RISMEDIA, Jan. 1, 2008-Each year people around the world celebrate the turn of the new year. In New York City’s Times Square, and on millions of television screens across the nation, party-goers watch the annual descent of the legendary New Year’s Eve ball. This year marks a very special celebration with the 100th anniversary of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, a tradition established by The New York Times.
It all began in 1904 when New York City officially changed the name of Longacre Square to Times Square in honor of its new resident, The New York Times. And on Dec. 31, 1904, to celebrate its new headquarters, The New York Times set off a magnificent firework display above its new building. Hundreds of thousands attended and the tradition of New Year’s Eve in Times Square began.
Just a few years later on Dec. 31, 1907, Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs introduced a new element that would go on to become an honored tradition. He commissioned the construction of a sphere adorned with electric lights that would be lowered from the top of the Times Tower office building. This innovation was, of course, the first New Year’s Eve ball.
Over the decades, Times Square and its New Year celebrations saw many changes: Times Square became one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world; the New Year’s Eve ball evolved from the original 700-pound iron construction to the new LED Waterford Crystal ball; and The New York Times moved from One Times Square to 43rd Street and now to its shimmering new tower at 620 Eighth Avenue.
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