Happy New Year!
After watching the ball drop in Time Square last night I started to wonder how long that tradition has been around for and how it first started.
The ball has been dropping every year for as long as I can remember, but I would have guessed that the first ball drop took place in the 1970s and was thrown together by the businesses in NY.
Let’s just say I was off by a few years (like 70 years).
Check out this fascinating story by CBS News that explains the past and present of this New Year’s tradition.
As the story explains, the first ball drop took place in 1904 as a publicity stunt from The New York Times.
According to president of Countdown Entertainment, Jeff Strauss, the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York originally featured fireworks, “but the fireworks would rain down on the revelers below, burning their heads, so they had to come up with a new idea. And they used a maritime tradition of lowering a time ball at noon and matched it with a new technology, the electric light bulb, to create a lighted time ball that would drop at midnight to mark the beginning of the new year.”
It’s estimated there were about 200,000 people at that first ball drop in 1907.
Another cool thing that I didn’t know is that every year the ball has a different theme. This year’s theme is – The Gift of Imagination.
Part of the this year’s ball was even designed by a 12 year old girl at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. She designed a rose with a message of hope, beauty and positiveness for the New Year.
Who knew this tradition had such a powerful past and meaningful message?
I wish you all a great start to 2014 and I hope you all use your gift of imagination this year!