Will Rogers Essay, Research Paper
Will Rogers is one of America?s great folk heroes. He was born on November 4, 1879, in Oologah, Indian Territory (now Claremore Oklahoma). His full name is William Penn Adair Rogers. He was # 2340 on the official Cherokee roll. He was named for one of the most revered Cherokees Col. William Penn Adair(hence his name). Will often joked, ?My parents didn?t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat.? He married Miss Betty Blake in 1908, and they had four children.
He grew up on a ranch and began his career as an entertainer in rodeos and Wild West shows. He made his vaudeville debut with a rope throwing act in New York City, New York, in 1905. He traveled to South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. On stage he chewed big wads of gum and performed rope tricks while kidding about business, people, places, and politics. The people loved it. They considered him a good friend. Henry Ford gave him the first Model A Ford to come off the assembly line. Will later joked that Mr. Ford had run over more people than were killed in the Civil and Revolutionary Wars put together.
People all over the world knew of Will Rogers. He wrote a column that appeared in three hundred and fifty newspapers world wide. He was in fifty silent movies, twenty-one talkies and was popular on the radio. He wrote six books some of which are The Cowboy Philosophy on Prohibition (1919), Illiterate Digest (1924), and Will Rogers? Political Follies (1929).
He really loved to fly. On August 19, 1935, he flew with another Oklahoman, Wiley Post, to Alaska. His wife asked him not to go. She said she had a funny feeling something bad was going to happen, he ignored her. It was too bad, she was right. They both died when their plane crashed in the water near Point Barrow, Alaska. A group of native Eskimos tried to save them, but it was too late.
Hotels, stores, schools, libraries, airports, hospitals, and rodeo grounds are just some of the memorials across the country named for him. The citizens of Oklahoma built the Claremore Memorial. It is the ranch style house he had planned to build for his family someday. A bronze statue of Will bears his most famous quote ?I never met a man I didn?t like.?
He was an American aviator, born in Grand Plain, near Grand Saline, Texas. With the Australian-American aviator Harold Charles Gatty(1903-57) as navigator, Post set a world record in July 1931 for flying around the world. The two men covered 15,474 mi. in eight days, 15 hours, 51 minutes in a Lockheed Vega monoplane, the Winnie Mae. Post made the first solo flight around the world, from July 15 to the 22nd, 1933, in the same plane, completing a distance of 15,596 mi. in 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes, a new record for the distance.
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