Oklahoma Land Rush

A Race for Land

What was the Oklahoma Land Rush?

A gunshot fired. A cannon roared. Horses startled and wagons sprang to life.

  • On April 22, 1889, settlers flooded into the region of central Oklahoma known as the Unassigned Lands.
  • President Benjamin Harrison signed a proclamation on March 23, 1889, opening the land and people came from across the country to claim it.
  • According to the Homestead Act of 1862, if a settler could stay on the land he claimed for five years and improve it, it would be his free and clear.
  • Some people were very excited about the 1889 Land Run and were ready to try to make a new life in Oklahoma Territory. There were people, however, who did not want new settlers to come into the territory.