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Where did the Big Apple come from?

By Joanna Law (People's Daily Online)

11:03, February 20, 2012

New York City is famously known as the Big Apple. But rarely do people question how this name came from. People’s Daily Online USA spoke to a Senior Reference librarian at New York Public Library and found out more.

“The Big Apple has been around since the 1920s. I think it’s a good term for New York and a good nickname that lasts,” said Matthew Boylan who has been working at the library for more than 10 years.

The birth place of the Big Apple was in fact originated in New Orleans. In 1921, a Morning Telegraph reporter called John Fitzgerald overheard some African Americans stable boys referring New York City as the Big Apple. Fitzgerald used the term in print. He was the first person who wrote New York City as the Big Apple. “That was the first and the earliest incident,” Boylan said.

The emergence of the Big Apple coincided with the Jazz Age, an era when the African American music became flourished throughout the United States. Harlem, where African American jazz musicians created the world-famous works, was best known as the jazz capital of the world. The Big Apple was referred by most African Americans as New York City, or Harlem to be specific.

“They referred to New York City, but since the City’s entertainment was largely racially segregated in the 1930s, when [African American] musicians said New York City, they were referring to Harlem. But the nickname, – the Big Apple – was interchangeably used in New York City at that time and also referred to Harlem by [African American] musicians who played in places like the Cotton Club or Small’s Paradise, the jazz clubs that existed at that time.”

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outlet at 2012-06-17120.43.10.*
It is hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks outlet

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