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:
“If your boat turns upside down, you can wear it on your head. It’s capsized” (10/22)
“There’s no ‘I’ in denial” (10/22)
“I walked past a homeless guy with a sign that read, ‘One day, this could be you‘“ (10/22)
“Your bank account is the adult version of your report card” (10/22)
“Why did the girl sit on her watch?"/"She wanted to be on time.” (10/22)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from July 10, 2015
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on”

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on” is a saying that has been cited in print since at least 1920. Authorship is unknown.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) has been credited with the saying since the 1990s, but Jefferson never said it. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) has been credited with the saying since at least 1958; he might have said the popular line, but there is no evidence that he said it first.


Monticello.org
Quotation: “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
Variations:
“If you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
“When get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
“When you think you have reached the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”
(...)
Earliest known appearance in print: 1923
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: 1996

16 January 1920, Daily Ardmoreite (Ardmore, OK), pg. 8, col. 6 ad:
WHEN
You get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on!
(M&C Auto Supply Company.—ed.)

17 November 1922, Bessemer (MI) Herald, pg. 7, col. 3:
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it—and hang on.

30 November 1922, Perry (OK) Republican, pg. 8, col. 4:
Bill Whistle says when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

13 May 1923, Trenton (NJ) Sunday Times-Advertiser, “Musings” by John H. Sines, pg. 8, col. 1:
“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

17 June 1923, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “See Big Field for Women in Dependency Prevention,” sec. 3, pg. 9, col. 2:
She must communicate something of this spirit to the workers meeting in the agents’ room hung with charts outlining results to be expected from five interviews (not calls) a day, and optimistic aphorisms like, “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

6 March 1958, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), ‘So They Said,” pg. 32, col. 2:
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.—Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Google Books
Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor’s Soul:
Stories to Inspire, Support and Heal

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Mary Olsen Kelly
New York, NY: Open Road Integrated Media
2012
Pg. ?:
When you get to the end of your rope—tie a knot in it and hang on.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Google Books
Stock Trader’s Almanac 2015
By Jeffrey A. Hirsch
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
2015
Pg. 77:
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. — Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd U.S. President, 1882–1945)

Twitter
Historical Quotes
‏@warsonapoleon
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” - Thomas Jefferson
4:58 PM - 10 Jul 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Friday, July 10, 2015 • Permalink