celebration occurs in various cities contained within the historic boundaries of the Unassigned Lands, a 1.8-million-acre geographic area that was bordered by the Cherokee Outlet on the north, the Chickasaw Nation to the south, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation to the west, and the Shawnee, Sac and Fox, Iowa, Pawnee and Potawatomi reservations on the east.
The City of Guthrie, site of much of the Land Run's initial settlement and the first Territorial Capital, held the inaugural '89er Day Celebration on the famous land opening's first anniversary.
The ceremony, which continued in future years, received formal organization in 1911, when Guthrie citizens joined the town's Chamber of Commerce to host a parade and banquet. Past celebrations included lavish parades attended by thousands, as well as rodeos, horse races, and square dancing contests, along with the requisite '89er Day Queen crowning.
In 1935 the annual festivities received official sanction when the Oklahoma State Senate and House of Representatives authored Senate Concurrent Resolution Number 16, which provided for a "proper celebration" of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Unassigned Lands for settlement. This Resolution also named Guthrie as the "official" celebration site for the future.
THE CELEBRATION CONTINUES TODAY -- COME JOIN US!
For more information on the original homesteaders as well as the businesses that were started on April 22, 1889 you can research the following link:
The blue field is symbolic of a flag carried by Choctaw Indian soldiers during the civil war. The center shield, decorated with eagle feathers, is the traditional battle shield of an Osage Indian warrior. Two symbols of peace - the peace pipe and an olive branch - cover the buffalo hide shield.