The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


One Time in Amarillo: Hollywood Headliners Attend Will Rogers Memorial Event (1938)

In August of 1938, a band of "Hollywood headliners" made a beeline for Amarillo to attend a memorial event for legendary cowboy actor Will Rogers.

According to reports and museum documents, a band of actors and musicians from Hollywood attended the memorial service on August 15, 1938. The motorcades traveled along the Will Rogers Route, ending in Amarillo for a three-day celebration.

The widow of Will Rogers was in attendance along with Rogers' horse, Soapsuds. The motorcades from Hollywood, Chicago and Los Angeles arrived in Amarillo for a parade led by the actor Leo Carrillo. A long line of governors, actors, and other dignitaries also participated in the parade along Polk Street.

Attendees were encouraged by the Chamber of Commerce to wear "patriotic poisy shirts and neckerchiefs."

The event ended with an "Old Southwest Days" performance. Tex Ritter and Donald Novis performed in the event. 

Photo by PBS

Photo by PBS

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