Thursday, September 13, 2012

How The Big Apple Got Its Name

According to a web search on google:
The nickname "The Big Apple" has roots in horse racing.

In the early 1920s, "apple" was used in reference to the many racing courses in and around New York City. Apple referred to the prizes being awarded for the races - as these were important races, the rewards were substantial.

Based on the research of Barry Popik, the use of "Big Apple" to refer to New York City became clearer. Popik found that a writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, John Fitzgerald, referred to New York City's races "Around the Big Apple." It is rumored that Fitzgerald got the term from jockeys and trainers in New Orleans who aspired to race on New York City tracks, referring to the "Big Apple."

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, New York City's jazz musicians began referring to New York City as the "Big Apple." An old saying in show business was "There are many apples on the tree, but only one Big Apple." New York City being the premier place to perform was referred to as the Big Apple. In 1930 a popular song "The Big Apple" helped solidify the nickname.

A 1971 campaign to increase tourism to New York City adopted the Big Apple as an officially recognized reference to New York City. The campaign featured red apples in an effort to lure visitors to New York City. It was hoped that the red apples would serve as a bright and cheery image of New York City, in contrast to the common belief that New York City was dark and dangerous. Since then, New York City has officially been The Big Apple.

In recognition of Fitzgerald, the corner of 54th & Broadway, where Fitzgerald lived for 30 years, was renamed "Big Apple Corner" in 1997.

Other contributions from WikiAnswers users:
  • New York is called the "Big Apple" as in 1803 Evelyn Claudine de saint-Evremond was forced to flee France. She opened up a salon that became a place where men could enjoy the pleasures of beautiful women and high stakes gambling. The men that went to this such place lovingly nicknamed her "Eve" as to the biblical reference, and she would refer about the establishment and the women inside it as her "irresistible apples hence the name "The Big Apple."
  • I don't know if it's correct but I'm told that from above New York with both its harbors is in the shape of an apple with the Statue of Liberty being the stalk.
  • It is sometimes said that New York City is called The Big Apple because Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch colonial governor back when the city was called New Amsterdam, planted a long-lived apple tree in it.

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