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. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 11, 2004
First “Big Apple” citation: May 3, 1921
Gerald Cohen found the first "Big Apple" in a John J. Fitz Gerald horseracing column. From the New York Morning Telegraph, May 3, 1921, page 9, column 3:

J. P. Smith, with Tippity Witchet and others of the L. T. Bauer string, is scheduled to start for "the big apple" to-morrow after a most prosperous Spring campaign at Bowie and Havre de Grace.
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New York CityThe Big Apple1920s: John J. Fitz Gerald and the N.Y. Morning Telegraph • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 11, 2004 • Permalink