KGOU

Claremore, Oologah Pause To Mark 80 Years Since Will Rogers' Death

Aug 15, 2015

Saturday marks 80 years since Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers died in a plane crash.

Aviator Wiley Post was also killed when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer plunged into a lagoon at Point Barrow, Alaska on August 15, 1935.

Will Rogers Museum Curator Tad Jones says the humorist's Birthplace Ranch in Oologah is marking the anniversary Saturday morning.

“We’ll have a special moment of commemoration for all those that have died in small airplane crashes,” Jones said. “It will start at 9:55 and the official commencement will begin at 10 o’clock.”

Will Rogers was known during his lifetime as "Oklahoma's Favorite Son," and his down-home humor, vaudeville act, and newspaper column made the entire country laugh during the depths of the Great Depression.

“It was a tragic moment for the country at that time, and because of the love that people have for Will Rogers, that’s why we have such a wonderful memorial to him in Claremore to this day.”

Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee family in Indian Territory, and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker is expected to attend the fly-in.

A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at noon at Rogers' tomb in Claremore.