The Origins of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Here’s a cool history lesson:

That narrow building rising all by itself, then the second tallest in New York City, is the just-finished headquarters of The New York Times newspaper. Its publisher, Alfred Ochs, had successfully lobbied city leaders to change Longacre Square’s name to Times Square earlier that year. He then resolved to throw a New Year’s Eve celebration that would be the talk of the town. “An all-day street festival culminated in a fireworks display set off from the base of the tower,” according to an official history published by the Times Square District Management Association, “and at midnight the joyful sound of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from the over 200,000 attendees could be heard, it was said, from as far away as Croton-on-Hudson, thirty miles north.”

An annual event was born—but two years later, the city prohibited the fireworks display. “Ochs was undaunted,” the official history continues…

 

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