The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 28, 2013

Why we’re reprinting Daily Telegrams written by Will Rogers


Enid News & Eagle

— He never met a man he didn’t like.

We’re obviously referring to Will Rogers, and you’re going to be reading much more from him.

Oklahoma’s native son was world-famous on the silver screen, and he also wrote 4,000-plus syndicated newspaper columns.

Famous quotes from Will Rogers

Although he died nearly 80 years ago, Rogers is a national treasure. Novelist Clarence Kellend argued that “if you took Will Rogers and pitched a dab of whiskers under his chin, put a red, white and blue hat on his head, crammed his legs into star spangled pants, he’d be Uncle Sam.”

Now we’re giving you a chance to read his writings twice a week on our Opinion page. We’re publishing Will’s daily syndicated column called Daily Telegrams.

Thanks to Steve Gragert, director of Will Rogers Memorial Museums, we are chronologically reprinting the collection that was edited and republished by Oklahoma State University Press in 1978 and under copyright of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission.

These brief dispatches almost read like 21st century tweets, although they weren’t limited to 140 characters.

“The Daily Telegrams were published almost in real time, in the sense that Will typed them one day, wired them to The New York Times the same day, and the NYT sent them by wire to all of the other subscriber newspapers for publication the very next day,” Gragert said.

As Will insisted, his columns will be presented “as is.” That means we will not alter his words, punctuation, grammar or writing style.

Some of the topical content will be dated, but we hope new generations of readers appreciate Will’s unique perspective.

“I would say that Rogers is a Rorschach test into which people bring many points of view and they often end up finding them,” Peter C. Rollins, Regents professor of English and American/film studies at Oklahoma State University, told Oklahoma Gazette in 2005. “And that’s the virtue of him. That’s why he’s worth reprinting. That’s why he’s worth restudying.”

Like the humorist once wrote, everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

Will’s words continue to resonate with people. We’re all in for a real treat.