Ever wonder why New York City is called The Big Apple?
According to Landis MacKellar's book The Double Indemnity Murder, famous evangelist Billy Sunday, pictured here preaching, once said, "If America is the Garden of Eden, then New York is a big, rotten apple."
This quote most likely was proclaimed before his 10-week stint in New York City in 1917, because at the end of that campaign he complimented New Yorkers, saying, "They seemed to want to hear about God. I think New Yorkers are keener than country folk; they are more used to seeing and hearing new things; they catch on quicker."
And New York, apparently cool with Original Sin, turned that initial condemnation into a beloved nickname.
You can understand how such a nickname would appeal during the Roaring Twenties. :)
It became part of a major tourist advertising campaign in the 1970s, and that's probably why we're familiar with it today. I'm betting those ad men didn't know where the nickname came from, though.