Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
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)