Crescent, Oklahoma

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Crescent is a city in Logan County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 1,281 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Crescent was formed with the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889 on March 2, 1889, and officially started that fall when William Brown started selling general merchandise out of a wagon. Soon he took on a partner, Benjamin Ryland, and the two moved into a log cabin. A post office christened "Crescent City" and was established on February 21, 1890, the name taken from a moon-shaped glade where the town began. In November 1891 the town site was platted, and incorporated in 1893. The Denver, Enid and Gulf Railroad laid track one mile (1.6 km) west of the city in 1902, and the city obtained 160 acres (0.65 km2) from two farmers (C. E. Wells and J. H. Rhoades) creating "new Crescent" or "West Crescent", eventually the town moved to the new location. Oil was discovered north of town in 1926 and then south of town in 1930 in the "Crescent Oil Field".[3]

On June 20, 1934 the Farmers and Merchants Bank was robbed by a group of men. The group took 13 hostages to help conceal the attempt and to help move the safe. They had the hostages load the safe into the back of a truck and drove the hostages and safe out of town. They ended up leaving both behind, hostages unhurt and safe unopened.[4]

In 1965 the Cimarron Processing Facility was opened by Kerr-McGee (owned through a subsidiary, Kerr-McGee Nuclear Corp.) to convert powdered uranium hexafluoride and plutonium into fuel pellets for use in the nation's nuclear power plants.[3][5] The site became the center of highly controversial revelations within the petrochemical industry, when in the early 1970s, working conditions and manufacturing practices at the facility became dangerous. The 1983 Oscar nominated film Silkwood, based around Karen Silkwood (who became contaminated) and her death (in 1974), is a movie about those revelations. In 1976 the facility closed down production.[6] The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would state that the groundwater contamination (around where the facility once buried radioactive waste) was rising near the plant and was 400 times higher than federal drinking-water standards allowed in 1989, while levels were 208 to 360 times higher than federal standards in 1985-87.[7] Several cleanup and decommissioning projects have been attempted, with none completed as of yet.[5]

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