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 July 05, 2004
Big Apple 1970s Revival: Charlie Gillett and Lew Rudin
Charles Gillett, then president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, is responsible for the 1970s "Big Apple" campaign that revived the nickname. It played a crucial role in eliminating the frequently lampooned nickname 1960s nickname, "Fun City," and it put a brighter image on a city going through a severe fiscal crisis.

The effort is described in the New York Times, March 27, 1975, pg. 65: "Three years ago the bureau began passing out small Big Apple lapel stickets and, according to officials, they have become something of a worldwide craze. (...) Tom Snyder, the New Yorker—he came here a few months ago from Los Angeles—wears a Big Apple on his Channel 4 news show. Alan King, the comedian, Dave DeBusschere, the basketball figure; and Louis Rudin and Preston Robert Tisch, the real estate and hotel executives, all have joined the Big Apple corps of city boosters and pass out the little stickers. Mr. Rudin, who is chairman of the Association for a Better New York, has given away about 4,000 cloth Big Apple stickers, in the three-quarter-inch version that sells for 10 cents a sticker."

"Lew Rudin Way" was dedicated in 2002 for East 52nd Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. There are apples on both sides of the name on the street sign.

In 1995, Dan Ratiner (of Dan's Papers) had suggested that there be an apple sculpture in the Big Apple. I wrote in and agreed, then telling him the story of "the Big Apple." After three years of constant effort, the first newspaper to print the "Big Apple" story in any form was one in the Hamptons!

This reply letter was printed in , April 21, 1995, pg. 45:

Dear Dan:

My good friend, Jerry Berns, of "21" was kind enough to send me a clipping from "Dan's Letters" in which my name was mentioned in connection with "The Big Apple."

I was certainly pleased to see the clipping because I started the campaign "The Big Apple" in 1970. I served as president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau for 25 years and am naturally proud ofthis campaign which has helped New York City's tourism and is still being used today.

I retired five years ago as president but still remain a consultant to the NYCVB.

Charlie Gillett,
Great Neck
Posted by Barry Popik
1970s: Big Apple Revival • (0) Comments • Monday, July 05, 2004 • Permalink