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Museum opening today anticipated for years

Updated:
(Norman-AP) -- The long-awaited opening of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is today.

The world can finally view Oklahoma's treasures -- six million artifacts tenderly displayed or tucked away safely in the new museum.

But getting to this point wasn't easy. Efforts to build a new facility first started with Governor William Holloway in 1929 who allocated funds that were immediately lost to the Great Depression. Then the Legislature tried in 1945, but the money was diverted for dormitories to house veterans returning to school after World War Two.

Museum director Doctor Michael Mares even published a book called Heritage at Risk in 1988 to publicize the desperate need for a new facility.

Norman voters passed a $5 million bond issue for the museum and things finally got rolling. Later the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation provided a gift of $10 million dollars as part of the $22 million raised in private money.
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