The Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma, will include the promotion of Route 66, aka the Will Rogers Memorial Highway, during a series of changes for the upcoming year, according to a news release published in the Tulsa World.
The museums, which also includes the Rogers’ Birthplace Ranch in Oologah, Oklahoma, also are planning:
- ” … A new focus on education for children around Oklahoma and beyond as well as opportunities for children in our area to participate in more events,” said museum executive director Tad Jones.
- Talent shows
- Community-oriented events
The news release didn’t elaborate on the Route 66 promotions.
The Claremore museum’s hours also will change, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult ticket prices will rise to $7 and senior citizens to $5. Children will continue to be admitted free.
Rogers touted U.S. 66 when he was alive, including at the famous Bunion Derby footrace in 1928, until his death in an airplane crash in Alaska in 1935. The origins of when Route 66 began to be called the Will Rogers Highway remain a bit murky. The U.S. 66 Highway Association unofficially named it as such in 1952, but such references date back to the early 1940s at least. A well-known monument dedicating the Will Rogers Highway also was installed in Santa Monica, California, near the Santa Monica Pier, in 1952.
It’s good the museum is trying to freshen things up. Although Rogers arguably remains Oklahoma’s most famous citizen, he has faded from the public memory with the passage of time. Perhaps a few new approaches will reignite interest with his fellow residents of the Sooner State.
(Image of the Will Rogers Highway monument in Santa Monica via Wikimedia Commons)