John Wayne’s Estate Celebrates Mother’s Day With Free Admission to ‘American Experience’ Exhibit

by Caitlin Berard
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(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Known for his courage, patriotism, and strong sense of self, John Wayne was also a family man. He famously adored those closest to him, especially his family. It was John Wayne, after all, who said, “I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.”

So, with Mother’s Day weekend upon us, John Wayne’s estate is celebrating by giving moms everywhere a chance to enjoy the John Wayne exhibit in Forth Worth, Texas, free of charge. On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8th, moms get complimentary walk-in tickets.

“Here’s to moms!” the John Wayne estate wrote on Twitter. “John Wayne loved to go big on holidays and celebrate the ones he loved and we do too! To celebrate the moms we love, Mother’s Day, moms will get free admission to John Wayne: An American Experience.”

John Wayne’s Son Explains How the John Wayne Exhibit Came to Life

For fans of The Duke, this John Wayne exhibit is a must-see. According to their website, “The John Wayne: An American Experience exhibit is structured to give you an intimate tour of the life of John Wayne. Starting with his early childhood and career, each room highlights an aspect of The Duke’s legacy.”

The exhibit offers over 10,000 square feet of fun, including the “Life on Screen” gallery, which features iconic film props and costumes that John Wayne used throughout his career in Hollywood. There’s also an “America, Why I Love Her” gallery. In this section of the exhibit, guests can experience John Wayne’s Grammy-nominated poetry, read aloud by The Duke himself.

Ethan Wayne, John Wayne’s son, took over John Wayne Enterprises when his older brother Michael passed away in 2003. When he took the reins, he found a storage facility that he described as full of “Indiana Jones style boxes.”

After pulling the boxes down, he was confused by the amount of junk – the boxes seemed to be filled with plastic cups and toilet paper! Then, however, he stumbled upon an Academy Award, and he began looking further into John Wayne’s old belongings. Ethan Wayne recalls thinking “this is significant” once he realized what he had in the storage facility.

“To this day, people can watch a John Wayne movie and it’s still aspirational,” Ethan Wayne said. “When somebody comes to the exhibit, I want to make sure that they get 72 years of John Wayne.”

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