For Immediate Release: November 15, 2007
Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, Lt. Governor
Jari Askins and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan at Legislative
Hall in Guthrie for a ceremonial session on Statehood Day.
Ceremonial Legislative Session Held in Guthrie
to Mark State’s Centennial
of the Legislature traveled to Guthrie, the State’s first
capital, for a joint ceremonial session on Thursday to pay tribute
to Oklahoma’s one-hundredth birthday. The session was held
at the Legislative Hall, now a part of the Scottish Rite Temple,
where legislators met nearly 100 years ago.
Many of the legislators and other dignitaries, including Gov.
Brad Henry and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, traveled from Oklahoma City
to Guthrie on a special Centennial Train provided by BNSF Railway
Co. Passengers were greeted at the Guthrie Santa Fe Depot by Guthrie
officials, citizens and members of civic organizations, including
the Guthrie Lions Club.
After a legislative luncheon, legislators, members of the executive
branch and guests traveled by bus and trolley to the Legislative
Hall where the session was convened.
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan encouraged members of
the Legislature to help build the foundation for an even stronger
state in the next 100 years.
“Today we sit at a time when we begin our second century
in Oklahoma, and to the members of the legislature I’d like
to challenge each of you as we prepare to convene in February to
remember and celebrate the past 100 years,” said Morgan, D-Stillwater.
“But members, more importantly, let’s build for the
next 100 years. Let’s recognize the prosperity and build on
that, let’s recognize the opportunities that our forefathers
have built for us and let’s build on that, let’s work
together to make Oklahoma a better place for those who will follow
us and just think 100 years from now they’re going to be sitting
in this room thinking I wonder what it was like and we know.”
Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee said Oklahoma will
continue to meet challenges with creative solutions.
“Oklahoma’s centennial is not just a celebration of
our past, it is a reflection of our optimism about the new Oklahoma
century,” said Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “Many of the
challenges of the next 100 years will be different from those in
Oklahoma’s first century - a changing national and global
economy, an aging infrastructure, issues relating to water, global
competition and education. But just as we always have, Oklahomans
will rise to meet whatever those challenges are. Oklahomans should
dream big about the next 100 years.”
House Speaker Lance Cargill also encouraged legislators to look
to the future.
“We assemble here today as the representative body that’s
going to lead our state into its second century,” said Cargill,
R-Harrah. “We must live up to the expectations of those men
and women who sat in these very seats 100 years ago and who dared
to found a state based on nothing more than their own ambition and
a prayer for help from an almighty God. We must look to those who
will form the passion, the ambition, the talent of the next 100
years and begin to leave for them a state with as much pride and
as much progress as has been given to us today.”
Special presentations were made by Scottish Rite Temple Executive
Director Robert Hall, as well as by an actor portraying President
Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt signed the official proclamation of
Oklahoma’s admission into the Union as the forty-sixth state
on November 16, 1907.
Before the session adjourned, officials of the City of Guthrie
were presented with the State Seal in acknowledgement of the city’s
role as the first capital of Oklahoma.
The Seal will remain on display at the Guthrie Territorial Museum
through Saturday, November 17, and then will be returned to the
State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
For more information, contact:
Senate Communications Office: (405) 521-5774