why nyc is called the big apple
The term "jack-o'-lantern" was first applied to people, not pumpkins. As far back as 1663, the term meant a man with a lantern, or a night watchman. Just a decade or so later, it began to be used to refer to the mysterious lights sometimes seen at night over bogs, swamps, and marshes. These ghost lightsÁvariously calledá jack-oÁ-lanterns, hinkypunks, hobby lanterns, corpse candles, fairy lights, will-o'-the-wisps, and fool's fireÁare created when gases from decomposing plant matter ignite as they come into contact with electricity or heat or as they oxidize. For centuries before this scientific explanation was known, people told stories to explain the mysterious lights. In Ireland, dating as far back as the 1500s, those stories often revolved around a guy named Jack. As the story goes, Stingy JackÁoften described as a blacksmithÁinvited the devil to join him for a drink. Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for the drinks from his own pocket, and convinced theádevil to turn himself into a coin that could be used to settle the tab. Theádevil did so, but Jack skipped out on the bill and kept the devil-coin in his pocket with a silver cross so that theádevil couldnÁt shift back to his original form. Jack eventually let theádevil loose, but made him promise that he wouldnÁt seek revenge on Jack, and wouldnÁt claim his soul when he died. Later, Jack irked theádevil again by convincing him to climb up a tree to pick some fruit, then carved a cross in the trunk so that theádevil couldnÁt climb back down (apparently, theádevil is a sucker).
Jack freed him again, on the condition that theádevil once again not take revenge and not claim JackÁs soul. When Stingy Jack eventually died, God would not allow him into heaven, and the devil, keeping his word, rejected JackÁs soul at the gates of hell. Instead, theádevil gave him a single burning coal to light his way and sent him off into the night to Áfind his own hell. Á Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has supposedly been roaming the earth with it ever since. In Ireland, the ghost lights seen in the swamps were said to be JackÁs improvised lantern moving about as his restless soul wandered the countryside. He and the lights were dubbed "Jack of the Lantern," or "Jack O'Lantern. "
OLD TALE, NEW TRADITIONS The legend immigrated to the new world with the Irish,á and itá collided with another old world tradition and a new world crop. Making vegetable lanterns was a tradition of the British Isles, and carved-out turnips, beets, and potatoes were stuffed with coal, wood embers, or candles as impromptu lanterns to celebrate the fall harvest. As a prank, kids would sometimes wander off the road with a glowing veggie to trick their friends and travelers into thinking they were Stingy Jack or another lost soul.
In America, pumpkins were easy enough to come by and good for carving, and got absorbed both into the carved lantern tradition and the associated prank. á Over time, kids refined the prank and began carving crude faces into the pumpkins to kick up the fright factor and make the lanterns look like disembodied heads. By the mid-1800s, Stingy JackÁs nickname was applied to the prank pumpkin lanterns that echoed his own lamp, and the pumpkin jack-oÁ-lantern got its name. Toward the end of the 19th century, jack-oÁ-lanterns went from just a trick to a standard seasonal decoration, including at a high-profile 1892 Halloween party hosted by the mayor of Atlanta. In one of the earliest instances of the jack-oÁ-lantern as Halloween decor, the mayorÁs wife had several pumpkinsÁlit from within and carved with facesÁplaced around the party, ending Jack OÁLanternÁs days of wandering, and beginning his yearly reign over AmericaÁs windowsills and front porches. Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at. á New York state is AmericaÁs top apple grower, after the state of Washington, but New York CityÁs nickname has nothing to do with fruit production. In fact, the Big Apple moniker first gained popularity in connection with horseracing. Around 1920, New York City newspaper reporter John Fitz Gerald, whose beat was the track, heard African-American stable hands in New Orleans say they were going to Áthe big apple,Á a reference to New York City, whose race tracks were considered big-time venues.
Fitz Gerald soon began making mention of the Big Apple in his newspaper columns. In the 1930s, jazz musicians adopted the term to indicate New York City was home to big-league music clubs. The nickname later faded from use and wasnÁt revived until the early 1970s, as part of a tourism campaign to spiff up New YorkÁs image. At the time, the countryÁs most populous city was experiencing economic woes and high crime rates. The man credited with creating the ad campaign, Charles Gillett, president of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau, was a jazz enthusiast who knew that the Big Apple had once been a sobriquet bestowing respect on the city. Pins, T-shirts and other promotional items featuring apples soon proliferated, and visitors were invited to take a bite out of the Big Apple; this time around, the name stuck. As it happens, long before New York City was nicknamed the Big Apple, it was known briefly as New Orange. In 1673, the Dutch captured New York from the English and dubbed it New Orange in honor of William III of Orange. However, the following year, the city reverted to English control and its former name.
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