Cherokee Strip or Cherokee Outlet, a narrow piece of land in N Oklahoma. Bounded on the north by the Kansas border, it has an area of more than 6 million acres (2.4 million hectares). Measuring some 50 mi (80 km) wide, it extends about 200 mi (322 km) east from the eastern end of the state's panhandle. The area once constituted the western extension of Cherokee Nation lands and was sold to the United States in 1891. The Strip was opened to non–Native American settlement on Sept. 19, 1893, precipitating the greatest land run in U.S. history, in which more than 50,000 staked claims. Oklahoma cities that sprang from the prairie that day include Alva, Enid, Ponca City, and Woodward. The Cherokee Strip was included in the Oklahoma Territory and later (1907) became part of the new state.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.