Image courtesy of Library of Congress
After representative Ruth Bryan Owen left the House in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her as U.S. Ambassador to Denmark - making her the first woman in U.S. history to hold an ambassador post.
On this date, Florida Representative Ruth Bryan Owen
was born in Jacksonville, Illinois. The daughter of famed orator William Jennings Bryan
, Ruth Owen sought and won election to the 71st Congress
(1929–1931) in 1928. Known for her strenuous campaign efforts, oratory, and devotion to constituent services, Representative Owen became the first woman to earn a spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Serving two terms in the House, she established herself as fiercely loyal to the needs of her Florida constituents and worked to protect the Everglades, to acquire federal aid for flood control on Florida's Okeechobee River, to build a new Coast Guard Station, and to create a U. S. District Court in eastern Florida. Additionally, Owen instituted an annual program (using some of her own money) to bring high school boys and girls from her district to Washington, D.C., for training as future leaders. Defeated for re-election to the 73rd Congress
(1933–1935), the Congresswoman served as a diplomat to Denmark and the United Nations.