The land rush began on April 22nd, 1889 with an estimated 50,000 people participating. The rush effectively created towns in a single day with Guthrie being the best example. Guthrie would go on to become the Capital of the Oklahoma Territory and later the Capital of the State of Oklahoma. The title of State Capital would be moved to Oklahoma City after a 1910 vote.
The Indian Appropriations Act of 1889 was a series of acts surrounding the Native American land which made the 1889 Land Rush legally, and politically possible. The Appropriations Act consists of the 1851, 1871, 1885, and 1889 Act. The final 1889 Act opened Unassigned Lands to white settlers under the Homestead Act, thus resulting in the Land Rush. The 1889 Act also coined the term “Boomer” and Sooners. Boomers are the people who attempted to enter unassigned lands before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889. Sooners refer to people who went into the Unassigned Lands before the Land Rush officially began. This is where the University of Oklahoma’s fight song, “Boomer Sooner” comes from. One of the most famous Boomers and the arguable founder of the Boomer movement was David Payne who capitalized on the the demand for land in Unassigned Land territories. Payne moved into the Unassigned Lands and settled the town of Ewing in 1879. Ewing would eventually become what we know as Oklahoma City. David Payne would sell off plots of land illegally to other members of the Boomer movement. Later in April of 1979 President Rutherford B. Hayes issued the proclamation forbidding unlawful entry into the Indian Territory until the Land Rush of 1889, 10 years later.