The answer to the riddle "What is black and white and read all over" is a newspaper. The riddle first appeared in print in 1859 in the Christian Inquirer and was used as a tag line for the Marion, Ohio, Daily Star newspaper in 1880.
The riddle plays off the homophones "red" and "read." Other answers, based on the "red" homophone, are a zebra with a sunburn or an embarrassed zebra. Due to this specific homophone, it's difficult to translate the riddle into a foreign language without changing the metaphor.
The riddle's history continued into the 20th century, when it appeared in 21 riddle and joke collection books from 1917 to 1974.