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Will Rogers, Cherokee Nation


Our next stop with the Traveling Supremes was Wagoner, OK.  From here, we visited the Will Rogers Museum and the Cherokee Nations Heritage site.

William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (1879 – 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator and stage and motion picture actor. He became one of the most famous American media stars during the 1920s and 1930s.

Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”,[1] Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made over 70 movies, wrote more than 4,000 newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, he was the leading political wit of his time, and was the top-paid Hollywood star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is a non-profit society and museum that preserves the historical and cultural artifacts, language, and traditional crafts of the Cherokee Indian.  It consists of a museum that show the remarkable arts and crafts of Cherokee Nation, and gives a moving account of the “Trail of Tears”.

The Cherokee Nation removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold in Georgia, in 1829. The Cherokee were divided into thirteen groups, who were forcibly marched to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).   Approximately 5,000 of the 16,500 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.

One of the more famous Cherokees was Andy Hartley Payne, the winner of the Trans American Footrace staged in 1928. He ran the 3,423.5 mile from New York to Los Angeles  in 23 days averaging 6 miles per hour over an 84 day staged run.

We were also given an excellent tour of the restored village, and the way of Cherokee life.  A very educational and interesting display.

Statue of Will Rogers

Statue of Will Rogers

One of the many painings of Will

One of the many paintings of Will. He was a laid back type of guy.

One of the wings of the Museum

One of the wings of the Museum

A statue of Andrew Payne, a participant in the great Transcontinental Footrace (1928)

A statue of Andrew Payne, a participant in the great Transcontinental Footrace (1928)

Ceremonial head dress

Ceremonial head dress

Our  guide, explaining life in an Cherokee house

Our guide, explaining life in an Cherokee house

Our guide making flint arrow heads

Our guide making flint arrow heads

Inside the Council House, looking up

Inside the Council House, looking up to gods in the sky

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