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 November 17, 2017
“How did the Mayflower show that it liked America?"/"It hugged the shore.”

Do ships “hug” the shore? A popular Thanksgiving riddle is:

Q: How did the Mayflower show that it liked America?
A: It hugged the shore.


The Thanksgiving joke has been cited in print since at least 1974.


Wikipedia: Mayflower
The Mayflower was an English ship that famously transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30, but the exact number is unknown. This voyage has become an iconic story in some of the earliest annals of American history, with its story of death and of survival in the harsh New England winter environment. The culmination of the voyage in the signing of the Mayflower Compact was an event which established a rudimentary form of democracy, with each member contributing to the welfare of the community. There was a second ship named Mayflower that made the London to Plymouth, Massachusetts voyage several times.

Google Books
The Star-Spangled Banana and Other Revolutionary Riddles
By Charles Keller and Richard Baker
Illustrated by Tomie De Paola
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
1974
Pg. ?:
How did the Mayflower show affection for America?
It hugged the shore.

24 November 2006, Pensacola (FL) News Journal, “Just Awful Jokes, pg. 3B, col. 5:
How did the Mayflower show that it liked America? It hugged the shore.

Google Books
How to Raise an American:
1776 Fun and Easy Tools, Tips, and Activities to Help Your Child Love This Country

By Myrna Blyth and Chriss Winston
New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group
2007
Pg. 144:
There are lots of other websites that also have some fun suggestions for holiday crafts of all kinds and Thanksgiving jokes (mostly groaners) that can be told at the table such as “How did the Mayflower show that it liked America? It hugged the shore.”

Twitter
tfraymond‏
@tfraymond
Thanksgiving joke of the day: How did the Mayflower show that it liked America? It hugged the shore. http://bit.ly/141DYY
5:59 AM - 3 Nov 2009

Google Books
The Happy Classroom:
From Ha-Ha to A-Ha

By Janet Aaker Smith
Marion, IL: Pieces of Learning
2011
Pg. 87:
How did the Mayflower show that it liked America?
It hugged the shore.

Twitter
Funny Teacher‏
@SchoolJokesK_12
How did the Mayflower show that it liked America?… It hugged the shore! http://bit.ly/2zriaEt @plimoth #Plymouth #sschat #geography
1:30 PM - 14 Nov 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Friday, November 17, 2017 • Permalink