"the kid blew us away with his resourcefulness and appeal to our hearts" - anonymous
Twenty-six-year-old McAlester native and state representative George Nigh had loved the soaring theme song of Rogers and Hammerstein’s smash Broadway musical Oklahoma! since he first heard it in high school during World War II. Now, in 1953, he intended to make it the official state song. A fellow legislator objected, however, decrying the work of “two New York Jews” and tearfully pleading for retention of the now-painfully archaic state song “Oklahoma—A Toast.”
Young but shrewd, Nigh delayed voting on the bill for 24 hours. Meanwhile, he went to work. The next day, he secured permission for the choir of the Oklahoma College for Women—now the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma—in Chickasha to entertain his fellow legislators with songs from Oklahoma!, which they had just performed. A magnificent piano from a fellow solon’s Jenkins Music Store accompanied them.
Oklahoma historian, John Dwyer, has published his 2nd volume of Oklahoma history. SoonerPolitics now carries Mr. Dwyer's latest narratives in our Oklahoma History Blog. His media site has some great articles taken from the pages of his great literary treasury.
This story features the mastery of the young prodigy lawmaker, in his legislative prowess.
It is perhaps the best state history textbook we've ever reviewed. Every high school student should be studying state history from this text.