A few weeks ago Matt Lauer of NBC's Today show did a stint as a celebrity tour guide on one of NYC's Circle Line Tours. He was asked why New York was called The Big Apple and why Broadway was called The Great White Way. He didn't know the answer but you will.
"The Great White Way" was originally the title of a 1901 book about the South Pole. The term was applied to Broadway by Shep Friedman of the New York Morning Telegraph, after a snowstorm on Broadway in 1902 had turned the street into a "white way." Later, "white way" referred to the lights of Broadway.