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With the start of a new year, Bob Blackburn of the Oklahoma Historical Society looks at some historic dates

He journeyed back about 150 years to the Battle of Honey Springs, a climactic engagement of the Civil War in Indian Territory that was fought on July 17, 1863.
by Bryan Painter Published: January 26, 2013

Allan Houser

Visitors to the Oklahoma History Center will notice a monumental bronze east of the front doors. It is called “Unconquered.”

In an oral interview in 1956, Sam Haozous, said in referring to Geronimo's highly effective strategy of sending warriors two at a time to engage the enemy, “Two men, fast men, quick men rather fight and not be afraid at all.” Haozous in 1910, while at Fort Sill as a prisoner of war, married Blossom Wratten. Their son, Allan Houser, Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache, was born June 30, 1914. “Unconquered” was the last monumental sculpture created by Houser before his death in 1994.

W. Jackson Rushing III was the author of “Allan Houser, An American Master (Chiricahua Apache, 1914-1994).” He wrote, “When they were finally freed in 1913, the Chiricahuas had to choose between returning to the Southwest to share a reservation with the Mescalero Apache or accepting plots of land in severalty and becoming farmers in Oklahoma.”

“Sam did not give up being an Apache, and he would pass those stories on to his son who was born on that allotment,” Blackburn said. “His son would take the name Allan Houser — he was one of the greatest Indian artists of the 20th century.”

The Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kan., commissioned Houser to create a memorial to American Indian soldiers killed in World War II. Completed and dedicated in 1948, this work titled “Comrade in Mourning” was his first major marble carving.

Houser cast his first bronze in 1968.

Then 20 years ago, Houser received what is now called the Prix de West Purchase Award from the National Academy of Western Art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Commercial television

In June 1948, The Oklahoman carried a story titled, “Permit Granted For Television.”

That story, 65 years ago, noted that commercial television broadcasts within the next year were a possibility because the FCC granted a construction permit to WKY.

With World War II over and the country ready for adventure, E.K. Gaylord determined that Oklahoma City needed its own television station. So in 1948, he applied to the FCC for a license to broadcast on Channel 4.

“The next year, television arrived in Oklahoma as WKY-TV began broadcasting,” Blackburn said. “The fact that he brought it here so quickly is amazing.”


News Research Editor Linda Lynn