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 01, 2017
“Why did the Statue of Liberty take karate?” (riddle)

The French have been the subject of many jokes about military surrender and have even been called “cheese-eating surrender monkeys.” The French gave New York City the Statue of Liberty, and there’s a riddle:

Q: Why did the Statue of Liberty take karate?
A: She wanted to be the first French person to be able to defend herself!


The joke has been cited in print since at least 2003.

“Why wouldn’t the Statue of Liberty work in France?"/"Because she has only one arm raised” is a similar riddle. 


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.

Google Groups: sci.space.shuttle
[WAR] The Canonical List of Anti-French Jokes
OM
3/26/03
(...)
Q: Why did the Statue of Liberty take karate?
A: She wanted to be the first French person to be able to defend herself!

Google Groups: alt.america
Boycott America
HüĐklëßëŪŪĸ Hö§hïmötö
4/18/03
(...)
Q: Why did the Statue of Liberty take karate?
A: She wanted to be the first french person to be able to defend herself!

Twitter
♕Princess Montazzle♕
‏@michamontaz
Q: Why did the Statue of Liberty take karate?
A: She wanted to be the first French person to be able to defend herself! #gtfrog
2:05 PM - 13 Jan 2012

Twitter
Roopali Bajpai
‏@rj_rocker
Why did the Statue of Liberty take karate.... She wanted to be the first French person to be able to defend herself. #FrenchArmy
3:15 AM - 29 Feb 2012

Twitter
theloon
‏@theloon
Q: Why did the Statue of Liberty learn karate? --- A: She wanted to be the first French person to be able to defend herself!
7:28 PM - 30 Aug 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityPublic Sculpture • Sunday, January 01, 2017 • Permalink