Norman, Oklahoma: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Norman, Oklahoma
—  City  —
Location of Norman, Oklahoma
Coordinates: 35°13′18″N 97°25′6″W / 35.22167°N 97.41833°W / 35.22167; -97.41833
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Cleveland
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Cindy Rosenthal
 - City Manager Steve Lewis
 - Total 189.5 sq mi (490.8 km2)
 - Land 177.0 sq mi (458.4 km2)
 - Water 12.5 sq mi (32.4 km2)
Elevation 1,171 ft (357 m)
Population (2009)
 - Total 110,478
 Density 540.6/sq mi (208.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 73000-73099
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-52500[1]
GNIS feature ID 1095903[2]

Norman is a city in and the county seat of Cleveland County, Oklahoma, United States, and is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. It is located in central Oklahoma, approximately 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City. As of 2009, Norman was estimated to have 106,957 full-time residents,[3] making it the third-largest city in Oklahoma (behind Oklahoma City and Tulsa).[4] It is the largest city in Cleveland County and is the county’s center for business and employment.[5]

In 2008, CNN/Money Magazine ranked Norman as the 6th best small city in the United States, the highest of any city in Oklahoma and the American Southwest.[6]

Founded during the Land Run of April 1889, and formally incorporated in 1891, the city’s economy is primarily based on higher education and related research industries. Norman is home to the University of Oklahoma, the largest university in the state with approximately 30,000 students enrolled.[7][8]



Abner Norman statue outside City Hall

The central Oklahoma region became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Prior to the American Civil War beginning in 1861, the United States government began relocating the Five Civilized Tribes, the five Native American tribes that the United States officially recognized via treaty, to Oklahoma. The area known today as Norman was assigned to the Creek Nation by treaties of 1832 and 1833.[9]

Following the Civil War, the Creeks were accused of aiding the Confederate States of America and eventually ceded the region back to the United States in 1866.[9] Shortly after this the Arbuckle Trail, a feeder route to the Chisholm Trail, was developed to hasten the transfer of cattle from Texas in the south to the railroads in Kansas to the north. A federal survey of the empty lands along the Arbuckle Trail was undertaken in the early 1870s, headed by 23 year old Abner Norman. Norman’s work crew set up camp at what is today the corner of Classen and Lindsey streets; it was there that the men, perhaps jokingly, carved a sign on an elm tree that read "Norman’s Camp," in honor of their young surveyor.[9] In 1887, when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway began service to the area, the railroad continued the use of this name for their station site. The area was opened to settlement as part of the Land Run of April 1889; early settlers decided to keep the name "Norman."

On April 22, 1889, the Land Run saw the founding of Norman with at least 150 residents spending the night in make-shift campsites, with the settlement becoming a full-fledged town practically overnight.[9] Almost immediately two prominent Norman businessmen, former Purcell railroad freight agent Delbert Larsh and railroad station chief cashier Thomas Waggoner, began lobbying for the territorial government to locate its first university in Norman. They had reasoned that rather than trying to influence legislatures to locate the territory capitol in Norman that it made sense to go after the university instead as it would likely be far less contested and yet would still be a significant economic boon. On December 19, 1890, Larsh and Waggoner were successful with the passage of Council Bill 114, establishing the University of Oklahoma in Norman a full 18 years before Oklahoma would become a state.[9] Perhaps no other single piece of legislation has influenced Norman’s history as greatly as this. The city of Norman continues to feel the economic and cultural impact of the university to this day.

The city of Norman was formally incorporated on May 13, 1891.[10]


Norman is located at 35°13′18″N 97°25′6″W / 35.22167°N 97.41833°W / 35.22167; -97.41833 (35.221617, -97.418236)[11]

The city has a total area of 189.51 square miles (490.8 km2), of which 177.01 square miles (458.5 km2) is land and 12.5 square miles (32 km2) or 6.60% is water.[12] Approximately 27 square miles (70 km2) are developed.



Norman and its surrounding areas are mostly flat. The terrain in the western section of Norman is prairie while the eastern section, including the area surrounding Lake Thunderbird, consists of some 6,000 acres of lakes and Cross Timbers forest. The lowest point within city limits is approximately 970 feet above sea level (located at 35.203880N, 97.177350W). The highest point is approximately 1245 feet above sea level (located at 35.212660N, 97.390000W).[11]


Norman, OK
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: / NWS

Norman lies in a temperate, sub-humid climate, with frequent variations in weather daily and seasonally, except during the consistently hot and humid summer months. Consistent winds, usually from the south or south-southeast during the summer, help temper the hotter weather. Consistent northerly winds during the winter can intensify cold periods.

The summer can be extremely hot, as was evident in 2006 with a few-weeks span of nearly 110 °F (43 °C) temperatures. The average temperature is 61.3 °F (16.3 °C),[13] though colder though the winter months, with a 37.8 °F (3.2 °C) average in January, and warmer during the summer months, with an 82.2 °F (27.9 °C) average in July.[13] The city receives about 35.4 inches (900 mm) of precipitation annually.[13]

Norman lies within Tornado Alley and has a severe weather season lasting from March through August, with peak activity in April and May. Tornadoes have occurred during every month of the year. The Oklahoma City metropolitan area, including Norman, has become one of the most tornado-prone areas in the United States.[14]


As of the census of 2000,[15] there were 95,694 people, 38,834 households, and 22,562 families residing in the city. The population density was 540.6 people per square mile (208.7/km²). There were 41,547 housing units at an average density of 234.7/sq mi (90.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.36% White, 4.26% African American, 4.45% Native American, 3.49% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.37% from other races, and 4.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.89% of the population.

There were 38,834 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 21.4% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 101.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,713, and the median income for a family was $51,189. Males had a median income of $35,896 versus $26,394 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,630. About 7.8% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.


National Weather Center at the University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma employs over 10,700 personnel across three campuses, making it a significant driver of Norman’s economy.[16] The campus is a center for scientific and technological research, having contributed over $277 million to such programs in 2009 alone.[7]

Norman is the nation's center for the study of severe weather and is home to the National Weather Center, a cooperative between the University of Oklahoma and NOAA that houses a number of weather- and climate-related organizations, and is the proposed location of a future National Weather Museum[17]. Because of this strong foundation in weather research, Norman is now home to many weather-related private businesses including Weathernews Americas, Inc., Vieux and Associates, Inc., Weather Decision Technologies, WeatherBank, Inc., and Computational Geosciences, Inc.[18] In addition, the state's center of geology-related study, the Oklahoma Geological Survey, is located in Norman.[19]

High-tech business is not limited to the weather-related in Norman. A recent addition to the local business landscape is SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT), a producer of single-walled carbon nanotubes.[20][21] Bergey Windpower, "one of the world’s leading suppliers of small wind turbines" is based in Norman[22] and Norman is home to the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council.[23]

In addition to the above, the local business community boasts many major employers, such as: Johnson Controls, Hitachi, Astellas Pharma, Albon Engineering, Xyant Technology, Office Max's National Sales Center, Sitel (formerly ClientLogic), the USPS National Center for Employee Development, Sysco Foods, AT&T, and several research companies and smaller firms that take advantage of Norman's business climate.[24]

The University North Park development, "the fourth largest [of its type] in the United States" according to the developer[25], is located on 24th Ave NW along the I-35 corridor between Robinson Street and Tecumseh Road. Begun in 2006, the project will feature a two mile stretch of parks, offices, and high-end retail once completed. A ten-story Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center opened in 2009.[26]


Norman has a wide variety of neighborhoods. Significant housing developments around town include the recent addition of many student-oriented apartment complexes east of the university [27], as well as the more suburban and affluent Brookhaven to the west. Popular retail sites include Campus Corner, University North Park, and Brookhaven Villages.

Norman enjoys many tree-lined landscapes thanks in part to its participation in ReLeaf Norman and the Tree City USA programs.[28][29]


Higher Education

Bizzell Library, University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma is the largest university in the state of Oklahoma, with approximately 30,000 students enrolled. The university was founded in 1890, prior to Oklahoma statehood. The university includes both Norman and Oklahoma City campuses with the main campus being located in Norman. In 2007, The Princeton Review named the University of Oklahoma one of its "Best Value" colleges.[30] The school is ranked first per capita among public universities in enrollment of National Merit Scholars and among the top five in the graduation of Rhodes Scholars. PC Magazine and the Princeton Review rated it one of the "20 Most Wired Colleges" in both 2006 [31] and 2008,[32] while the Carnegie Foundation classifies it as a research university with "high research activity."[33]

The school is well known for its athletic programs, having won many awards including seven NCAA Division I National Football Championships.[34]

Primary and Secondary

Norman Public Schools (or Independent School District Number 29 of Cleveland County, Oklahoma) is the city’s largest public school district. It includes the following schools:

Several private schools also serve the area:

  • Community Christian School - kindergarten through 12th grade
  • Robinson Street Christian School - kindergarten through 12th grade
  • Blue Eagle Christian Academy - kindergarten through 11th grade
  • All Saints Catholic School - pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Norman Christian Academy - pre-kindergarten through 7th grade
  • Trinity Lutheran School - pre-kindergarten through 6th grade
  • Veritas Classical Christian Academy - pre-kindergarten through 10th grade


The city of Norman is served by the Moore Norman Technology Center. The school was established in 1972 and has been awarded the Oklahoma Association of Technology Center’s Gold Star School Award on multiple occasions.[35]


Museums and Theater

Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art

Norman enjoys many cultural attractions that are funded by the university. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art made national and international news in 2000 when it was given the Weitzenhoffer Collection, the largest collection of French Impressionist art ever given to an American University.[36][37][38] The collection includes works by Mary Cassatt, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro.

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a museum containing over 50,000 square feet of exhibits ranging from archaeology, paleontology, ethnology, herpetology, ornithology, and Native American studies. It’s exhibits are intended to immerse visitors in the state’s long history. The museum features many complete collections of dinosaur fossils and is also noted for its Paleozoic collection, considered to be one of the largest and most important in existence.[39]

Catlett Music Center at the University of Oklahoma features many orchestral and jazz performances and the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre offers many student programs throughout the year.

The city is also home to many privately-funded galleries and performance sites including Mainsite Contemporary Art Gallery, Sonder Music Dance & Art, Dreamer Concepts, Jacobson House Native Arts Center, the Firehouse Art Center, and the Sooner Theater.

Parks and Recreation

Norman’s Parks and Recreation Department facilitates 55 neighborhood and community parks, three recreation centers, a golf course and driving range, three disc golf courses, a complete swim complex with waterslides, a wading pool, 32 tennis courts, and three special services centers (that offer cultural arts and senior citizen activities). Griffin Community Park Sports Complex includes 16 soccer fields, 14 baseball/softball fields, and four football fields.[40]


The Norman Transcript is the most widely-circulated Norman-based newspaper in the city. It is a daily newspaper covering events in Cleveland and McClain counties. It is the oldest continuous business in Norman and was founded shortly after the Land Run of April 1889 on July 13, 1889.[41]

The Oklahoma Daily is a student-run newspaper at the University of Oklahoma. It was first published in 1897, several years after the university’s founding. The paper has received numerous awards for journalism excellence including the Associated Collegiate PressPacemaker Award, considered by some to be the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.

KGOU is a full-service public radio station licensed to the University of Oklahoma. The station serves Norman and the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area with a news/talk/jazz format, utilizing programs from National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and others.


Most sports in Norman center around the University of Oklahoma. The school is well-known for its athletic programs and has won seven NCAA Division I National Football Championships.[34] Its baseball team has won two NCAA national championships and the women's softball team won the national championship in 2000. The gymnastics teams have won four national championships since 2002.

OU's football program has the best winning percentage of any Division I FBS team since the introduction of the AP Poll in 1936,[42] playing in four BCS national championship games since the inception of the BCS system in 1998.

OU Takes the Field at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

University sports include the following:

  • Men’s
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Cross Country
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Gymnastics
    • Tennis
    • Track and Field
    • Wrestling
  • Women’s
    • Basketball
    • Cross Country
    • Golf
    • Gymnastics
    • Rowing
    • Soccer
    • Softball
    • Tennis
    • Track and Field
    • Volleyball

Community Events

Norman hosts many free festivals and community events that occur throughout the year.

Medieval Fair is a celebration of medieval-themed games, art, and culture. The event is held during the last weekend of March in Reaves Park. It has been held annually in Norman since 1976 and was originally a forum for the English Department at the University of Oklahoma.[43] Today it is the largest weekend event held in the state of Oklahoma, with over 325,000 people in attendance in 2006.[44] Events Media Network has named Medieval Fair one of the top 100 events in the United States.

Norman Music Festival is an annual weekend music festival held in April in downtown Norman. Established in 2008, the event had over 26,000 people in attendance during the 2009 festival.[45] Originally a one-day event, the festival has quickly grown so large that it is now an all-weekend concert series. The festival highlights both local musicians and internationally-acclaimed artists and features many forms and styles of music.[46]

Groovefest is a music festival held semi-annually at Andrews Park. Each Spring and Fall the music festival is held to help raise awareness about human rights. The event was established in 1986 by the University of Oklahoma chapter of Amnesty International.[47]

Jazz in June is a music festival held over all weekends in June at various venues across Norman. The festival features both jazz music performances as well as jazz clinics instructed by professional musicians.[48]

May Fair is an arts festival held every year during the first weekend in May at Andrews Park. It features top area performers, fine art, crafts, and food.[49]

Summer Breeze Concert Series is a series of concerts held from Spring to Fall at various park venues across Norman. The series is sponsored by the Performing Arts Studio.[50]

Midsummer Nights' Fair is a nighttime arts festival held during two evenings in June. The fair features art, music, and food and is held outside the Firehouse Art Center located in Lions Park.[51]

The Norman Mardi Gras parade is a celebration of Mardi Gras occurring on the Saturday closest to Fat Tuesday. The parade is held in downtown Norman and features themed costumes and floats.[52]

The Main Street Christmas Holiday Parade is a celebration of Christmas and the holiday season held every December in downtown Norman. The parade features holiday-themed costumes and floats.[53]



Norman is served locally by Max Westheimer Airport, a general aviation airport run by the University of Oklahoma.[54] Major commercial air transportation is available at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, approximately 20 miles north of Norman.

Public Transit

Cleveland Area Rapid Transit provides bus service to the Norman area on weekdays with some routes also running on Saturdays. A route also runs to Oklahoma City and connects with OKC's Metro Transit.[55] The service is operated by the University of Oklahoma and is free to faculty, staff, and students. The regular fare for all other riders is 50 cents.


Norman's Depot is served by Amtrak's Heartland Flyer providing daily round trip service to downtown Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas.


Norman is served by several major roadways.

Sister cities


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Norman city, Oklahoma Population Finder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  4. ^ "Biggest Cities in Oklahoma". GeoNames. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  6. ^ "Best Places to Live". MONEY Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  7. ^ a b "OU Facts". OU. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  8. ^ "Summary of Oklahoma's Colleges, Universities, and Career Schools". Education Portal. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  9. ^ a b c d e The University of Oklahoma: A History (Volume I). University of Oklahoma Press. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  10. ^ "Norman: Our History". City of Norman. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  11. ^ a b "U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  12. ^ "Oklahoma by Place - GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density:  2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  13. ^ a b c "Historical Weather for Norman, OK". Weather Base. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  14. ^ "Tornadoes in the Oklahoma City, OK Area Since 1890". National Weather Service. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  15. ^ "Norman City Fact Sheet". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  16. ^ "Human Resources". University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  17. ^ "National Weather Museum in the Works in Oklahoma". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  18. ^ Oklahoma Department of Commerce
  19. ^ Oklahoma Geological Survey
  20. ^ "A New Silicon Valley on the Oklahoma Prairie?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  21. ^ "SWeNT Opens Commercial-Scale Nanotube Manufacturing Plant". Nanotechnology Now. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  22. ^ "Bergey Windpower, Inc". Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  23. ^ Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council
  24. ^ Norman Chamber of Commerce
  25. ^ "Businesses Coming to University North Park". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  26. ^ "Embassy Suites Celebrates Grand Opening With United Way Benefit". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  27. ^ "New Sites to Open". OU Daily. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  28. ^ "ReLeaf Norman". City of Norman. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  29. ^ "Tree City/Tree Line USA Programs". OK Dept. of Forestry. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  30. ^ "America's Best Value Colleges". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2006-06-07. 
  31. ^ "Top 20 Wired Colleges". PC Magazine. 2006.,1895,2073606,00.asp. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  32. ^ "Top 20 Wired Colleges". PC Magazine. 2008.,2817,2329359,00.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  33. ^ "University of Oklahoma Norman Campus". Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 2006-06-07. 
  34. ^ a b "Schools with the Most NCAA Championships". NCAA. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  35. ^ "About MNTC". Moore Norman Technology Center. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  36. ^ "Impressionists at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art". French Culture. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  37. ^ "Cityscape: Norman, OK". NY Art Magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  38. ^ "Art museum drawing national attention". OU Daily. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  39. ^ "Vertebrate Paleontology Main Page". University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  40. ^ "Park Directory". City of Norman. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  41. ^ "History of the Norman Transcript". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  42. ^ "Oklahoma Football Quick Facts". University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  43. ^ "History of Medieval Fair". Medieval Fair. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  44. ^ "Medieval Fair". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  45. ^ "Downtown Music Festival Moving to Two-Day Event". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  46. ^ "Norman Music Festival". Norman Music Festival. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  47. ^ "About Groovefest". Groovefest. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  48. ^ "Jazz in June". Jazz in June. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  49. ^ "Norman's May Fair Arts Festival". Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  50. ^ "Summer Breeze Concert Series". The Performing Arts Studio. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  51. ^ "Midsummer Nights' Fair". Firehouse Art Center. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  52. ^ "15th annual Norman Mardi Gras Parade Saturday". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  53. ^ "Deering Selected as Holiday Parade Marshal". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  54. ^ "Max Westheimer Airport". University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  55. ^ "Norman CART". CART. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 

External links

Simple English

Norman, Oklahoma
—  City  —
Coordinates: 35°13′18″N 97°25′6″W / 35.22167°N 97.41833°W / 35.22167; -97.41833
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Cleveland
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Cindy Rosenthal
 - City Manager Steven Lewis
 - Total 189.5 sq mi (490.8 km2)
 - Land 177.0 sq mi (458.4 km2)
 - Water 12.5 sq mi (32.4 km2)
Elevation 1,171 ft (357 m)
Population (2006)
 - Total 102,827
 Density 540.6/sq mi (208.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 73000-73099
Area code(s) 405
FIPS code 40-52500[1]
GNIS feature ID 1095903[2]

Norman, is the county seat and largest city in Cleveland County in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area. Norman is about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City. Norman is home to James Garner and Toby Keith. The University of Oklahoma is in Norman. Norman was founded in 1889 by Abner Norman. Norman has a very pretty main street. In 2008, Money Magazine said Norman was a very good place to live. Norman has one small airport and a railroad station.


Other websites


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address