Will Rogers

Will Rogers stands on the wing of a seaplane, with Wiley Post in front of the propeller, August 1935.
Library of Congress

Saturday marks 80 years since Oklahoma humorist Will Rogers died in a plane crash.

Aviator Wiley Post was also killed when their Lockheed Orion-Explorer plunged into a lagoon at Point Barrow, Alaska on August 15, 1935.

Will Rogers Museum Curator Tad Jones says the humorist's Birthplace Ranch in Oologah is marking the anniversary Saturday morning.

“We’ll have a special moment of commemoration for all those that have died in small airplane crashes,” Jones said. “It will start at 9:55 and the official commencement will begin at 10 o’clock.”

When asked what constitutes a life well spent, Will Rogers once answered, “Love and admiration from your fellow men is all that anyone can ask.” 

In April 2011, Oklahoma-born musician, Beau Jennings shared with KGOU his admiration for Rogers, and an ambitious desire to pay musical tribute to his "boyhood hero." Friday marks the consummation of at least part of Jennings’ pursuit - an album release concert featuring material from The Verdigris.