A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 23, 2015
Land of Entrapment (New Mexico nickname)

The state of New Mexico has had “Land of Enchantment” advertised on its license plates since 1941. In 1955, the New Mexico Motor Club called the state the ‘Land of Entrapment” because state highway police were aggressive and deceptive in giving motorists tickets.

The “Land of Entrapment” nickname is still used. An entry in the Urban Dictionary explained in 2008:

“The reference is really to the state’s high poverty rate and relative lack of economic opportunity, which renders many people unable to get up enough money to leave, even if they want to.”


Netstate
NEW MEXICO
Land of Enchantment (Official)
The “Land of Enchantment” describes New Mexico’s scenic beauty and its rich history. This legend was placed on New Mexico license plates in 1941. This nickname became the official State Nickname of New Mexico on April 8, 1999.

29 August 1955, Albuquerque (NM) Tribune, “Says Highway Safety Drive ‘Misdirected’” by Mickey Toppino, pg. 19, col. 1:
The New Mexico Motor Club warned State Police today against turning New Mexico into a “Land of Entrapment” and charged that the crackdown on highway fatalities has been “somewhat misdirected.”

13 September 1955, Amarillo (TX) Daily News, “From A to Izzard” by Wes Izzard, pg. 1, col. 1:
TOURISTS ARE CALLING New Mexico the Land of Entrapment.

It is largely because of the current practice of New Mexico highway patrolmen driving unmarked cars with out-of-state license plates.

The governor, himself, has been filed on by an irate citizen for sporting a Montana license on his official car.

30 September 1956, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, “State Press Comment,” pg. 6, col. 3:
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
Coronet Magazine this month belabors “traffic traps” across the nation, and gives special mention to New Mexico as “The Land of Entrapment.” Basis for the article is reports from the American Automobile Association which long has spearheaded a movement against speed traps and other forms of undercover work against traffic offenders.

The article does New Mexico an injustice by linking the state with “speed traps” as known in the state not too many years ago, but which have since disappeared. (...)—Santa Fe New Mexican.

22 August 1983, Roswell (NM) Daily Record, “Public forum: State roads bad,” pg. 4:
Land of Enchantment! Baloney!! Land of Entrapment is more appropriate!
M. A. Dannehl
40 Del Norte Dr.

Google Groups: rec.arts.theatre
The best movie musical
Mathemagician
5/9/91
(...)
There are also “regional” lines such as during the Invasion of the Snot People, Part II (Frank seduces Brad).  When Frank says, “There’s no crime in giving yourself over to absolute please,” we in New Mexico say, “It is in New Mexico.  *Everything’s* a crime in New Mexico.  It’s the Land of Entrapment!” making a pun on the state motto:  The Land of Enchantment.

Google Groups: soc.culture.native
Mitsubishi Boycott ??
dunem...@iscsvax.uni.edu
7/20/93
I was wondrin’ if any readers on nat.culture have seen, heard, or read about a Mitsubishi boycott going on this summer. Green Corps, a youth enviro-organizing group is working the campaign in the US, and Rainforest Action Network is doing it in Europe and Japan. I worked with Green Corps a little while in Abq, New Mexico. Want to see if this campaign is having any effect in the US. One of the parts of the campaign is focusing on the effect on Native people in the areas that Mitsubishi “owns” and logs and mines. However, many people chose tonot even mention that part, which kinda ate my lunch, and I did feel really hypocritical talking about all this destruction of Native culture “out there” while living here in THE state of current Native American cultural destruction, “the land of entrapment.”

Google Groups: alt.dads-rights
Custody fights
Richard Donovan
9/28/93
(...)
Welcome to New Mexico, The Land of Entrapment.

Google Groups: rec.bicycles.tech
Tread Direction?
Christophe W. Olsen
1/12/94
(...)
Welcome to New Mexico, the land of entrapment!  (land of enchantment rasberry)

Google Groups: alt.support.dystonia
Question
Misscrafts
2/17/96
(...)
I WAS in Tampa for 5 years , stationed at MacDill AFB before coming to NM...land of entrapment...oops, I mean enchantment.

Google Groups: rec.travel.usa-canada
Looking for state nicknames
Son of Traven
9/30/96
(...)
New Mexico, it ain’t New and it ain’t Mexico
Also known as:  “The Land of Entrapment”
Capital City:  Santa Fake

Google News Archive
5 October 1996, The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), “Interstate welfare fraud uncovered” (AP), pg. 3A, col. 5:
Two weeks after the raid in Clovis, protesters picketed outside a courthouse, calling New Mexico the “Land of Entrapment” — a play on its “Land of Enchantment” nickname—because they believed prosecutors were overzealous in singling out the poor to find fraud.

Google News Archive
5 November 2005, Tuscaloosa (AL) News, “Celebrity Q&A: Freddie Prinze Jr.” by John Crook, TV Week, pg. 9, col. 2:
They call New Mexico Land of Enchantment,” but the people who live there call it “the land of entrapment.” You can’t get out.

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
Land of Entrapment (2007)
Plot Summary

Clint is a UNM student anxious to escape Albuquerque. He wants to apply for a job teaching English in Japan, but runs into trouble when he finds out his girlfriend, Jessica, doesn’t want to go with him. As Clint waits to hear whether or not he got the job, he learns how hard it can be to escape the Land of Entrapment.

Urban Dictionary
Land of Entrapment
The US state of New Mexico. A play on the state’s official nickname, “Land of Enchantment”. The reference is really to the state’s high poverty rate and relative lack of economic opportunity, which renders many people unable to get up enough money to leave, even if they want to.
I’d like to move to LA or Seattle, but here in Carlsbad, I can only get a part-time dishwashing job. So I guess I’m stuck here in the Land of Entrapment.
by Leslie Doppler Hammond February 21, 2008

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 • Permalink