Will Rogers

2021, Oklahoma, Road Trip, States

When the hugely popular cowboy philosopher Will Rogers died in a plane crash in the Arctic in 1935, America mourned and his widow donated twenty acres to the state of Oklahoma as a permanent memorial to an incredibly talented Wild West roper, Vaudevillian, Ziegfeld Follies star, writer, and movie star. It’s where Will & Betty had planned to build their retirement home. Since 1938 it’s been the Will Rogers Memorial Museum along Route 66 in Claremore, Oklahoma. Today we delighted in touring this wonderfully inviting and well curated tribute to an incredible life, from his birth and childhood in the Indian Territory that informed his skills and life philosophy, to his career in show business and as a newspaper columnist and radio pundit, to his humanitarian efforts, and fascination with aviation. We were entranced. Though he perished long before either of us was born, we’ve been his fans and cherish the memory of having seen James Whitmore portray him onstage. With this visit we learned so much more about this amazing individual. As a bonus, the museum is a Harvest Hosts site so we’ll get to spend the evening enjoying these grounds that Will & Betty chose for their golden years.

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