Everyone knows Jamestown, NY as the birthplace of Lucille Ball, star of I Love Lucy, and one of the greatest comedic stars ever. 

Back in 2018, the city opened the National Comedy Center in her honor with a unique visitor experience that is geared individually to every visitor that walks into the museum. Not only does the museum honor Lucille Ball’s work and document her history, it also details the history of the world’s greatest comedic stars, including writers, cartoonists, producers, and other notable figures who helped develop comedy into what it is. 

Although Lucille Ball went on to be an icon, she never forgot where she came from.

She made frequent visits to her hometown of Jamestown, often with her husband Desi Arnaz. 

Born August 6, 1911, Ball grew up on Chautauqua Lake with her brother Fred. Lucy’s maternal grandparents took care of her for many years in her youth following the premature death of her father. 

Ball often went to theaters and shows in Jamestown with her grandfather while growing up, which is why she felt so close to the town and its people. 

And that’s why she came back to visit whenever she could. 

But did you know, on one visit, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz landed their helicopter at Jamestown High School?

Photo Credit: Kadie Daye @ Luci Desi Museum, February 1956 edition of Jamestown Sun
Photo Credit: Kadie Daye @ Luci Desi Museum, February 1956 edition of Jamestown Sun

According to a February 1956 issue of the Jamestown Sun, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, one of the world’s most famous comedy team, landed in Jamestown via helicopter for the premiere of their film, “Forever Darling.” 

It was raining when they landed, but there were more than 25,000 people who came out to greet the couple. 

High school students even lined up in a way so you could see a “HI LUCY, DESI,” spelled out on the football field, and Lucille Ball took the time to meet the homecoming court nominees at Jamestown. 

During that visit, Mayor Carl F. Sanford awarded the couple a pair of keys to the city. 

How often do you see a world superstar land their helicopter at a local high school? Lucille Ball was just different. 
If you ever want to learn more about the world’s favorite comedy duo, there is a Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in Jamestown, NY that talks about their family life and their significant contributions to comedy. 

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