A new law directs education officials to inculcate the Oklahoma City bombing into history curricula. That’s good, but we hope it doesn’t start a wave of legislative directives on history lessons.
Such as why Texlahoma didn’t become the 49th state.
Texlahoma was a pre-World War II proposal to combine 46 counties in Texas with 23 in western Oklahoma into a state. The capital would have been Amarillo. The idea is one of many — some silly, some serious — covered in "Lost States: True Stories of Texlahoma, Translyvania and Other States That Never Made It” by Michael J. Trinklein.
Sentiment for such a state, possibly including parts of Kansas, has flared through the years as residents in the area feel left out. Similar sentiment in western Illinois, Trinklein writes, led to the idea for a "Forgottonia.”
History books generally don’t mention Texlahoma, but they do cover the 1906 proposal to create a state of Oklahoma next to a state of Sequoyah. Trinklein says Congress nixed that plan as a slap at Indians. But there’s no evidence that Sequoyah would have been less dominated by whites as Oklahoma itself.
A history text titled "The Story of Oklahoma” blames partisan politics in Washington, not racism, for quashing the two-state plan. That book never mentions Texlahoma, but sources from the 1930s did; a term styled as "Tex-La-Homa” referred to Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Assuming Texlahoma had an income tax (Texas doesn’t), people in Guymon would be gearing up to send their returns to Amarillo about now.