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"The Only Plum in the Territory": Home

About the Exhibit

This exhibit explores the history behind the First and Second Morrill Acts and their collective effects upon the United States and specifically Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (OAMC)/Oklahoma State University.  Striving to establish institutions that provided technical training and research in the fields of agriculture and mechanics, Justin Morrill, a congressman from Vermont, successfully passed legislation in 1862 that created land-grant institutions across the nation.  Utilizing federal funding on an annual basis, agriculturally-minded colleges were founded that greatly influenced agricultural research within higher education.  The Second Morrill Act, passed in 1890, addressed the need to provide higher educational opportunities for African-Americans thereby creating the historically black colleges in existence today, including the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University in Langston, Oklahoma, which would become Langston University in 1941.  In short, the Morrill Acts fundamentally shaped the American higher educational system and are two of the most influential and important pieces of legislation passed by Congress.

To view the exhibit, please click on the tabs at the top of the screen. You will then be able to view the powerpoints of the exhibit directly on those pages.

To learn about the Hatch Act, please view our digtial exhibit titled "Harvesting a Crop of Information:" The Hatch Act and the Agricultural Experiment Station at OAMC. To learn more about the Smith-Lever Act, please view our digital exhibit titled The State Is Our Campus.

About the Exhibit Creator

Zachary S. Daughtrey was a fifth-year doctoral candidate in history at Oklahoma State University as well as the graduate assistant for the Archives at Oklahoma State. Mr. Daughtrey received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Missouri in 2006 and a Masters of Arts in History from Southeast Missouri State University in 2008.