NORMAN, Oklahoma - The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is celebrating the signing of a bill 30 years ago, in 1987, that declared the state's natural history museum. It also served as the first step in saving many irreplaceable Oklahoma artifacts. 

The museum has planned multiple celebrations throughout the year 2017 to celebrate. The most recent featured a mural inside of Will Rogers World Airport that was inspired by the state's natural history. Nick Bayer ideated and painted it. The mural is 44-foot-long and will be on display from mid-June through February 2018. There are many objects and specimens that highlight Oklahoma's rich and storied culture. 

“We opened the opportunity up to several local artists, but we were particularly taken by Nick’s use of objects and specimens that tell the story of Oklahoma, like the Monarch butterflies that use Oklahoma as their center of migration, the Columbian mammoth that could be found here as far back as 80,000 years ago, and the bivalves and ammonites that represent the early Cretaceous period in the southern part of the state,” said museum spokesperson Morgan Day. 

The celebration commenced earlier this year after releasing a vintage-style version of its newsletter named Tracks. The first newsletter was released in April and tracked the museum's accomplishments from 1987 through 1997. There are two more editions planned to go up later this year, tracking its accomplishments from 1997 through 2017. 
 
“The museum was founded in 1899 but it wasn’t until June 10, 1987, when Gov. Henry Bellmon signed this bill, that we actually took our first step toward state status,” Day said. “At that time, we transitioned from the Stovall Museum of Science and History to the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.” 

The museum changed its name to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in a new location on May 1, 2000. 
 
To keep up with the various happenings of the museum, social media users can check up on Facebook, or on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #30YearsIn30Days.