I’m writing a series of articles about life, people, and events during the Depression years of the thirties and early forties.




Ruth Bryant Owens was a lady very much in the forefront of the news during the depression years in the 1930’s. She was a United States Minister to Denmark, US Representative, High Society, married a guard for Danish King, Christian.


Articles were written about her travels to Greenland, donning Greenlander costumes and visiting 14 of the 17 settlements there. There are stories about her Christmas shopping there and buying gifts for the Eskimos. Greenland was a colony of Denmark and as us minister to Denmark the press followed in her travels.


Her marriage to Captain Boerge Rohde, a Danish guard for the King was a highly publicized affair at James Chapel in Hyde Park, New York. President Roosevelt and family attended.


Because she had been a representative in the Congress, many members attended her wedding and reception.  Newspaper accounts gave detailed descriptions of her wedding attire, a blue dress that matched the formal uniform attire of the bridegroom.


Here we are in the twenty-first century, and think of women, as those living very much in the background, and life in the earlier part of the twentieth century as being very much a man’s world, particularly when it came to politics. But the colorful life of Ruth Bryant Owens dispels that idea.


At a luncheon, given by the Women’s National Press Club, there was an out burst of applause when Ruth Bryant Owens read the Last Will and Testament of the Lame Duck. I think it was later read into the Hose Records. The Verse follows:


                “To members in the coming session, we leave what’s left of the Depression. With fifty thousand tomes appended, telling us just how it could be ended”


                 “To Congressmen who’ll draw our salary, we leave all gun men in the gallery. All communist who march and fight, and threaten us with dynamite”


                   “Those stalwart ones may have the onus of laying hands on the bonus.  The Currency — to them we hand it, to shrink, contract it or expand it”


                    “We’ll let them exercise their talents, on making that their budget balance.  And pointing out with no delaying, a tax the public won’t mind paying”


                      “To make this simple as can be, we leave to them Technocracy. To them we leave the analysis, of beer producing no paralysis”


                      “To them we leave with stifled sobs, al persons seeking  jobs.  Our pains of exile, twill assuage, to know we have no patronage”.


                      “To you dear ladies of the Press, we leave un-feigned thankfulness. All you have done to give us pleasure, and memories we will always treasure”


                       “While we roam that vast expanse, where lame ducks seek their sustenance, when happy days are here again, please let us know just where and when”


Mrs. Owens said she was inspired in doggerel by Senator Hattie Caraway, also adept at it.


These are people, politicians, events I will be writing about in a series of articles about the Great Depression years. Does anything sound familiar, in relation to happenings today?







The Freedom Lady


Email: annecleveland@bellsouth.net



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0 Responses to The Great Depression – Politicians, Royalty, Movie Stars & Lame Duck Will. Part One (Issue 216)

  1. It almost seems she was speaking of today, rather than then. I’ll bet she would have been an interesting person to know.