News from Voices of Oklahoma…

Miss Jacksons-Voices of Oklahoma

With the closing of Miss Jacksons, Voices of Oklahoma visits the story behind the store. It was a banker who saved the name of Miss Jacksons and ultimately the store. Our storyteller is Bill Vandever of Vandevers Department store. Bill is no longer with us but his voice and story are preserved forever.

Listen to Chapter 5—Miss Jacksons here for the name of the banker who saved Miss Jacksons.

Preserving Oklahoma’s legacy one voice at a time.

John Williams – Voices of Oklahoma

With the pending sale of Williams Companies for $37.7 billion, it is interesting to listen to chapter 7 of our John Williams interview. John was a co-founder of the company and led the major transaction of Great Lakes Pipe line in 1965. Also, listen to Chapter 9 as John talks about the building of the Williams Tower in downtown Tulsa. The market value of the company increased from $25,000 in 1949 to the value of the present sale.

Listen here to Chapter 7 and Chapter 9.

Pope Francis—Voices of Oklahoma

As Pope Francis visits the United States, you should listen to the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Rooney.

Beginning with Chapter 11, Rooney, an Oklahoman, takes you inside the Vatican and assists you in understanding its power structure.

Whitey Bulger-Voices of Oklahoma

With the opening of the film Black Mass, the true story of Whitey Bulger, the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, Voices of Oklahoma presents the story of the murder of Roger Wheeler in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa Police Detective, Mike Huff, shares his firsthand account of the investigation of the murder which eventually led to Whitey Bulger. Listen and share with your friends:

60 Minutes: The Infamous Whitey Bulger

On Sunday, July 26, the television program 60 Minutes featured the capture of Whitey Bulger, the mastermind behind the murder of Tulsan Roger Wheeler. On May 27, 1981, Wheeler was boldly gunned down in broad daylight at Southern Hills Country Club in south Tulsa. He was former chairman of Telex Corp. and former owner of World Jai Alai. 

Voices of Oklahoma presents an interview with Detective Mike Huff, Tulsa Police Department’s lead investigator on the case. He worked for years to prove Bulger and his gang killed Wheeler.

Listen to Chapter 7 here.

Tulsa Race Riot–May 31 and June 1, 1921

Ninety-four years ago a race riot broke out on May 31 and June 1 in the Greenwood business district of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Otis Clark was nineteen years old at the time the Tulsa Race Riot took place. In his oral history, he describes the events of that day as he and his friend were targets of rifle shots.

Listen now to Chapter 4 as he shares the unforgettable memories of that day. 

Marques Haynes

Marques Haynes, widely regarded as the world’s greatest dribbler with the Harlem Globetrotters, died at the age of eighty-nine on Friday, May 22. A native of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, he began his forty-six year basketball career at Booker T. Washington High School where he led the school to a national championship in 1941.

Voices of Oklahoma is proud to have his oral history where we can preserve, share, and continue to listen to his story.

Memorable Events–Voices of Oklahoma

Introducing a new feature of Voices of Oklahoma: Memorable Events

Differing from our interviews with noteworthy Oklahomans, each Memorable Events story will highlight a significant event in Oklahoma history. 

Our first Memorable Event is the Tulsa Oilers Diamond Baseball Dinner of 1973: 

  • The Dinner featuring Oklahoman Allie Reynolds, Casey Stengel & Joe DiMaggio can be heard here.

Victory in Europe Day

Today, May 8, 2015, is the seventieth anniversary of VE Day, which marked the end of WWII in Europe. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, bringing an end to six years of war.

Listen to Catharine Kingsley’s interview as she remembers the day in Chapter 17—V.E. Day.


Land Run of 1889-April 22

The Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 started at high noon on April 22, 1889. Fifty thousand people were in place for their piece of the available two million acres. Catharine Kingsley talks about her grandfather’s participation in the land run. To hear more, listen to Chapter 3.

Bill Ross talks about his grandfather making the land run on a train. He staked claim to a lot which became part of Oklahoma City. Listen to more of this story in Chapter 2.