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 September 15, 2007
“Where was Jesus born?” (Palestine, Texas joke)

With a city name like Palestine (in East Texas), comparisons and jokes are inevitable.


Wikipedia: Palestine, Texas
Palestine (pronounced ˈpæl.ɛs.tin) is a city in Anderson County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 17,598. It is the county seat of Anderson County and is situated in East Texas. Palestine was named for Palestine, Illinois, the home of an early settler.

The largest employer is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which employs more than 3,900. Another 1,600 work at two Wal-Mart distribution centers. Other significant employers include a thriving medical and healthcare sector that tends to the large population of retirees. Finally a distinguishing mark of Palestine is that it is home to the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, which has flown 1700 high-altitude balloons for universities and research agencies. 

This Dog’ll Hunt:
An Entertaining Texas Dictionary
by Wallace O. Chariton
Plano, TX; Wordware Publishing, Inc.
1989
Pg. 171:
PALESTINE, TEXAS
Texas holy city. There is an old joke about the young Texan who was asked where Jesus was born. After guessing Athens and Carthage, the young man gave up and the Sunday School teacher said it was Palestine. The young Texan, replied, “I knew it was somewhere in East Texas.”

This Dog’ll Really Hunt:
An Entertaining and Informative Texas Dictionary
by Wallace O. Chariton
Plano, TX: Republic of Texas Press
1999
Pg. 206:
Palestine (Anderson County):
in Texas it is properly pronounced Pal-a-steen, not Pal-a-stien
[There is an old joke about the young Texan who was asked where Jesus was born. After guessing Athens and Carthage, the young man gave up and the Sunday school teacher said it was Palestine. The young Texan replied, “I knew it was somewhere in East Texas."]

The Waverly Star, by Jim O’Leary
June 2, 2001
(...)
A pretty town near Uncertain is called “Palestine” (Pop. 18,042). In East Texas it is pronounced “Pal-Ah-Steen.”
(As in the joke about the Sunday School class which was asked to identify where Jesus was born. When the preacher couldn’t get any of them to come up with an answer, he said, “Hit was Palesteen!” One of the lads in the class said, “Shoot, I knew hit had to be some place in East Texas.")

Google Groups: tx.guns
Newsgroups: tx.guns
From: (Sam A. Kersh)
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 16:16:40 GMT
Local: Sun, Sep 30 2001 12:16 pm
Subject: Re: Play with Osama

Sunday School Teacher:  Jimmy, wear was Jesus born?
Jimmy:  Lufkin?
Teacher:  N, try again?
Jimmy:  marshall?
Teacher (exasperated): No, Jimmy, it was Palestine!!!
Jimmy:  Well, I knew it was somewhere in East Texas…

East Texas Motorcycle Riders Forum
Posted: Jul 28 2003, 09:51 AM

A man went to the local church and asked to join.

The preacher said “Ok, but you have to pass a small bible test first.
The first question is ‘Where was Jesus born?”
The man answered “Longview”.
The preacher said “Sorry...you can’t join our church.”

Soooooo....he went to another church and asked to join.
The preacher said “We would love to have you but you have to pass a bible
test first. “Where was Jesus born?”
The man said “Tyler”.
The preacher said “Sorry...you can’t join our church.

Soooo....he goes to another church and asked to join.
The preacher said “That’s great we welcome you with open arms.”
The man said “I don’t have to pass no Bible test first?”
The preacher said “No.”
The man said “Can I ask you a question?”
The preacher said “Sure.”
The man said “Where was Jesus born?”
The preacher said “Palestine.”

The man mumbled to himself “I knew it was in East Texas some where.”

Ragu/Online 2004
There’s a story about an old East Texas oil field hand that thought he would take up religion.  He first went to a Catholic priest and said,"I believe I want to join up.”

Priest says,"OK, but you got to answer some questions.” He ran down a list of a few things: How many commandments?  How many disciples?  When is Christmas?  Stuff like that. And the old driller was doing pretty good until the priest asked the last question.

“Where was Jesus born?”

The old cowboy thought for a minute and said,"Tyler?"

“Nope.  You flunk,” said the priest.  “Come back when you’ve studied more.”

Undaunted, the oil field roughneck called on a Baptist minister.  He thought because there were so many of them around he wouldn’t have any trouble qualifying.  Same story.  The minister said he could join if he passed on the question test.  Once again, he was doing OK until asked, “Where was Jesus born?”

He was more careful this time and thought even longer.

“Nacogdoches?” he queried.

“Nope,” said the minister, “try us again when you’ve studied more.”

He was getting pretty depressed about this church business.  Seemed to him, after all the fuss in the world about drinking and whoring and gallivanting around, these preacher people oughta be a bit more obliging.  If a man wanted to mend his ways, that is.

Finally he decided to give it one more chance.  He went to the Methodist preacher after hearing they would take just about anybody.  After all, didn’t his dear departed mother once say that Methodists were just Baptists that knew how to read? 

Sure enough, he was welcomed with open arms but to his chagrin the Methodist minister said he had to answer a few simple questions.

The driller, not wanting to flunk again, pulled himself up tall and straight and said, “That’s OK with me but you’ve got to answer one first.  If you don’t mind, that is?”

The Methodist said, “Sure.”

“Where was Jesus born?”

“Palestine,” said the preacher.

“Damn!” the old driller reflected, “I knew it was in East Texas somewhere.”

Lone Star Times
NAT PIERCE Says:
May 9th, 2006 at 6:10 pm

There was a contest and a fellow from East Texas was
the contestant. Three tries
Where was Jesus born?
Hardin? No
Woodville? No
Palistine? Yes
I knew it was somewhere in East Texas.

Beyond Confusion Lies Obfuscation
Monday, February 12, 2007
(...)
For some reason, this reminds me of the joke about the Texas boy who went to Sunday school. His teacher asked him where Jesus was born. First he answered “Athens”. No, she said, try again. Next he answered “Carthage”. Wrong again. Finally he said “Palestine”. That’s right the teacher said. She was so proud. “That’s right, I knew it was somewhere in East Texas”.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 15, 2007 • Permalink