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.

Recent entries:
“Why can’t someone look at me the same way I look at pizza?” (4/27)
“What’s the best place to buy Cheerios and donuts?"/"Hole Foods.” (4/26)
“Warning! The consumption of alcohol might cause you to think you can sing” (4/26)
“Life is basically all the stuff you have to do to get from coffee to wine time” (4/25)
“I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education” (4/25)
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Entry from February 15, 2005
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of
Greek historian Herodotus (484 BCE - 430 BCE) is said to have written this line. It appears on the James Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue and 32nd Street, opposite Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.

This is often mistaken for an official motto of the Unites States Postal Service. It is merely what the arhitect added to the 1913 building. Some have claimed that the Herodotus citation doesn't quite read this way.

The building itself is scheduled to become part of Penn Station in 2009; the building will be renamed after the late New York senator Patrick Moynihan. It is unknown if the motto will remain in place when the post office departs.

But you know how these things work in New York. Madison Square Garden is no longer at Madison Square, Manhattan College is in the Bronx, and egg cream has neither egg nor cream
...
28 December 1913, New York Times, pg. 12:
These support a cornice, on which is engraved the motto which Herodotus wrote in tribute to the couriers who dashed through Persia with the mails and military orders: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

6 August 1925, Bridgeport (CT) Telegram, pg. 22, col. 2:
Consider the slogan of the Service:

"Neither snow nor rain
Nor heat nor gloom of night
Stays these couriers
From the swift completion
Of their appointed rounds."

25 December 1929, New York Times, pg. 3:
Despite unfavorable weather and a volume of mail which surpassed that of previous years by more than 1,400,000 pieces, Postmaster John J. Kiely and his aids have handled the holiday rush, the records show, in unerring emulation of the passage from Herodotus which adorns the facade of the General Postoffice at Eighth Avenue and Thirty-second Street.

One of the most conspicuous demonstrations of the fact that "neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night" stays the couriers of the Postoffice Department from the "swift completion of their appointed rounds," according to Assistant Postmaster Charles Lubin, was the distribution yesterday of more than 6,000 sacks of Christmas mail which arrived from Europe on the Leviathan.
Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Tuesday, February 15, 2005 • Permalink