Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat


June 10, 2006

Comic Relief

Program to focus on Rogers’ Depression Era relief efforts


“At each (stop), Rogers took the stage in the largest venue available and delivered one of his much beloved, down-home humorous monologues about politics and current events,” Gragert said.

His performances generated more than $200,000 for hunger relief, a huge amount of money during the depression era.

The tour took Rogers to England, Ark., to address the very farmers who had protested just weeks earlier.

Before arriving there, Gragert says, he used his daily syndicated newspaper column of January 6, 1931, to highlight the people’s plight.

“Paul Revere just woke up Concord. These birds woke up America,” Rogers wrote.

“We got a powerful government, brainy men, great organizations, many commissions, but it took a little band of five hundred simple country people (who had no idea they were doing anything historical) to come to a country town store and demand food for their wives and children, they hit the hearts of the American people, more than all your Senatorial pleas, and government investigations.”

Gragert’s presentation will include photos of Rogers on the tour, exerts from his writings and audio clips from his radio broadcasts.

“Breakfast with Will” is free to the public. A sampling of tasty breakfast and brunch items will be provided by the PV Historical Society, beginning at 10 a.m. with Gragert’s presentation beginning at 10:30.

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