#463, July 8, 2007
COLUMBUS: By this time in the summer, at the end of a holiday week, you folks are kinda used to reruns and repeats. Now most of them go back a few weeks, or maybe months. Well, what I’m giving you ain’t none of those johnny-come-lately rehashes, but some authentic wisdom from 1935.
See, I’m flying to Oklahoma in the morning, and then on to San Diego Tuesday, and I’ve got to do some serious shopping. Not for California, a man can wear anything there. But for Oklahoma these days, I’ve got to round up a pair of hip boot waders.
While I’m preoccupied with the modern version of a Sears Roebuck catalog, here’s a sample of what passed for comedy 72 years ago. Of course if I hadn’t told you it was 1935, you might have figured it was, well, 2007.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (from June and July, 1935)
“To read what all these critics of our country write, you would naturally think that everybody else was just sitting pretty.
But France has offered their Premiership to everybody over there but Chevalier, and they know he is too smart to take it. England just today traded horses right in the middle of Thames River. Half of Italy has gone to Africa with a gun on their shoulder. Japan is just looking over Chinese maps to see where to send their army. Russia must be in some devilment, we never hear of ’em any more.
So you see there’s none of ’em that we can point with pride to.” DT #2758, June 7
“I don’t know how you all are fixed with your State Legislatures, but we finally had some luck with ours [in California]. It adjourned last night, and there is a spontaneous celebration going on today that is bordering on Armistice Day.
Now if they can just get the main one to adjourn in Washington things will just go a sailing. Then all the politicians will have to do is just sit back and argue over who the credit belongs to for recovery.” DT #2766, June 17
“At the great San Diego World’s Fair yesterday [former President] Hoover received a tremendous ovation. There is no country in the world where a person changes from a hero to a goat, and a goat to a hero, or vice versa, as they do with us. And all through no change in them. The change is always with us.” DT #2768, June 19
“Hurrah for Mr. [John D.] Rockefeller, 96 years old today, one of the very few men that knew how to give money away so that every dollar does good. That’s more than our government can do. It’s more than anybody can do.” DT #2784, July 8
“It looks like you don’t make a good witness or committee member in a Washington investigation unless you call each other a liar or insult the President of the United States.
Chairman of the committee: ‘Mr. Jones, we are led to believe you know something about the matter we are investigating.’
Mr. Jones: ‘You are a liar and the President of the United States is a horse thief.’
Call the next witness. ‘Mr. Smith, what do you know of lobbying?’
Mr. Smith: ‘You are all liars and the President is fooling you. His mother was a Stalin and his father was a Mussolini and he is taking the money away from us to send to Hitler.’
And this goes on day after day.” DT #2787, July 11