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 April 04, 2005
Big D: Dallas, Texas
"Big D," a nickname of Dallas, Texas, has been cited in print since at least the January 15, 1933, when it was printed in the Dallas (TX) Morning News. Texas broadcaster Lee Myres (1902-1972) used "Big D" at the Texas Centennial in 1936 and was thought to have coined it there; it's not known if Myres used "Big D" before 1936.

The song "Big D" in Frank Loesser's musical, The Most Happy Fella (1956) spelled it out in the song "Big D" with the lyric: "Big D, little A, double L, A, S!"

A "Big D Flour," from Dennis Brothers Company of Dubuque, Iowa, existed since the early 1900s. It is not known if "Big D Flour" (which was sold in Texas) had any influence on the Dallas nickname.


Wikipedia: Dallas
Dallas (/ˈdæləs/) is a major city in Texas and is the largest urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. The city proper ranks ninth in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. The city's prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines. The bulk of the city is in Dallas County, of which it is the county seat; however, sections of the city are located in Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 1,197,816. The United States Census Bureau's estimate for the city's population increased to 1,281,047, as of 2014.

The city is the largest economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area (commonly referred to as DFW), which had a population of 6,954,330 as of July 1, 2014, representing growth in excess of 528,000 people since the 2010 census. In 2014, the metropolitan economy surpassed Washington, DC to become the fifth largest in the United States, with a 2014 real GDP over $504 billion.

Wikipedia: Big D (song)
"Big D" is a song about Dallas, Texas written by Frank Loesser in 1956 for the musical The Most Happy Fella. It repeatedly spells out the name of Dallas with the refrain: Big D, little A, double L, A, S.

Encyclopedia Dubuque (Iowa)
DENNIS BROS. COMPANY. In 1910 Dennis Bros. had been established over twenty-five years. It was originally known as Watters & Dennis before its reorganization in 1900. In 1910 the company was the largest jobber and wholesaler of flour in Iowa.

The company did a general jobbing business of flour, feed, grain, hay, oil meal, molasses feeds and poultry feeds. The business was the agent for Prairie Queen, Occident, Pillsbury, Seal of Kansas, Jersey Cream and Hackney's H. & H. flours and specialized on its Big D flour which it manufactured for Dennis Bros. The company owned two warehouses for storage of its flour. Between 4,000 to 5,000 barrels of flour were kept in stock at all times.

The Portal to Texas History
5 September 1907, Rockdale (TX) Reporter, pg. 1, col. 2 ad:
BIG D FLOUR
GAITHER & Tanner, Pure Food Grocers

The Portal to Texas History
The Bronco
Yearbook of Simmons University

Abilene, TX
1932
Pg. 229:
PEGGY GIDEON
"Baby Peggy"
This beautiful blonde came out of big "D" with love on her mind -- and sho nuff she got her man -- now everything goes to her head.

The Portal to Texas History
1 December 1932, The Campus Chat (North Texas State Teachers College, Denton, TX), "The Chatter Box" by Lamar Fly, pg. 1, col. 1:
Of course, the Bernie performance came off a phonograph record, and probably a "hit of the Week" at that, but just the same we do have a real, honest-to-goodness broadcasting station right here in Big D---.
(It is not clear if "Big D" is for Denton or Dallas. -- ed.)

The Portal to Texas History
The Chromascope and Key
Volume 33
Austin College and Kidd-Key College
Sherman, TX
1933
Pg. 33:
Nov. 25 -- Many students wake in "Big D." Don't winder why.

15 January 1933, Dallas (TX) Morning News, sec. 4, pg. 3, col. 5:
Dallas by the Dozen
Dallas has another claim to fame, for several years ago a letter from France addressed to a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Dallas, U. S. A., was received without delay. (This inspired a search for other towns of the same name). At that time there were eighteen cities in seventeen States with the name of Dallas. Mississippi had two. Since then six have disappeared. Now there is a Dallas in Paulding County, Georgia; Marion County, Iowa; Franklin County, Maine; Allegan County, Michigan; Jackson County, Missouri; Gaston County, North Carolina; Polk County, Oregon; Luzerne County, Pennsylvania; Gregory County, South Dakota; Marshall County, West Virginia; Barron COunty, Wisconsin, and big D of Dallas County, Texas.

13 May 1933, Dallas (TX) Morning News, sec. 1, pg. 10, col. 1 ad:
Prettiest
White Hats
in All "Big D"

(...)
PHILIPSON
WOMENS AND MISSES WEAR

17 August 1933, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section I, pg. 5:
He came right into the big middle of Big D for Dallas and using a high-powered explosive (all explosives are high-powered) he blew up the jail.

Fugitives:
The true story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, as told by Bonnie's mother (Mrs. Emma Parker) and Clyde's sister (Nell Barrow Cowan)
compiled, arranged and edited by
Jan I. Fortune
Dallas, TX: The Ranger Press, Inc.
1934
Pg. 73: I'll jump right up and start towards Big D.

11 October 1937, Austin (TX) Statesman, "Everyone Turns Out For Dallas Whirl," pg. 3, col. 1:
AUSTIN moved in a body to Dallas over the week-end to participate in that annual verve in all the O. U.-Texas activities. From kicking that football to kicking their heels in attempts at terspsicorean fantasies, Austin went round and round with the great throngs crowding Big D.

February 1946, American Speech, pg. 31:
Big D, n. Dallas.

19 August 1954, New York (NY) Times, pg. 27 ad for Sports Illustrated:
...and both Neiman-Marcus and A. Harris & Co. in Dallas who devoted some of their Friday newspaper ads to telling the folks in Big D about our magazine...

20 January 1972, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, "Pioneer Broadcaster Dies in Fort Worth," pg. C8, col. 3:
CLEBURNE, Tex. (UPI) -- Lee "Pop" Myres, 69, who was said to have coined the nickname "Big D" for Dallas, died yesterday in a Fort Worth Hospital.

Flashback : Dallas (February 25, 2016)
The Man Who Created the Nickname “Big D”
by Paula Bosse
(...)
Carlos Lee Myres (1902-1972) grew up near Cleburne, in the teeny-tiny communities of George’s Creek and the amusingly-named Fort Spunky. During his broadcasting career in Dallas — which began in 1928 at KRLD and ended in 1956 at WFAA — he hosted numerous shows and worked as an announcer, a presenter, an actor, and a singer.
(...)
BUT, what propels Myres into the stratosphere of Important People in Dallas History, is the fact that he is the man who coined the name “Big D.” I’ve been able to find very little on how “Big D” came into existence, but in Lee Myre’s 1972 obituary, this little tidbit appeared:

“Lee ‘Pop’ Myres, 69, who was credited with coining the nickname ‘Big D’ for Dallas, died Wednesday in Fort Worth. […] Myres was said to have coined the ‘Big D’ nickname on a breakfast radio program during the Texas Centennial in 1936.”
Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Monday, April 04, 2005 • Permalink