March 13, 2019 – “Gettysburg and Will Rogers”

Hello, everyone!

After the drought on Monday, a slow trickle of interesting family vacations surfaced in the Home Movie Collection. The family whose footage I am viewing visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a place I visited myself when I was a child. Among other locations includes the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma. As for any office interactions, I briefly played the part of a cake delivery service. Without further ado, allow me to explain further detail.

After connecting the Home Movie Collection hard drive, I started watching the next batch of footage in the collection. The footage mostly consisted of typical slice of life events (especially birthdays). Spliced in between these personal memories laid a visitation to a site I know very well. The family in question apparently visited the Gettysburg National Military Park during a day in Autumn.

The family interacted with iconic monuments such as the North Carolina Monument, the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, and the Major General John F. Reynolds Monument. Sadly, the daughter and father of the family climbed onto certain parts of the monument and the cannons in close proximity, Additionally, I encountered the same problem from yesterday: failure to identify a monument.

The family filmed the daughter standing next to the monument in question and I did my best to find out its identity. The stone monument featured a bronze plaque, a sculpture of a standing officer (from the glimpses revealed, the statue wore boots with spurs and a scabbard) at the top and four cannons (Rodman cannons, I believe) in each corner, facing outward. The monument stood next to a white building featuring a “free museum.” I tried desparately to find the identity of this monument, only to find nothing.

In spite of this failure, I continued watching more footage. The family visited a zoo that featured polar bears, brown bears, rhinoceros, and giraffes. Simple and fun observations. To my surprise, my predecessors failed to mention the next locale the family visited.

A woman from family stood next to a statue. I tried reading the inscription and I thought the inscription read “Walt Disney.” I searched for known statues of Disney and none of them matched. Then, the thought dawned on me that the sculpture was of Will Rogers. I entered the phrase “Will Roger statue” in the search bar and, sure enough, the statue in question belonged to Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Will Rogers, famous actor in the early decades of the twentieth century, died in a plane crash on August 15, 1935. The museum became Rogers’ final resting place on May 19, 1944, after transferring his remains there from Forest Lawn Park in Glendale, California. The family made footage them visiting Roger’s grave.

Not long after, my shift came to a close. I saved my work and packed all collection materials. After depositing these materials in the stacks, I bid the staff farewell.

In review, I watched more footage from the Home Movie Collection and an unidentified Gettysburg monument stumped me. I decided to take Friday off, so next week will be a full week to make up those hours. Until then, enjoy the weekend and stay safe! Bye!


Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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