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 August 09, 2006
“Texas—It’s Bigger Than France”

In the late 1990s, T-shirts and bumper stickers declared that Texas is “bigger than France.” Will Rogers said much the same thing back in 1932.


Texas Territories Store
Bigger Than France T-shirt

Our best seller internationally! Famous Texans who own this shirt include Lance Armstrong and President Bush. Don’t be left out. T-shirt is 100% cotton and available in sizes S to XXL. Bonus: Turn the shirt inside-out and wave as the French battle flag.
Price:  $20.00

Google Groups: alt.culture.us.southwest
From:  Denis McKeon
Date:  Mon, Aug 17 1998 12:00 am

>I haven’t seen that one. A popular bumper sticker at the moment is,
>“Poor New Mexico! So far from Heaven and so close to Texas.”

Land of the flea,
Home of the plague

seems to keep recurring as a bumper-sticker and tee-shirt.  I just saw:

Texas:  Bigger than France

on I-25 near Trinidad, CO, and had a vision of a team of bowlegged men wearing cowboy boots, chaps, and spurs playing in the World Cup. 
(And yes, France is 210,040 square miles, and Texas is 262,134 square miles.  Other comparisions and contrasts may occur to thoughtful readers.)

7 October 1932, New York Times, “Will Rogers Still Marvels At the Immensity of Texas,” pg. 23:
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Oct. 6.—I been flying, train riding, automobiling, horsebacking and buggy riding over Texas for thirty-three years and I’ve never seen a tenth of it.

It it had been in Europe eighty wars would have been fought over it. There is single ranches here bigger than France, counties bigger than England, saddle horse pastures as big as Alsace Lorraine.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 09, 2006 • Permalink