The Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Birthplace Ranch will celebrate the 141st birthday of Oklahoma’s Favorite Son with the Will Rogers Motion Picture Festival Wednesday, November 4, through Saturday, November 7. Many activities are planned to honor the memory of Will Rogers, Cherokee cowboy philosopher and movie actor. A complete schedule will be posted at www.dogirons.com/program.
In celebration of Rogers’s birthday, the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore will be open and free to the public all day on November 4. Families are encouraged to visit to learn more about the man who would entertain and inspire a nation. Then drive to Oologah to the Birthplace Ranch, where visitors can see the room where Will Rogers was born on November 4, 1879, in the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation. All visitors are required to wear a face mask in exhibit and gift shop areas. A stylus will be provided for museum touchscreens and group sizes will be limited for the safety of visitors.
Beginning November 4, the Will Rogers Motion Picture Festival will be held virtually to feature up-and-coming filmmakers work, along with lectures and workshops. Also included in this virtual film festival will be showings of films featuring Will Rogers, and the annual Dog Iron Awards Ceremony. For additional information, including scheduling, please visit www.willrogers.com.
There are several other events on Saturday, November 7, related to the festival. The day will begin at 6:30 a.m. with the Cherokee Nation Wings Race, a 1K fun run or 5K race, in the Rogers State University Nature Preserve. At 10 a.m., the Pocahontas Club will perform its traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Will Rogers, followed by music and a reception. Also beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m., the 24th annual Native American Festival at Rogers State University’s Centennial Center will feature a powwow-singing workshop, Native music and dancing, Cherokee storytelling and make-and-take arts and crafts activities. Events are free and open to the public.
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum and the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch are divisions of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.