Will Rogers’ 140th Birthday

By Keldine Hull

Monday, November 4 marks what would have been Will Rogers’ 140th birthday- the Hollywood legend who lassoed his way into the heart of America and whose Pacific Palisades ranch has become a favorite gathering and recreation spot for generations of Angelenos.

Rogers was born in 1879 at Rogers Ranch in Oolagah, Cherokee Territory, in what is now Oklahoma. His father, Clement “Clem” Vann Rogers, was a Cherokee senator and judge; his mother, Mary America Schrimsher Rogers, was the descendent of a Cherokee chief. From steering cattle and transporting pack animals across the South Atlantic to appearing in Wild West shows in Johannesburg, the vaudeville performer became known around the world for his roping and riding skills as “The Cherokee Kid.”

In 1918, Rogers landed his first movie role as Bill Hyde in Laughing Bill Hyde. From the silent era of film to the Golden Age of Hollywood, Rogers starred in dozens of films, including Judge Priest, Steamboat Round the World and Doctor Bull. By the 1930s, Rogers was one of Hollywood’s most well-known and highest-paid actors.

While Rogers’ had roots in Oklahoma, California was his home. During the 1920s, Rogers acquired nearly 360 acres of land in Pacific Palisades overlooking the ocean. He built a place where he could enjoy his hobbies and spend time with loved ones. His ranch included 31 rooms, guest housing, a stable, corrals, polo field, riding ring, roping arena, golf course and riding trails. Rogers tragically passed away in a plane crash in 1935. He was 56. In 1944, his widow, Betty Rogers, donated the ranch to California State Parks to ensure that it would remain open to the public as a memorial to her late husband.

Decades later, visitors still walk the grounds of Will Rogers State Historic Park, gaining a rare glimpse into one of the world’s most memorable country western stars and the life he built for himself in the Palisades.

More than a Hollywood star, Rogers was a family man, columnist, radio announcer and philosopher who believed in honesty, integrity and hard work. Will Rogers once said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.”

To learn more about Will Rogers State History Park, visit: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=626

Related Posts

Guided tours of the Backbone trail: Palisades Today – February, 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Guided tours of the Backbone trail * Events...

Ending Mountain Lion Killings?

February 17, 2020

February 17, 2020

LA City Councilmembers introduce resolution in wake of killing of local mountain lion? By Chad Winthrop Should mountain lions be...

PCH Closures This Weekend, Expect Delays

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

LA County repairing water main in Malibu By Chad Winthrop Due roadwork, lanes will be closed on Pacific Coast Highway...

Grace Kelly home sold! Palisades Today – February, 13, 2020

February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Grace Kelly home sold * Reduced fee Animal...

Victim Dragged to Ground in Attempted Purse Robbery

February 12, 2020

February 12, 2020

Palisades weekly crime update Submitted by LAPD Lead Officer Michael Moore Recent Pacific Palisades crimes include an attempted robbery in...

Pacific Palisades Community Council Remembers George Wolfberg

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

Submitted by the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) With profound sorrow, Pacific Palisades Community Council announces the passing, after long...

Palisadian Julie Heldman Discusses Memoir

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

Thu, Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:30 PM The Friends of the Library speaker series will present long-time Palisadian Julie Heldman,...

Mountain Lion Killed Under State Law

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

P-56 killed by under California depredation law By Staff Writer A mountain lion has been killed in the Santa Monica...

New park in honor of George Wolfburg: Palisades Westside Local Show February, 6, 2020

February 11, 2020

February 11, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * New park in honor of George Wolfburg. *...

Palisades Woman Indicted by Feds in Multi-Million Dollar Scam

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

Regina Piehl arrested by federal authorities By Staff Writer A Pacific Palisades woman was arrested Wednesday, along with three other...

Remembering George Wolfberg, a Civic Leader for the Ages

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair Emeritus passes away By Sam Catanzaro George Wolfberg, Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) Chair Emeritus...

Pali high schooler raising money for cancer cure: Palisades Westside Local Show – February, 6, 2020

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Pali high schooler raising money for cancer cure....

Candidates Still Not Talking California Issues

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

By Tom Elias, Palisades News Columnist So…, as Elizabeth Warren would start out, the Democrats held a presidential primary debate...

Pali high alum helps Chiefs win Super Bowl: Palisades Westside Local Show – February, 3, 2020

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

All your local news, events and happenings in under 5 minutes. * Pali high alum helps Chiefs win Super Bowl....

Strong Winds Cause Pacific Palisades Power Outages

February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020

By Sam Catanzaro Hundreds of Pacific Palisades residents were left without power Monday morning after high winds trigged 15 power...

Comments
Leave a Reply