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Why Times Square?

Have you ever wondered why Times Square and the “Ball Drop” are synonymous with New Year’s Eve?

Well, your Two Chums have and here is the answer for you.  We found it on our trusty History.com website which says:

“The biggest night of the year was quickly approaching, and Adolph S. Ochs needed to find new entertainment for his New Year’s Eve party. For the previous three years, the New York Times publisher had set the skies above Manhattan  ablaze with a midnight fireworks show launched from the roof of his newspaper’s 25-story headquarters. The pyrotechnics had been a hit with the 200,000 revelers who filled the junction around Broadway and 42nd Street—newly rechristened Times Square after its famous tenant—but the hot ash that rained down upon them concerned New York City officials so much that they banned the fireworks from ushering in 1908.

Ochs wasn’t one to be easily deterred. His flashy New Year’s Eve bash had previously drawn crowds away from the traditional celebration in Lower Manhattan, where New Yorkers listened as the bells of Trinity Church rang in the new year. Yet without the fireworks show, Ochs would need a new spectacle to lure the masses to the hinterlands of Times Square for New Year’s Eve.

The New York Times chief found the inspiration he needed at the Western Union Building downtown, where a metal ball three-and-a-half feet in diameter dropped from the pinnacle of the building to signify the time every weekday at noon.

As the crowd counted down the final fleeting seconds of 1907, workers used ropes and pulleys to slowly lower the 700-pound ball down the flagpole crowning New York’s second-tallest building. Unlike the Western Union Building’s time ball and others like it, which signified the time at the moment the ball began to move, the sphere on top of the Times Tower marked the time when it completed its descent. When the ball reached the bottom of the flagpole, the number 1908 lit up on the skyscraper’s parapet to signal the arrival of the new year.

The ball drop was greeted, according to the New York Times, with a “wild human hullabaloo of noise.” People blew horns and rang cow bells. Motorists in their new automobiles honked their horns. On the Hudson River, steamships whistled, an appropriate reaction considering the nautical roots of the time ball itself.

The ball drop from the Times Tower quickly became a New Year’s Eve tradition. It endured even after the New York Times moved into a new building around the corner in 1913, and has only been interrupted in 1942 and 1943, when New York City was under World War II dim-out restrictions due to German submarines lurking in the Atlantic Ocean. In those two years, organizers harkened back to the old Trinity Church tradition with the ringing of bells from sound trucks parked in Times Square.

                                                                         Preparing for the “drop” in 1998

More than a century after the first ball drop, the job of lowering the six-ton sparkling orb is now computerized and timed to an atomic clock to ensure that it completes its descent precisely at midnight—much to the delight of the one million people in Times Square who welcome the arrival of the future through a signal from the past.”

Not only to the delight of those one million people in Times Square but to everyone all over the globe!  I think it plays on screens all over the world to signify what is going on.

Well, here’s to a wonderful 2018!  MORE love, MORE joy!  Yes, MORE abundant living!

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