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 January 05, 2007
“Texas—Where men are men and women are governors”

The old phrase “Texas, where men are men and--” goes back to the 1800s. In the play Texas Steer (1890), the lead character declared that he came from a town in Texas “where men are men and the plumbing is improving.”

An Old West saying was: “Where men are men and women are glad of it.”

In the 1920s, “Ma” Ferguson became governor of Texas. A popular slogan was: “Texas, where men are men and a women is governor” or “Texas, where men are men and women are governors.” Ann Richards would later refer to this when she became governor.

In 1993, Texas Tech won the NCAA women’s basketball championship. A popular Lubbock bumper sticker read: “Texas Tech—Where men are men and women are champions.”


Handbook of Texas Online
FERGUSON, MIRIAM AMANDA WALLACE (1875-1961). Miriam Amanda (Ma) Ferguson, first woman governor of Texas, daughter of Joseph L. and Eliza (Garrison) Wallace, was born in Bell County, Texas, on June 13, 1875. She attended Salado College and Baylor Female College at Belton. In 1899, at the age of twenty-four, she married James Edward Ferguson,qv also of Bell County. Mrs. Ferguson served as the first lady of Texas during the gubernatorial terms of her husband (1915-17), who was impeached during his second administration. When James Ferguson failed to get his name on the ballot in 1924, Miriam entered the race for the Texas governorship. Before announcing for office, she had devoted her energies almost exclusively to her husband and two daughters. This fact, and the combination of her first and middle initials, led her supporters to call her “Ma” Ferguson. She quickly assured Texans that if elected she would follow the advice of her husband and that Texas thus would gain “two governors for the price of one.” Her campaign sought vindication for the Ferguson name, promised extensive cuts in state appropriations, condemned the Ku Klux Klan,qv and opposed passing new liquor legislation. After trailing the Klan-supported prohibitionist candidate, Felix D. Robertson,qv in the July primary, she easily defeated him in the August run-off to become the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. In November 1924 she handily defeated the Republican nominee, George C. Butte,qv a former dean of the University of Texas law school. Inaugurated fifteen days after Wyoming’s Nellie Ross, Miriam Ferguson became the second woman governor in United States history. 

Center for American History (UT-Austin)
A Guide to the Ann W. Richards Papers, Part 09
“Texas, Where Men are Men and Women are Governors”

Houston Press
Article Published Oct 2, 1997
Only a dozen or so people, including a few men, had waded out into a thundering monsoon to hear author Ann Crawford recount the history of women in Texas politics.
(...)
As he did, Crawford’s history lesson meandered past the political activism of the 1960s to the post-Watergate era, which she described thusly: “Texas—where men are men and women are mayors.”

Handbook of Texas Online
Texas Historical Literature
Texas Historical Literature
by Don B. Graham
(...)
The only play dealing with Texas themes that achieved popular success was C. H.. Hoyt’s A Texas Steer (1890), which traced in a farcical manner the colorful doings of a Texas rancher-congressman named Maverick Brander from Red Dog, Texas, “where men are men and the plumbing is improving.” Hoyt’s play enjoyed great popularity, was filmed three times including a 1927 version starring Will Rogers, and was still in print as late as 1939.

Cowboy Days
The Western Star, April 22, 1927.
A Few Reminiscences of “Cowboy Days”
Written by E. S. Bennett
for the Fur-FishGame Magazine
and used in this paper by permission.
(...)
However, I have known many men who would take exceptions and fight quicker at the word liar, than other allegations that men in heated moments will pour out that sounds far more wicked and evil, but somehow or other, out where men are men and women are governors as some humorous fellow phrased it, men do not like the word “liar.”

Google Books
Letters from a Hard-boiled Teacher to His Half-baked Son
by George Frederick
The Dalion Company
1931
Pg. 9:
Soon after the youth was decorated with the doctor’s hood, he was employed as a high school teacher in Texas, “where men are men and women are glad of it.”

Google Books
I Give You Texas: 500 Jokes of the Lone Star State
by Boyce House
San Antonio, TX: The Naylor Co.
1943
Kessinger Publishing
2004 (reprint)
Pg. 4:
Texas—where men are men and women are glad of it.

Google Books
Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography
by Steve Delsohn and Mark Heisler
New York: Simon and Schuster
2006
Pg. 315: In celebration, the Lubbock Avalanche Journal put out its first special edition since Pearl Harbor. As a local bumper sticker put it, TEXAS TECH—WHERE MEN ARE MEN AND WOMEN ARE CHAMPIONS.
(Texas Tech won the 1993 NCAA basketball championship with star Sheryl Swoopes—ed.)

13 December 1924, Danville (VA) Bee, “Vaudeville wit,” pg. 4, col. 7:
“Texas—the state where men are men and women are governors.”

22 February 1925, Davenport (Iowa) Democrat and Leader, pg. 6, col. 3:
Down in Texas where men are men and women are governors, Mrs. Miriam A. (Ma) Ferguson has bought a Moon roadster.

6 July 1926, Port Arthur (TX) News, pg. 7, col. 2:
Avoiding all mention of Texas politics except when he referred to Texas as “the state where men are men and women are governors,” Lloyd Bloodworth of Fort Worth, who said he was head of the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, addressed several thousand Sabine district klansmen at a joint celebration Monday night at Port Neches park.

10 October 1926, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 20, col. 6:
Considerable attention was attracted by the Meeker car throughout the East as it carried this sign on the rear: “From Texas, where men are men and a woman is governor.”

27 July 1930, Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner, pg. 3, col. 3:
He claims that a fellow in Teas, where men are men and the women are glad of it, has climbed up to the top of a cactus plant and is going to establish an endurance record by sitting there.

7 March 1949, Lima (OH) , “Texas’ First Lady Dislikes Label of ‘Ma’” by Inez Robb, pg. 6, col. 5:
And Texas became known as the state “where men are men and women governors.”

15 January 1957, Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, pg. A9:
Taffy Tuttle told Lee Segall, Dallas producer, “Texas is a place where men are men and women are women, and it’s not a bad setup.”

25 July 1958, Austin (TX) American, pg. A13:
“Down in the Wild West of Texas, where men are men and women are darned glad of it, we challenge the truth about the ruling,” he said.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, January 05, 2007 • Permalink