Oklahoma Hall of Fame, telling Oklahoma’s story through its people.
Founded in 1927, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame was created to honor Oklahomans who had given outstanding service to the state during their lifetime. Being inducted to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state. The Oklahoma Hall of Fame preserves Oklahoma’s unique history while promoting pride in our great state.
The Oklahoma Hall of Fame inspires Oklahomans of all ages, instilling pride by telling the stories of extraordinary people. Each of its programs strive to accomplish that goal. The organization has hosted the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony for the past 88 years each November. We honor Oklahomans who have contributed to our state’s rich heritage by making strides in their industry and bettering mankind.
The Oklahoma Hall of Fame also supports education in a variety of ways, including offering more than $4,000,000 intuition grants and scholarships to Oklahoma high school students and hosting Heritage Week competitions for third through 12th graders. The Oklahoma Heritage Association Publishing, publications of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, is the leader in publishing Oklahoma's history. In the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, visitors can meet notable and lesser known accomplished Oklahomans through high-tech, interactive exhibits.
Located in Oklahoma City, the Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization funded primarily by private donations and is governed by a Board of Directors representing the state of Oklahoma. In addition, the Association has a Teen Board that holds a fund raiser each year and a Second Century Board made up of young professionals responsible for spreading the mission.
1921 Anna B. Korn authors the Honor statute designating November 16 as Oklahoma Statehood Day.
1926 Korn hosts the first official birthday party for the state of Oklahoma on November 16, 1926 (A tradition that we still honor during our annual Statehood Day Festival!)
1927 Anna B. Korn founds the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in conjunction with the Oklahoma Memorial Association to officially celebrate Statehood Day and recognize Oklahomans dedicated to their communities and state.
1928 The first Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony is held, honoring Congressman Dennis T. Flynn of Oklahoma City and civic leader Elisabeth Fulton Hester of Muskogee.
1970 Robert A. Hefner, Sr. donates his home, the Hefner Mansion, to the organization as a facility to display the bust and portraits of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame members and give the Oklahoma Heritage Association a permanent home.
1971 The board of directors votes to change the Oklahoma Memorial Association to the Oklahoma Heritage Association to reflect the organization’s expanded role in the preservation of Oklahoma history.
1972 The Oklahoma Heritage House (Hefner Mansion), home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, opens to the public.
1975 The Association publishes its first book, The Judge: The Life of Robert A. Hefner, by Clifford Earl Trafzer.
1977 The Association hosts the first Heritage Week Poster and Essay Competitions for grades 4-12 in conjunction with the Statehood Day Celebrations.
1991 The Association expands the Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship Competition to include awarding tuition grants and scholarships to students in every county.
1994 The Association begins offering the $10,000 John W. and Mary Nichols Scholarship to one Oklahoma High School senior each year.
2000 The Oklahoma Heritage Plaza is erected on the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, featuring monuments recognizing all members of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
2001 The Association purchases the historic Mid-Continent Life Insurance Building in Oklahoma City with a gift from Edward L. Gaylord.
2004 Renovations begin on the new Museum.
2005 T. Boone Pickens matches Edward L. Gaylord’s gift, allowing the association to finish renovations and develop exhibits.
2007 The high-tech,interactive Gaylord-Pickens Museum opens to the public.
2008 The Teen Board hosts its first fund raiser, benefiting the Museum’s Free Field Trip program.
2015 The board of directors votes to change the Oklahoma Heritage Association to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame to better represent the goals and mission of the organization.