NPS backs plan to create Oklahoma national monument

By Rob Hotakainen | 05/16/2024 06:36 AM EDT

Sen. James Lankford said Tulsa residents want to preserve the history of a 103-year-old massacre in their city and are “relentlessly devoted to turning tragedy into triumph.”

Memorial for the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Linda Porter kneels at a memorial for the Tulsa Race Massacre on Standpipe Hill near the historic Greenwood District during centennial commemorations of the massacre in 2021. John Locher/AP

The National Park Service on Wednesday endorsed a plan that would establish a national monument in Oklahoma to commemorate the historic site of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921.

If approved by Congress, the new monument would honor the site where hundreds were killed when a white mob attacked and burned down the city’s historic Greenwood District, a once prosperous area known as “Black Wall Street.”

At a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Chair Angus King (I-Maine) said the proposed Historic Greenwood District/Black Wall Street National Monument would tell “the story of a horrific massacre that needs to be remembered as part of our country’s history.”


In written testimony to the panel, Michael Caldwell, the NPS associate director of planning, facilities and land, called the massacre “an extraordinarily important event in our nation’s history” and said the proposal should be advanced even though the agency had not fully studied it.