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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from January 24, 2016
Nebraska: Cornhusker (nickname)

Citizens of Nebraska were called “Bug Eaters” in the 1800s, and Nebraska was called the ‘Bug Eater State” and the “Tree Planters State.” Charles Sumner (“Cy”) Sherman (1871-1951), a sportswriter on the Lincoln (NE) News, decided to use “Cornhuskers” for the University of Nebraska teams in 1899 or 1900. The nickname quickly became popular and was made the official state nickname in 1945.
A Western Association baseball team in Sioux City, Iowa, was called the “Corn Huskers” in 1888 and the “Cornhuskers” in 1894. The Sioux City “Corn Huskers” team was regularly reported in many Nebraska newspapers, and it’s impossible that Sherman did not know about it. Sherman made no public comment about the identical Iowa team name.
A Denver newspaper had called Nebraska the “corn-husking state” in July 1899—before Sherman’s naming. The Omaha (NE) Daily Bee used “Cornhuskers” in August 1900 and then several times later in 1900. The Kansas City (MO) Star used “Cornhuskers” several times in November 1900.
Nebraska was first called the “Cornhusker state” in a 1902 newspaper.
Nebraska has also been called the “Antelope State” and the “Tree Planters State.”
Baseball Reference
Sioux City, Iowa Register City Encyclopedia
1902 Iowa-South Dakota League D Sioux City Cornhuskers
1900 Western League B Sioux City Cornhuskers
1894 Western League N/A Sioux City Cornhuskers
1891 Western Association N/A Sioux City Corn Huskers
1890 Western Association N/A Sioux City Corn Huskers
1889 Western Association N/A Sioux City Corn Huskers
1888 Western Association A Sioux City Corn Huskers
Wikipedia: Charles “Cy” Sherman
Charles “Cy” Sherman (March 10, 1871 – May 22, 1951) was an American journalist and is known as the “father of the Cornhuskers” after giving the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team the name “Cornhuskers” in 1899.
Origin of the Cornhusker name
During the 1890 through 1899 seasons, the Huskers had been called multiple names including Treeplanters, Rattlesnake Boys, Antelopes, Old Gold Knights and Bugeaters. The school was changing its school colors to scarlet and cream in 1892 and the Old Gold Knights no longer made sense. By 1892, the team’s most commonly used nickname was the Bugeaters, named after the insect-devouring bull bats.
Sherman was writing for the Nebraska State Journal in 1899 and was the first to use the name Cornhuskers to refer to Nebraska, which would become the only used name for the team in 1900. The reason for the change was that Sherman thought the name Bugeaters was unglamorous and was tired of referring to the Nebraska teams with that name.
Chronicling America
6 July 1888, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, pg. 2, col. 1:
The home team (Des Moines—ed.) virtually gave the game to Sioux City to-day, although the ‘Corn Huskers” played a strong and almost errorless game.
15 July 1888, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “Sioux City ‘Enthuses,’” pg. 6, col. 3:
It is hoped that presence of home people will brace the corn huskers up so they will play a better game than heretofore.
Chronicling America
19 September 1888, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, pg. 2, col. 1:
Our Team Takes the First Game From Sioux City.
LA84 Foundation Digital Library
3 April 1889, The Sporting Life, “Omaha Overture,” pg. 6, col. 3:
Sioux City plays here. Although the Corn Huskers will probably put up a good game, the people would have preferred some other team.
Chronicling America
20 July 1890, Wichita (KS) Daily Eagle, “They Make Money,” pg. 11, col. 5:
By the way, they have queer nicknames for the western clubs. The Des Moines team are spoken of as the Hawkeyes; the Sioux Citys are designated Corn Huskers; ...
OCLC WorldCat record
The Kentucky cornhuskers : two step march and cake walk
Author: Alfred Rosenberg
Publisher: New York (1276 Broadway, New York) : Gagel Bros., ©1899.
Edition/Format:   Musical score : No Linguistic Content
Chronicling America
30 July 1899, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, ““Nebraska’s Brave Soldier Boys” (Denver News), pg. 14, col. 5:
Its steadiness and heroism excited the admiration of the general officers and old regulars, who have no use for volunteers, were glad to acknowledge the splendid soldierly qualities of the boys from the corn-husking state.
Chronicling America
12 August 1900, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, “Omaha Not on Their Lists,” pg. 9, col. 4:
Minnesota is naturally looked upon as a large game and the cornhuskers will be every nerve to their undoing.
6 November 1900, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 3, col. 1:
Crandall, the Cornhuskers’ Star Back, Made the First Touchdown After Just Three Minutes of Play
11 November 1900, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 8, col. 2:
The Grinnell Eleven Never Had a Chance Against the Cornhuskers.
19 November 1900, Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, NE), “How Others Saw the Game,” pg. 8, col. `1:
The following is from the Kansas City Star:
“The walkaway in which the football prophets had in advance awarded to the Nebraska eleven was not forthcoming when the cornhuskers met the kansas jayhawkers on McCook field this afternoon.
30 November 1900, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 8, col. 1:
Minnesota Gophers Defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 20 to 12.
Chronicling America
30 November 1900, Omaha (ME) Daily Bee, “Gophers Get a Game,” pg. 1, col. 7:
The score—20 to 12—denoted the superiority of the Minnesotans over the Nebraskans, but the figures are significant in still another way, for they show that the Cornhuslkers, as the visitors saw fit to call them, put up a harder fight and accomplished better results than either Chicago, Wisconsin, Northwestern, or any of the other teams that played Minnesota this year.
Chronicling America
28 October 1901, Minneapolis (MN) Journal, pg. 8, col. 4:
Cornhuskers Too Much for Iowa Farmers.
On a slippery field with mud and minus their strong Westover and Stringer, the Nebraska “cornhuskers” easily defeated the Ames Agricultural college eleven at Lincoln last Saturday.
Chronicling America
19 November 1901, Topeka (KS) State Journal, pg. 4, col. 3:
Corn Huskers Compelled to Play Three Substitutes.
Chronicling America
22 June 1902, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, “Making Muscle for Fall,” pg. 11, col. 4:
But Marsh will not desert the Cornhusker state.
OCLC WorldCat record
Author: University of Nebraska—Lincoln.
Publisher: Lincoln, Neb. : University of Nebraska, 1907-
Edition/Format:   Journal, magazine : Periodical : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Author: Carl Sandburg
Publisher: New York, H. Holt and Company, 1918.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
26 June 1927, The Sunday Repository (Canton, OH), pg. 29, col. 1:
Lincoln, Neb. June 25 (A. P.)—But for the ingenuity of Charles S. Sherman, University of Nebraska athletic teams might still be known as the “anteloupes” or “bug eaters” and the state itself might be without a nickname.
Twenty-eight years ago “Cy” Sherman, veteran sports editor of The Lincoln Star, grew tired of the inappropriate epithets hung on the Nebraska teams and coined the word “Cornhuskers” in tribute to the state’s principal agricultural product and the size of its strapping athletes. The name was accepted generally for the teams, then for the Nebraska annual and finally for the state, and now it is Nebraska’s universal nickname. Sherman, an authority on Nebraska sport, has been following it for 25 years.
18 February 1940, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 4B, cols. 6-8:
Iowa, Which Became Envious, Had Its Chance—
Sioux City’s Baseball Team Was original Cornhuskers
Use Famous Name in 1889
11 Years Later, It Became Nebraska U’s

by Gregg McBride
Charles Sumer “Cy” Sherman, who for years has served the Lincoln Star as sports editor, draws credit for tacking the name “Cornhuskers on University of Nebraska athletes.
Writers in papers outside the state referred to Nebraska teams as “Antelopes” and “Bug Eaters.” Local scribes referred to the teams as ‘Nebraskans” and “The Scarlet and Cream.”
This irked Cy to no end and he decided on “Cornhuskers” in 1900. He had just returned from South Dakota and Montana, where he had worked for most of the period while Sioux City’s team played baseball under the name Iowans now envy.
he was unaware that he was doing a bit of borrowing, but even had he known he’d probably have done just what he did.
No Co-operation at Start.
He was sports write on the Lincoln News, and the rival paper, the State Journal, refused to recognise the new name.
Sherman campaign first caught on in Minnesota, then and now Nebraska’s most precious rivals.
When Minnesota defeated Nebraska, 20-12, November 29, 1900, a special telegram to the Omaha Bee related: ...
OCLC WorldCat record
Women cornhuskers.
Author: University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus). Extension Service.
Publisher: [Lincoln?], 1945.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : English
7 July 1945, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 1, col. 3:
It is Official Now: We’re Cornhuskers
By James Keogh
25 June 1950, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Sport Tastes Haven’t Changed Much” by Floyd Olds, pg. 10H, col. 1:
Charles S. (Cy) Sherman, weary of the Bugeaters nickname, christened Nebraska teams the Cornhuskers.
23 May 1951, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 25, col. 3:,
Death Takes Cy Sherman
Ex-Sports Editor Named Cornhuskers

Origin of the Cornhusker Nickname
Before 1900, Nebraska football teams were known by such names as the Old Gold Knights, Antelopes, Rattlesnake Boys and the Bugeaters. In its first two seasons (1890-91), Nebraska competed as the Old Gold Knights, but beginning in 1892, Nebraska adopted Scarlet and Cream as its colors and accepted the Bugeaters as its most popular nickname until the turn of the century. Named after the insect-devouring bull bats that hovered over the plains, the Bugeaters also found their prey in the Midwest, enjoying winning campaigns in every year of the 1890s until a disappointing season in 1899.
After its first losing season in a decade, it must have seemed only fitting that Nebraska move in a new direction, and Lincoln sportswriter Charles S. (Cy) Sherman, who was to gain national renown as the sports editor of the Lincoln Star and help originate The Associated Press Poll, provided the nickname that has gained fame for a century.
The cartoon character, “Herbie Husker,” evolved out of Nebraska’s trip to the 1974 Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Artist Dirk West of Lubbock, Texas, designed a Cornhusker cartoon for the Cotton Bowl press headquarters that caught the eye of former Husker SID Don Bryant. Later, Bryant contacted West for permission to use the cartoon, and West expressed a desire to refine his original cartoon and improve some of the character’s features. As a result, West was commissioned to draw an original Cornhusker cartoon character that served as a mascot for all Husker athletic teams.
June 2015, Stanford Law Review, “When Nicknames Were Crowdsourced: Or, How to Change a Team’s History” by Richard Craswell, pp. 11-1267:
In any event, Sherman was not easily discouraged. As a later historian put it, Sherman used all of his “influence and persistence” to “ingrain the name into the University culture.” In 1907, the student yearbook changed its name to “The Cornhusker.” (It had previously been “The Sombrero,” for reasons known.) The legislature was slower, waiting until 1946 to change “the Tree Planter State” to “the Cornhusker State” as the state’s nickname. By then, the football-going public had already come around to Cy Sherman’s way of thinking. Cornhuskers was already established as a nickname for Nebraska’s teams, and the cry of “Bugeaters” was heard no more. more.
Did Cy Sherman “steal” Nebraska’s nickname? If he did, nobody seems to have objected. In 1933, Sherman was made an honorary member of Nebraska’s varsity letterman’s club, and he is still honored in Lincoln as the father of the Cornhuskers.

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Sunday, January 24, 2016 • Permalink

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