A PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF OAKLAHOMA TERRITORY.
OKLAHOMA DAY AT THE WORLD'S FAIR
Never in the history of any nation was a body of land acquired by conquest, purchase, or otherwise, which has been of more importance and richer in results to civilization than that great western empire stretching from the "Father of Waters" to the Pacific, known only remotely at one time as the Louisiana Country.
Once the world's highest civilization centered between the rugged cliffs and around the pyramids that rear their grim heads above the valley of the Nile, but the "course of empire" has moved westward and today the highest civilization that the world has ever known is represented in the scenes of stupendous activity now witnessed in the great Mississippi valley.
The United States, although not the "cradle of civilization," is representative of the "survival of the fittest," the best thought, the best energies, the highest ideals, the accumulative genius of the centuries, and the Mississippi valley represents the greatest possibilities of the United States.
Only a little more than one hundred years ago the country between the Great River and the ocean, called Louisiana, was untraversed by the foot-prints of civilization and practically unknown. Now that same county is the center of attraction for the world. Upon the very soil reclaimed from barbarism by the heroism of Lewis and Clark, and that sturdy host of pioneers that followed them, the greatest world's event in the history of nations is now transpiring. The progress of the ages is manifested in the World's Fair at St. Louis Missouri.
The civilization which has survived the wreck of time throughout the world, is now on exhibition within the borders of what was once vaguely known as Louisiana, the old and the new placed side by side, the relics of the ancient glory of the Nile with the modern wonders and greatness of the Mississippi.
The individual states of the purchase are exerting themselves in every conceivable way to show the wonderful resources and possibilities of that historic domain of which they form a part. Last in organization but not least in importance, Oklahoma stands among the commonwealths carved out of the Louisiana Purchase. Her rapid development has been unequalled in the history of state building. Those who have heretofore been unacquainted with her magnificence but have witnessed the exhibition of her resources and wonderful development at the World's Fair, have marvelled at her greatness. Oklahoma has secured September Sixth, Nineteen Hundred and Four, as a day to be set apart by the World's Fair management especially for her benefit.
Therefore, by the authority vested in me as Governor, I respectfully request that all the people of the territory join with the Oklahoma Commission in an effort on that occasion to place the grandeur of our beloved commonwealth before the world in a manner that will be a credit to our citizens.
Many years ago while Lewis and Clark were pushing their way across the continent from the banks of the Great River to the slope where " rolls the Oregon," Congress was dreaming of a plan to found an Indian empire beyond the Mississippi, where the Indians could establish themselves free from the white man's intrusion and build a state in which they could in their own way, unrestrained and unmolested, solve by degrees the problems of citizenship and government, the land thus set apart to be known as the Indian Territory. To this new empire the Indians were transferred by the government. Thither without waiting for the formality of an invitation, the white man transferred himself, anxious to assist the Indian in solving the problem of government and citizenship in the Trans-Mississippi Indian Empire. After the varied experiences of many years it seems that the problem has been solved. The indications are that in the not distant future the Indian Territory, with its great resources and wonderful possibilities, will be joined with Oklahoma in a state which in richness of soil, diversity and wealth of resources, will be second to no other state in the Mississippi Valley.
Therefore, I most cordially invite and earnestly request that the people of the Indian Territory join with the citizens of Oklahoma in celebrating Oklahoma Day.
Given under my hand and the Great seal of the Territory of Oklahoma, at the City of Guthrie, this Second day of August, Nineteen Hundred and Four."
T.B. Ferguson, Governor.