New York City has been called many things—“The Great American Melting Pot,” “Gotham,” “The City that Never Sleeps”—but its most famous nickname, undoubtedly, is “The Big Apple.”But have you ever wondered why New York City is famously known as The Big Apple? Well, there are many theories but it turns out that the term originally dates back to the 1920s .
This nickname for New York City was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph. He used this phrase in a number of articles in reference to the many racing courses in and around New York City ,where apples were the prizes for the races . He explained this phrase’s use in a column dated 18th February, 1924, under the headline "Around the Big Apple":
‘’The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There's only one Big Apple. That's New York.’’
In honor of Fitzgerald, the corner of 54th & Broadway, where Fitzgerald lived for 30 years, was renamed "Big Apple Corner" in 1997.
Then, in the 1930s New York City's jazz musicians began referring to New York City as the "Big Apple."
‘’ Big Apple’’ remained as a nickname until it was officially adopted by the city in the 1970s due to a campaign to increase tourism .Since then, New York City has officially been The Big Apple.