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:
“I don’t have enough coffee or middle fingers for today” (3/26)
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/26)
“If you are not coffee, chocolate, or bacon, I’m going to need you to go away” (3/26)
“Life happens, coffee helps” (3/26)
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Entry from August 16, 2016
“What should you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes?"/"God bless America.”

A popular riddle about the Statue of Liberty is:

Q: What should you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes?
A: God bless America.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1986.


Wikipedia: Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City, in the United States. The copper statue, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French sculptor, was built by Gustave Eiffel and dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.

7 June 1986, The Afro-American (Baltimore, MD), “Sob Sister” by Ruth Jenkins, pg. 4, col. 2:
As for our patriotism—we practice that idea suggested by a younger who has his eye on the Oval Office: When the Statue of Liberty sneezes, we say “God Bless America.”

Google Books
Super Sick Jokes and Riddles
By Joseph Rosenbloom
Illustrated by Sanford Hoffman
New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Company
1990
Pg. 19:
What should you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes?
“God bless America.”

11 January 1993, Indiana (PA) Gazette, “Mighty Funny’s Mini Jokes,” The Mini Page by Betty Debnam, pg. 4, col. 2:
Q: What do you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes?
A: “God Bless America!”
(Sent in by Ryan Kietzman)

18 March 1997, The Times of India (New Delhi, India), pg. A3, col. 6:
What do you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes?
God bless America.

1 November 2005, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “The Kids’ Reading Room: Jokes & Riddles,” pg. E16:
What do you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes? “God Bless America.”
Mary
Los Feliz Elementary, Los Angeles

Twitter
Kel♔
‏@klcreamer
What do u say when the statue of liberty sneezes? God bless america.. LMAO favorite joke of the night. #ftw
12:56 AM - 13 Nov 2010

Google Books
The Bumper Book of Very Silly Jokes
Illustrated by Jane Eccles
London: Macmillan Children’s Books
2013
Pg. 103:
What should you say when the Statue of Liberty sneezes?
God bless America!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityPublic Sculpture • Tuesday, August 16, 2016 • Permalink