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8-17-11 Dawson Vacation 2011- Oklahoma Part 4 A

The Will Rogers museum is well worth a visit. It exposes one to an interesting and important sliver of American culture and history between the World Wars. .. The Cowboy and Western History Museum in Oklahoma City was interesting and informative about an important area and part of American History. It is well worth a visit.

AVOC

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August 16, 2011

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Dawson Vacation 2011- Oklahoma – Part 4 A

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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We headed west from Arkansas on I - 40 toward Oklahoma City.   We wanted to see the Oklahoma City Memorial, Will Rogers Museum, State Capitol and University of Oklahoma at Lawton.   We knew we would find many other things to see along the way- and we did!

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Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma

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We headed toward Tulsa, OK, and Claremore, a nearby town and home of Will Rogers.   I grew up hearing about Will Rogers of Oklahoma who had died in 1935.   There was a movie about him in the early 50’s.   He had been prominent in the 30’s and known for political satire and his humor. Jennifer knew little about him but enjoyed the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, OK.  She has said since that she could see some similarities in dress (brim hats) and life values to her grandfather, Rayford Dawson, and other Dawson relatives of that era.

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Will Rogers Plaque at Museum in Claremore, OK – 7.11.11

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Will Rogers at Museum in Claremore, OK –Betty & Wendell Dawson – 7.11.11

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Will Rogers had American Indian ancestry and also lived as a Cowboy.   He was talented as a roper and rider and appeared in cowboy shows.    He was a regular humorist or satirist on the radio during the Depression.   Many of my relatives of that era remembered hearing him.   He was a source of lightheartedness and entertainment during a dark time in our history.

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Will Rogers Museum Painting -Cowboy- Rogers was an experienced Roper and Cowboy 7.11.11

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Will Rogers Museum Painting –Riding a Horse - 7.11.11

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Rogers was a frequent visitor and friend of Presidents: Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt.  During the thirties, he professed to be a Democrat; one of his most notable quotes being- “I belong to no organized political party.  I am a Democrat.”   Rogers was a political satirist who poked fun at Presidents and other persons of note.   He did publicity for a federal program during the Hoover Administration.  Rogers appeared in many movies and was known as a movie star among his many talents.   In his later career, he lived in Los Angeles and was part of the movie scene.

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Will Rogers Museum Movie Billings –Rogers made many movies - 7.11.11

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Rogers was on an airplane tour with Pilot Wiley Post when they crashed and were killed on August 15, 1935.   The deaths made headlines all over the world.   He was mourned as a President or King would have been.   Will Rogers was a large persona of that era.

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Will Rogers Museum- Death Headlines –Rogers & Wiley Post died in plane crash in Alaska on August 15, 1935 - Will Rogers Biography - http://www.willrogers.org/wrbio.html; http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ro-Sc/Rogers-Will.html

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Will Rogers Museum Burial Site of Will Rogers Claremore, OK – 7.11.11

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The Will Rogers museum is well worth a visit.It exposes one to an interesting and important sliver of American culture and history between the World Wars.

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Will Rogers Biography

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Will Rogers Museum

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Cowboy and Western History Museum in Oklahoma City

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Cowboy & Western History Museum in Oklahoma City - 7.13.11

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Museum Entrance Hall – Indian on Horse Sculpture 7.13.11

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Museum Banquet Hall – Paintings of Western Landscapes - 7.13.11

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We had heard of a “Cowboy Museum” but knew little about it and had very little interest.However, our interest was peaked after we read more about its preservation and promotion of Western Culture and History.   It is a building of about 220,000 square feet, which is almost five acres.  It recognizes persons and Presidents important in US and Western History.   Persons like John Wayne are also recognized for his portrayal of Westerners.

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Lincoln Statue in Museum Hall – Lincoln was considered a Western President – 7.13.11

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President Reagan Statue in Museum Hall – Reagan was a Western President – 7.13.11

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John Wayne Statue –Wayne was movie and Western Icon -7.13.11

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It has a diverse collection of art (quality pieces) and sections of history.   There is a section representing a small western downtown that one can walk through.   It also has a rodeo section and statues of prominent westerners.   There is a movie theatre showing films of various western and cowboy actors.  

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Western Art Exhibit in Museum displayed paintings along many halls – Great Art -$ 3,000 to $ 28,000 prices -7.13.11

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Museum had Rodeo Exhibits 7.13.11

Federal Troops played prominent part in Western History – 7.13.11

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The Cowboy and Western History Museum in Oklahoma City was interesting and informative about an important area and part of American History.   It is well worth a visit.

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Concise History of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

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Galleries at Cowboy and Western History Museum

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NEXT- PART 4 B – Oklahoma City, State Capitol and University of OK


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