Times Square New Year's Eve Ball Drop New York - History

The following information is provided courtesy of the Times Square Alliance. You can also visit Times Square Alliance's New Years Eve page for more info.

History of Times Square
New York in 1904 was a city on the verge of tremendous changes - and, not surprisingly, many of those changes had their genesis in the bustling energy and thronged streets of Times Square. Several innovations that would soon completely transform the Crossroads of the World debuted in 1904: the invention of the neon light, the opening of the city's first subway line - and the first-ever celebration of New Year's Eve in Times Square.

This inaugural bash commemorated the official opening of the new headquarters of The New York Times. The newspaper's owner, German Jewish immigrant Alfred Ochs, had successfully lobbied the city to rename Longacre Square, the district surrounding his paper's new home, in honor of the famous publication. The impressive Times Tower, marooned on a tiny triangle of land at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street, was at the time Manhattan's second-tallest building -- the tallest if measured from the basement up.

Times Square Ball Trivia:

The ball in Times Square drops 77 feet in 60 seconds.

At midnight, a sign with the numerals of the New Year turn on. Each number is seven feet tall and contains 547 Phillips spotlights and 270 glitter strobe lights.

3,500 pounds of confetti is dropped on Time Square.

The ball is six feet in diameter and weighs 1,070 pounds.

The three-minute pyrotechnics display features 3,500 bursts of light.

The ball is made of 504 Waterford crystal triangles, 696 Phillips light bulbs, 96 high intensity strobes, and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors.

The building that holds the ball is the same building where the first Times Square celebration was held 96 years ago, One Times Square. It used to be the home to The New York Times.

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New Years Resolutions & Tips

Before the clock strikes, visit our tips on how to make New Years Resolutions to help keep them this year.

Be safe when you celebrate. Our New Years Eve safety tips are always worth repeating.