In 1918, a group of Oklahomans living in Washington, D.C., including Thomas Gore, Oklahoma’s first senator, decided to found an organization that would, according to its constitution, “promote goodwill and amicable social relations among Oklahomans in the District of Columbia and vicinity, to foster a wholesome state pride and a sympathetic understanding of Oklahoma institutions; and to promote, insofar as consistent with the nature of such a society, the interest of the state of Oklahoma and its people.”
And with that, the Oklahoma State Society was formed.
The organization has been active for nearly a century now, excepting a break from 1930 to 1931. According to Riley Pagett, vice president of communications for OKSS, the society helps build a sense of community among the many Oklahomans living in the D.C. area through social events and community service programs.
“We try to meet at least once a month, but some months are busier than others,” he says. “For example, we met a few times in April to celebrate the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs.”