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 26, 2008
“Texas occupies all of the North American continent except Canada, Mexico and the rest of the U.S.”

Texas author Boyce House (1896-1961) is best known for his short, best-selling Texas humor books published during World War II, providing a chuckle to Texans and non-Texans everywhere. House also wrote newspaper columns and had a radio show.

House opened his first humor collection, I Give You Texas!: 500 Jokes of the Lone Star State (1943), with a well-remembered joke about the large size of Texas:

“Texas occupies all of the North American Continent except the small part set aside for Canada, Mexico and the rest of the United States.”


Handbook of Texas Online
HOUSE, BOYCE B. (1896-1961). Boyce House, author, humorist, and radio personality, son of Noah E. and Margaret (O’Brien) House, was born on November 29, 1896, in Piggott, Arkansas.
(...)
His weekly column eventually appeared in 130 newspapers, and his weekly radio show brought him celebrity status in Texas and an established national reputation.

House was twice a losing candidate for lieutenant governor of Texas in the Democratic primary, and he was strong in his support of the Democratic party and the political system.
(...)
During the last years of his life he worked for the Texas Credit Association; many of his personal appearances were as a representative of that group. House was a member of the Texas Folklore Society, the Poetry Society of Texas, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Texas Editorial Association.

1 May 1921, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “Texas Woman’s Oratory Sways Church Council,” part 3, pg. 12:
As delegate to the Methodist Missionary Council in Richmond, Va., Mrs. Nat G. Rollins of San Antonio distinguished herself as a Texas silver tongued orator. The winning of the 1922 council meeting for San Antonio is attributed to Mrs. Rollins’ “invitation speech” which was in essence an apostrophe to Texas including the following:

“Texas occupies all of North American except a small part for United States and Canada.”

1 May 1921, San Antonio (TX) Light, pg. 11A, cols. 3-4:
CONVENTION WON
BY ADDRESS OF
LOCAL DELEGATE

Clever Speech of Mrs. J. P.
Curry Makes Impression
at Richmond.


TELLS ABOUT TEXAS

Women’s Missionary Council
Will Meet Here Next
Year as Result.

A speech filled with clever epigrams and forcefully expressed facts about Texas and San Antonio, delivered by a San Antonio woman, Mrs. J. P. Curry, won for this city the next annual convention of the Women’s Missionary Council of the Southern Methodist Church, to be held in April, 1922.

Mrs. Curry, with other Texas women, presented Texas attractions so well that the conference held at Richmond, Va., last week, at once voted to hold its next meeting in San Antonio and the delegates were demonstrative in their appreciation of the speakers. Richmond newspapers printed lengthy excepts of Mrs. Curry’s address, which, in part, follows:

“Texas occupies all the continent of North America, except the small part set aside for the United States and Canada. Texas owns all the north of the Rio Grande, the only dusty river in the world; also the only one, with the possible exception of the Trinity, which is navigable for mud cats and pedestrians.”

19 January 1922, Moberly (MO) Weekly Monitor, “Suppose All The Texas Steers Were One Steer” (Roy K. Moulton in New York Mail), pg. 6, cols. 1-2:
Texas Tells The World.
Texas has prepared a brief which proves the state believes in advertising. The brief was written in Laredo, Texas, and is being circulated in a perfectly cold blooded manner by an official body. It runs along as follows:

“Texas occupies all the continent of North America except the small part set aside for the United States and Canada. Texas owns the north of the Rio Grande, the only dusty river in the world; also the only one, with the possible exception of the Trinity, which is navigable for mud cats and pedestrians.”

18 August 1939, Amarillo (TX) Globe, pg. 2, col. 3:
I believe it was a Mrs. Collins of Texas who once said: “Texas occupies all the Continent of North America except that small part set aside for the United State and Canada. Texas owns all North of the Rio Grande, the only dusty river in the world; also the only one, with the possible exception of the Trinity, which is navigable for mud-cats and pedestrians.”

Google Books
I Give You Texas!
500 Jokes of the Lone Star State

by Boyce House
San Antonio, TX: The Naylor Co.
1943
Pg. 1:
Texas occupies all of the North American Continent except the small part set aside for Mexico, Canada and the rest of the United States.

11 March 1943, Panola Watchman (Cathage, TX), “A Tribute to Texas” by Boyce House, pg. 6, col. 5:
Texas occupies all of the North American continent except for the small part set aside for Canada, Mexico and the rest of the United States.

22 July 1945, Port Arthur (TX) News,"Mighty Texas,” pg. 22, col. 5:
Boyce House, Texas author and humorist, who was here for a couple of talks recently, isn’t the originator of the following thumbnail sketch of the Lone Star state, but he streamlined it:

Texas occupies all of the North American continent except for the small part set aside for Canada, Mexico and the 47 less fortunate states.

1 July 1995, Daily Register (Oelwein, Iowa), “‘Texas Siftings’ gives readers humor, history” by Mike Cochran, pg. C2, col. 6:
“Texas occupies all of the North American continent except the small part set aside for Canada, Mexico and the 47 less fortunate states.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, June 26, 2008 • Permalink