Did You Know? Countdown to New Years Day (12/30)

Did You Know?
Facts, Figures &
Folklore about About
New Year’s Eve &
New Year’s Day

Dec 30 : 1 Day till New Years Eve
2 Days till New Years Day

Did you know that prior to 1904, New Year’s Eve was celebrated in New York with much less pomp and partying?

Several innovations transformed New York that year: the invention of neon lights, the opening of New York’s first subway line; and the first celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

The New York Times had just completed building the Times Tower at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street – dubbed the “Crossroads of the World”. On December 31, 1904, the new building was the focus of an all-day festival concluding in a fireworks display ignited from the base of the tower. At midnight the raucous sound of cheering from over 200,000 merry makers was the genesis of a new tradition.

Today, New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands of people continuing to gather at the Time Tower, now known as One Times Square, waiting in the New York winter. Thanks to satellite technology, a global audience, estimated at over one billion people, watches this ceremony each year.

Did you know that the first use of a Time Square New Year’s Eve Ball was the result of New York city banning fireworks because they were too dangerous?

The owner of the New York Times arranged to have an illuminated seven-hundred-pound iron and wood ball to be lowered from the tower flagpole (77 feet, 23 meters) precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907. In 1914, The New York Times outgrew Times Tower and relocated to West 43rd Street. By then, however, New Year’s Eve in Times Square had become part of the American tradition.

The New Year is a time of friends and family, and parties and fun. A time of fireworks, counting down and rockin’ out with good ol’ Dick Clark (& that Seacrest guy). It’s a time for resolutions, realizations, and a brand new year.

Join us for a new Did You Know holiday fact each day as we countdown to the new year. New Years Eve will be celebrated Friday December 31st. New Years Day is Saturday January 01, 2011!

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