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Apache History in Oklahoma

By Linda Tancs

How many times have you, your children or your grandchildren shouted “Geronimo” down the slides or off the monkey bars at a playground? No doubt you’ve heard it many times. What few probably know is the history of the real Geronimo, the Apache warrior behind the fabled shout-out. Buried at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Oklahoma, historians seem unable to agree on much besides the fact that he was one of the last great Indian warriors of the 19th century, spending the last 15 years of his life as a prisoner of war at the fort after fighting against Mexican and U.S. forces for their infringements on Apache lands. Hardly a hostile prisoner, he became friendly with his captors and even attended the inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt. Does that diminish his image as a fierce combatant? Visit his stomping grounds, and you be the judge.

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