Times Square: A New Year’s Tradition

"TSB2010 cropped" by Times_Square_Ball_2010.jpg: Susan Serra, CKD from Long Island, USAderivative work: Sealle - This file was derived from  Times Square Ball 2010.jpg:. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TSB2010_cropped.jpg#/media/File:TSB2010_cropped.jpg
The current Times Square Ball as seen in 2010. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Today is New Year’s Day, which is marked in New York City by the ball drop in Times Square.

Here are some things you may not have known about the Times Square Ball.

The first ball drop was held on New Year’s Eve 1907. It was organized by Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times, as a permanent celebration after years of fireworks shows at the newspaper’s headquarters.

The original ball was designed by Artkraft Strauss, which created many of Times Square’s famous neon signs and marquees. The ball was made of wood and iron and lit with 100 light bulbs. Eight years after the first ball drop, the New York Times moved its headquarters to West 43rd Street, but maintained the celebration. In 1920, a second ball, made solely of iron was introduced. A third ball was built in 1955 made of aluminum. That ball was retired in 1998 in place of a larger ball made by Waterford Crystal. The fifth ball was used for one year in 2008. The current ball was introduced in 2009 and features more than 32,000 LED lamps and weighs nearly six tons. It’s also weatherproof, so it stays atop One Times Square year round.

More than a million people pack into Times Square each year. The coldest temperature for the ball drop was in 1917 when it was one-degree fahrenheit. 1965 and 1972 were the warmest, when it was 58 degrees at midnight. It has only snowed seven times in the past 109 years, the most recent being 2009. In 2014, the New York Department of Sanitation estimated that it cleared more than 50 tons of garbage from Times Square in the eight hours following the ball drop.

Our question, What was the name of Guy Lombardo’s band that played “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight every year on CBS between 1956 and 1976?


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