As the University of Texas takes on the University of Oklahoma, I thought it prudent to point what exactly a “Sooner” is.
Sooner is the name first applied about six months after the Land Run of 1889 to people who entered the Oklahoma District (Unassigned Lands) before the designated time. The term derived from a section in the Indian Appropriation Act of March 2, 1889, which became known as the “sooner clause.” It stated that no person should be permitted to enter upon and occupy the land before the time designated in the president’s opening proclamation and that anyone who violated the provision would be denied a right to the land.
Illegal claimants were initially called “moonshiners,” because they entered the area “by the light of the moon.” Sooners or moonshiners hid out in brush or ravines, then suddenly appeared to stake a claim after the run started, giving them clear advantage over law-abiding settlers who made the run from the borders.
If you didn’t feel like reading through all of that, I’ll sum it up in a word; Cheaters. How fitting then is it for the Oklahoma mascot to be a Sooner.
This is the one day a year I can happily say: