Tulsarama!  was the name chosen for the city of Tulsa’s Jubilee Celebration.

In 1957, Oklahoma celebrated its semi-centennial.  Many communities organized their own events, and Tulsa was no different.  Tulsarama! was the name chosen for the city of Tulsa’s Jubilee Celebration. Using the suffix “rama” was very popular around the state that year, and simply meant “an exposition of the best.” The exclamation point at the end of the name was a nod to the musical Oklahoma!

Special events were planned every day of the weeklong Tulsarama celebration, which was scheduled June 1-8. Two major shows highlighted the festival: a giant, historical spectacle called “Tulsarama” and the “T-Town Tom Tom” Native American dance production.

The Buried Car

A brand new, gold and white, Plymouth Belvedere sat outside Tulsarama Headquarters to advertise its upcoming burial.  A sign with the now well-known slogan “Suddenly it’s 2,007” garnered attention for the associated contest to win the car.  Those entering the contest submitted guesses on what Tulsa’s population would be 50 years in the future when the car would be unearthed.  Whoever guessed closest would win the car and a $100 savings bond.  The entries would be sealed in the time capsule and buried with the car so all would be found together.

Time Capsule

Burying the Belvedere was a last minute addition to the already planned Tulsarama time capsule.  The time capsule, made from a steel propane tank was filled with items representative of the city of Tulsa in 1957. It contained information and publications about government, churches, schools, industry, and of course, the many Tulsarama activities going on at the time.

            Preparing the Car

Despite being a last minute publicity stunt, the Belvedere was prepped very carefully for its burial. All the fluids were removed from the car, and special state-of-the-art materials were designed to cover and protect the car before it was lowered into a sealed, concrete vault.  To prepare the car for its unearthing 50 years in the future, containers of gas and oil were placed in trunk to ensure the car could be driven in the future even if gasoline was no longer available.

            Last Minute Additions

Just before the car was lowered into its 50-year home, bystanders added their own contributions to history by placing additional items into the car. The most well known item was a case of Schlitz beer placed in the trunk by Clarence Love.  Another anonymous Tulsan emptied the contents of her purse into a plastic bag and placed the items inside the glove compartment. Other citizens threw in photographs, letter to their families, coins, and other souvenirs.

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum
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