In the 1890s, the land west of the Mississippi was wide open. And so was the opportunity it represented. The homesteaders who got there first were called the Oklahoma Sooners. One of them was T.M. Richardson, who opened an Oklahoma bank—in a tent. The bank’s growth was swift as Richardson’s bank won the confidence of homesteaders and helped finance local community projects, like bringing the railroad to rural Oklahoma. More than 100 years later, the Oklahoma Bank is now Bank of America. It continues to create opportunities in rural areas by supporting organizations like the Housing Assistance Council, whose mission is to improve housing conditions for low-income families in the most rural regions of the United States.
Conquering the plains mini-documentary