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Oklahomans 2 Wins Will Rogers Medallion Award

Everybody was getting in on the 2022 Will Rogers Medallion Awards celebration at Coopers BBQ in the Fort Worth Stockyards.


OKLAHOMANS 2, the long-awaited sequel to its celebrated 2016 OKLAHOMANS 1 prequel, won Will Rogers Medallion Awards (WRMA) for author John J. Dwyer and publisher Red River Press this past weekend at the annual WRMA banquet in Fort Worth.

The largest-ever turnout for the premier contest of Western literary works, including a nearly-20-person OKLAHOMANS 2 cheering section, brought attendees from across America and nominations from as far away as Israel. According to WRMA Executive Director and multiple-Medallion Award winner Chris Enss, “The Will Rogers Medallion Award attracts the finest Western authors around the globe. It’s always exciting to celebrate the many writers and the books they’ve penned about the American frontier. I think Will Rogers would be pleased to know the passion that continues for this rich genre of writing."

OKLAHOMANS 2 also had the largest individual cheering section for the 2022 Will Rogers Medallion Awards celebration at Coopers BBQ in the Fort Worth Stockyards.


OKLAHOMANS 2, the best-selling non-fiction book in Oklahoma for the month of June 2022, chronicles the stirring post-statehood history of the Sooner State, including the pandemic and other momentous events of the 2020s. It features more than 800 illustrations and an additional 500 pages of free bonus material, including scores of podcasts.

Continuing the OKLAHOMANS 1 theme of Oklahoma as “The land of the second, third, sometimes last chance,” OK 2 turns the reader loose on a heroic and heartbreaking stampede through the incineration of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, the sweeping horrors of the Dust Bowl, the mighty valor of the Thunderbirds as they liberate Europe—including Dachau—the Vietnamese boat people braving the Pacific in search of the freedom they finally found in Oklahoma, Clara Luper’s NAACP Youth Council, who couldn’t get service at a downtown OKC lunch counter, the bombing of the Murrah building and the “Oklahoma Standard” it subsequently revealed to the world, and the Moore teachers who shielded their students with their own bodies as a historic F-5 tornado buried them all under their own wrecked schools.

OKLAHOMANS 2 supporters Ken Sibley, a Texan who co-produced John Dwyer’s epic book of the American Civil War, THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, and Clark Curry, an Oklahoman and Chairman of the Board of the Red River Institute of History, through which OK 2 was published.


Some of Oklahoma’s greatest historians shared their enthusiasm for the book. According to Dr. Bob Blackburn, renowned Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society from 1999-2021, “There has never been a history of Oklahoma written like what John Dwyer has done. In 100 years, historians will be looking back on what he has accomplished.”

“John Dwyer is without peer as an Oklahoma historian,” said William R. Carmack, Regents Professor and Chairman Emeritus of Communications at the University of Oklahoma. “Volumes 1 and 2 of THE OKLAHOMANS constitute the best history of our state ever written.”

“I wish I could write like John Dwyer,” said Marvin E. Kroeker, Professor Emeritus of History at East Central University. “He is in a league of his own.”

OKLAHOMANS 2 also features the vibrant images of Oklahoma’s official Centennial photographer Mike Klemme, and the state’s greatest artists, including Wayne Cooper, R. T. Foster, Wilson Hurley, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Mike Larsen, Ross Meyers, Christopher Nick, G. N. (Neal) Taylor, Charles Banks Wilson, and Mike Wimmer, and dozens of action-packed graphic novel-style illustrations by USAO artist-in-residence Jerry Bennett.

Here is the link to the dramatic two-minute preview video:

Here is John Dwyer’s spontaneously-delivered “What Oklahoma Means to Me” at OKLAHOMANS 2’s national book release celebration at the Oklahoma History Center:

Originally created to honor outstanding volumes of cowboy poetry, the Will Rogers Medallion Award expanded into other categories as interest and reader demand increased. According to WRMA co-founder Charles Williams, “All works must represent an accurate reflection of Western Americana, or cowboy and ranch life, historical or contemporary.”

Williams illumined the enormous impact of Oklahoman Will Rogers’ legacy on the event:

“Will Rogers was an accomplished author as well as a cowboy entertainer, and the purpose of the award is to honor this facet of his legacy, as well as to highlight current books that embody strong content, excellent production values, and enduring interest. As writers, as Westerners, and as Americans, we owe a tremendous debt to Will Rogers, and this is our way of acknowledging and honoring that debt.”


Luke Dwyer doing business with some of those legendary Coopers BBQ ribs and sporting some Will Rogers Medallion Award hardware.


Will Rogers, the Cherokee Kid, in whose revered memory it all happened.


Many thanks to Atwoods Ranch and Home, a farm and ranch supply company based in Enid, Oklahoma, for their support of the Red River Institute of History and OKLAHOMA GOLD! Please support them as you are able! Wherever you are, you can order online from thousands of quality products on their terrific website HERE. Atwoods also has 66 stores in 5 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. In addition to farm and ranch supplies, Atwoods stores sell clothing, lawn and garden items, tools, hardware, automotive supplies, sporting goods, pet supplies, firearms, and seasonal items.

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