FRMS Oklahoma Land Rush

The FRMS 8th Grade Social Studies classes held a simulation of the Oklahoma land rush! Students “rushed” the football field to stake their claims of land just as they did in 1889. It was a really creative lesson.

The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land rush into the Unassigned Lands. The area that was opened to settlement included all or part of the present-day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the US state of Oklahoma. The land run started at high noon on April 22, 1889, with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres (8,000 km²).

The Unassigned Lands were considered some of the best unoccupied public land in the United States. The Indian Appropriations Act of 1889 was passed and signed into law with an amendment by IllinoisRepresentative William McKendree Springer, that authorized President Benjamin Harrison to open the two million acres (8,000 km²) for settlement. The Homestead Act of 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, allowed legal settlers to claim lots up to 160 acres (0.65 km2) in size. Provided a settler lived on the land and improved it, the settler could then receive the title to the land.

More information on the Oklahoma Land Rush can be found here.

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