August 6th is an important day in Lawton's history. It's her birthday, and this year she'll be 110.

But you probably knew that.

It's kinda strange to refer to Lawton using the words 'her' and 'she', knowing that she is named for a man - Civil War Medal Of Honor recipient, Major General Henry Ware Lawton.

You knew that, right?

Well, we went to the web to find some little known facts about the Lawton area. Here's some of what we found.

 

An Academy Award Winning Actress Lived In Lawton As A Child

 

Joan Crawford reportedly lived in Lawton as a child in the early 1900's. Her stepfather, Henry J. Cassin, ran a movie theater in Lawton. Information from the 1910 federal census for Comanche County shows her parents living at 910 'D' street, and lists Crawford at 5 years old - long before she became Mommy Dearest.


Goodyear Is Not The Largest Employer In The Lawton Area

 

Well, in the private sector it is. The last time somebody counted, there were in the vicinity of 2500 full time employees at Goodyear. But according to Wikipedia, Ft. Sill gets the nod as the largest employer of jobs in Lawton with over 5000 employees. That same Wikipedia page also lists Lawton Public Schools, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, City of Lawton, Cameron University and Assurant Solutions as major employers in the Lawton area.


The Easter Pageant Inspired A Movie

 

It's true. The annual Prince of Peace Easter Passion Play at The Holy City - credited with being one of the longest running Easter Passion plays in the nation - was the basis for the 1949 movie "The Prince of Peace", also known as "The Lawton Story". There's an interesting piece of trivia about this movie on it's Internet Movie Database page. It says "the actors were all natives of Lawton, Oklahoma - where this was filmed - and their Oklahoma accents were so strong that all of their lines had to be re-dubbed". This led to the movie being described as "the only film that had to be dubbed from English to English". I guess they figured the rest of the country wouldn't embrace a movie full of Okie accents. Turns out the rest of the country didn't like the re-dubbed voices, either. While it opened in Lawton to a respectable crowd - and, oddly enough, was a hit in New York City - the rest of the country just didn't embrace it.


31 Comanche County Locations Are On The National Register Of Historic Places

 

That includes one listed as a National Historic Landmark - Ft. Sill. Some of the other 30 on the list are on Ft. Sill and at times may be inaccessible to the general public, but check out this impressive National Park Service list. How many have you visited?


Lawton Averages 21 Days Of Temperatures 100 Or Above Each Year

 

Yeah, we've blown that one out of the water this summer. The summer of 2011 will go down as one of the hottest, if not the hottest on record. Climate data from 1971 to 2010 shows our average high temperature in July at slightly under 96 degrees. That's been our temperature at around midnight this month. I suppose when we look back at the summer of 2011, we can remember it as being above average :)