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 December 09, 2016
“I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road…”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?"/"To get to the other side” is an old joke from the 19th century. “I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned” is a jocular saying that has been printed on many images. The joke is based on Martin Luther King Jr.‘s famous “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.

“Martin Luther King: ‘I envision a time when all chickens will be to cross the road without their motives being questioned’” was printed in The New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM) on May 10, 1997. “I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road w/o having motives questioned” was posted on Twitter on July 1, 2008.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?"/"To have its motives questioned” is the riddle form of the joke.


10 May 1997, The New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM), “Cyber surfin’” by Logan Bronee, pg. B-6, col. 4: 
Martin Luther King: “I envision a time when all chickens will be to cross the road without their motives being questioned.”

Google Groups: alt.weemba
Why did the chicken crosss the road?
Red...@webtv.net
3/18/98
(...)
Martin Luther King:  I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives questioned.

18 September 1999, The Times (London, UK), “Computer games and pastimes” by Tim Wapshott, pg. 35:
Martin Luther King, Jr: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives questioned.

Twitter
Angela L. Allen
‏@wickedwriter
@copyblogger RE: chicken theme from yesterday: “I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road w/o having motives questioned.”
9:46 AM - 1 Jul 2008

Twitter
kaseyh
‏@kaseyh
I dream of a better tomorrow, where the chicken can cross the road without having his motives questioned.
=D
12:52 AM - 7 Oct 2008

Twitter
StormCrow
‏@Torren_T
I dream of the day a chicken can cross the road without having his motives questioned…
8:32 AM - 6 Mar 2009

eBaum’s World
basketcase09
I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
04/02/2009

Google Books
Funny Conversations With God: A
n Uncalled-for Dialogue

By Dunn Neugebauer
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc.
2012
Pg. 158:
It read, “I want to live in a better world—a world where chickens can cross the road and not have their morals questioned.”

8 May 2013, Leader Post (Regina, Sask.), “Give P3s some time” by Joe Ralko, pg. A10:
A cartoon I’ve seen recently on some social media sites reads: “I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.”

Google Books
Walking on Water:
A Novel

By Richard Paul Evans
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
2014
Pg. 282:
Mounted next to me on the wall was a picture of a chicken standing in the middle of a highway. Written in the sky above the chicken were the words

I dream of a day when a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.

November 2014, O: the Oprah magazine, “We Hear You!,” pg. 18:
“I pray for a world where chickens can cross the road without feeling interrogated about their intentions. What aspirations do you have?”
Fleur Cheri Wainohu

Google Books
Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?:
The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization

By Andrew Lawler
New York, NY: Atria Books
2014
Pg. 227:
She owns a sweatshirt that says, “I dream of a society where a chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.”

Google Books
How to Speak Chicken:
Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

By Melissa Caughey
North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing
2017
Pg. 136:
I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road without their motives being questioned.
Unknown humorist

Google Books
A Liver Runs Through It:
The Bourbon-Soaked History of the 4Day / Paddling through an Endless Stream of Stories

By River Dick Doc
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2017
Pg. ?:
On the same early 200s 4Day, unknown to both, Vid brought Jonesy a tshirt and Kenny brought Jonesey a sign, each with the same quote, “I Dream of a Better World Where Chickens Can Cross the Road Without Having Their Motives Questioned.”

Google Books
Holy Ghost
By John Sandford
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
2018
Pg. 42:
An older Ford F-150 was parked nose in at the front door; a bumper sticker said “I dream of an America where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Friday, December 09, 2016 • Permalink