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 February 04, 2013
“Every great oak was once a little nut that held its ground”

"Great oaks from little acorns grow” is an old English proverb. “Every great oak was once a little nut that held its ground” is a modern take on the proverb, meaning that a “crazy” person who holds to his or her ideas can accomplish great things.

“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s little nut that held its ground” has been cited in print since at least 1963 and is of unknown authorship.


6 June 1963, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Mr. Oracle Says,” pg. 43, col. 4:
Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s little nut that held its ground.

27 April 1964, Laurel (MS) Leader-Call, “Some Quotations Worthy of Note” by Ralph Hays, pg. 4, col. 6:
The April issue contained this quote which has depth to its meaning: “A great oak is only a little nut that held its ground.”
(Ties, official publication of the Southern Railway System—ed.)

30 June 1964, Jefferson (IA) Bee, pg. 8, col. 3:
Today’s mighty oak is just little nut that held its ground.

Google Books
The Good Life Almanac:
Being the choicest morsels of wisdom for readers interested in living, rather than existing

By Ruth Smalley
Boone, NC: Appalachian Consortium Press
1975
Pg. ?:
The greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground.

Google News Archive
24 August 1978, Spartanburg (SC) Herald, “Million Dollar Business Began With Ripped Sheet” by Robert McEwen (Associated Press), pg. A8, col. 4:
“Every great oak was little nut that held its ground.”

Google News Archive
12 December 1978, Williamson (WV) Daily News, “It’s Possible” by Robert Schuller, pg. 4, col. 3:
“Remember, an oak tree is nothing but a little nut that held its ground.”

Google Books
Dreamcatcher Garden:
A Sacred Journey

By Merrilee Burke
Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press
2012
Pg. 79:
“The mighty oak was once a little nut that held its ground.”
An Ancient Truth

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Monday, February 04, 2013 • Permalink