Meet the Authors: Jonita Mullins, Michael Dean & Landry Brewer on July 23
Join us for a special signing featuring three Oklahoma authors! Meet authors Jonita Mullins, Michael Dean and Landry Brewer on Tuesday, July 23 from 6PM to 7:30PM.
Fascinating characters filled the history of the Twin Territories as it became the state of Oklahoma. For some, it represented the end of a hard trail, while others sought a new beginning in a land of opportunity. Whatever their reason for coming to this heartland of America, those early Oklahomans left an indelible mark on the landscapes and streetscapes of the state today. From explorers and settlers of the early nineteenth century to oil tycoons and social activists in the first years of the twentieth century, Oklahoma saw a wide variety of men and women march across the stage during its formation. Author Jonita Mullins presents more than eighty unique stories of doctors, lawyers and chiefs, with a few outlaws, cattlemen and beauty queens thrown in for good measure.
OKLAHOMA CITY RADIO
From the beginning of commercial radio in 1920, Oklahoma City was on the leading edge of this new enterprise. WKY radio went on the air in January 1920, making it one of the earliest radio stations in America. Soon, the station began broadcasting regular programming and was the third station in America and the first west of the Mississippi to broadcast regular daily programs. In August 1928, E.K. Gaylord, owner of the Daily Oklahoman newspaper, purchased the station, and in December of that year, WKY became affiliated with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Gaylord's long association with NBC president David Sarnoff resulted in WKY originating programs for NBC out of the Oklahoma City studio from the mid-1930s extending through WKY-TV in the 1970s. WKY and KOMA became the launching pad for several well-known public figures, such as Walter Cronkite, Curt Gowdy, and Todd Storz.
COLD WAR OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma might seem like an unexpected place for Cold War tensions to boil over, but the state played a key role in a conflict that threatened global annihilation. Altus Air Force Base served as a hub for twelve intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites; in 1964, a missile housed at the Frederick site exploded, although the nuclear warhead remained unaffected. Ordinary citizens lived under the shadow of nuclear war as well. A former OU faculty member accused of committing espionage for the Soviet Union fled the country, while a SWOSU professor dug his own fallout shelter in Weatherford--by hand. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, an emergency siren malfunction sent terrified Elk City parents scurrying to local schools to pick up their children. Landry Brewer presents a fascinating cross-section of the era, from top-level strategy to the details of daily life.
Jonita Mullins grew up in the small town of Haskell, Oklahoma. A passionate preservationist who serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Historical Society, she contributes a weekly history column for the Muskogee Phoenix and is working with the Founders’ Place Historical District to restore the home of Congresswoman Alice Robertson. Her other writing, including her award-winning book The Jefferson Highway in Oklahoma, can found on her website (okieheritage.com).
Author Michael Dean, while in high school, began working in radio at KBEL, Idabel, Oklahoma, in September 1964 and has worked in radio, either full-time or part-time, since then. Dean worked for the Oklahoma Historical Society and spent a great deal of time researching various radio and television stations in Oklahoma. Two particular radio stations were WKY and KOMA. He contributed his research to the collections at the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Landry Brewer is Bernhardt Scholar and instructor of history for Southwestern Oklahoma State University and teaches at the Sayre campus. Although he has been published multiple times in the journal of the Oklahoma Historical Society, several times in western Oklahoma newspapers and has written two one-act plays that have been performed, this is Brewer’s first book. He and his wife, Erin, have five children and live in Elk City.