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Will Rogers' Arkansas crusade

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On Jan. 22, 1931, Will Rogers arrived in Little Rock and announced nationwide via hookup on NBC radio that he was launching his three-state drought-relief tour. The Hollywood star then visited drought-devastated England, the nearby Central High School in Lonoke County and Pine Bluff. After performing in Texas and Oklahoma, he returned to Arkansas on Feb. 9 to begin the last four days of the tour. His Arkansas itinerary:



Feb. 9 : Morning appearance, Rogers; afternoon, Fayetteville; two evening shows and overnight stay, Fort Smith.

Feb. 10: Early morning performance, Russellville; mid-morning show, Pike Hall, Conway; afternoon appearance, Hot Springs.; evening show, Rialto Theater, North Little Rock; two other evening programs, Little Rock. Stays overnight in Little Rock.

Feb. 11: Morning show, Batesville; early afternoon, Paragould; mid-afternoon, Jonesboro; evening show, Forrest City.

Feb. 12: Early morning, Legion Auditorium, Helena; late morning, Majestic Theatre, Stuttgart.; early afternoon, England.; mid-afternoon, Saenger Theater, Pine Bluff, night performance and overnight stay, Texarkana.



Information from Steven K. Gragert and Jane Johansson, eds., The Papers of Will Rogers, Volume 5: The Final Years, August 1928–August 1935 and Aftermath (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006)




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