The state Legislature approved legislation Tuesday recognizing the many contributions of cowboys to Oklahoma’s culture and economy. House Concurrent Resolution 1025, by Rep. Danny Morgan and Sen. Harry Coates, proclaims July 2009 as Oklahoma Cowboy Heritage Month and designates July 25, 2009 as Oklahoma Day of the Cowboy.
“Cowboy traditions have been part of the Oklahoma culture since the pioneers first headed west. Many of the major cattle trails established in the late 1800s ran through Oklahoma and helped usher in the era of the cowboy,” said Morgan, D-Prague. “The cowboy culture in Oklahoma has inspired artists, conservationists, farmers, ranchers, and agricultural scientists for generations. The cowboy is also a central figure in American literature, film and music, and continues to capture the public imagination.”
Oklahoma is the home of many famous cowboys such as Gene Autry, Will Rogers, William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd, Gordon William “Pawnee Bill” Lillie, and Tom Mix.
“Millions from around the world have been able to experience the cowboy culture at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for nearly forty years,” said Coates, R-Seminole. “And that culture continues to live on in livestock shows and rodeos as well as through our ranchers and others who live off the land; and it’s them that we want to celebrate and recognize for their ongoing contributions to their communities and our state.”