This Big Apple plaque was dedicated by me on May 14, 1996, at the Hotel Ameritania, 230 West 54th Street. It is one of a series of plaques in New York City put up by the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center. It was intended to go with the "Big Apple Corner" street sign.
The Hotel Ameritania removed it during renovations a year later. It has never been re-affixed:
JOHN J. FITZ GERALD
The turf reporter, who popularized "the big apple" as a name for N.Y.C. racetracks, lived here from 1934 to 1963. He first heard the term, equating "the big time" with N.Y.C. racing, in 1920, from African-American stable hands in New Orleans. A decade later, jazz musicians began using the name to identify N.Y.C. as the Capital of Jazz. By the 1970s, "The Big Apple" replaced "Fun City" as the international description of our city.
New York City • The Big Apple • 1980s-present: Big Apple work by Gerald Cohen, Barry Popik • Monday, July 12, 2004 • Permalink