New York City history is America's history. It's the hometown of the world, and most people know the city's familiar landmarks, buildings and streets. Why not look a little closer and have fun while doing it?
In this episode, we look back on the one day of the year that New Yorkers look forward. New Years Eve is the one night that millions of people around the world focus their attentions on New York City -- or more specifically, on the wedge shaped building in Times Square wearing a bright, illuminated ball on its rooftop.
In the 19th century, the ringing-in of the New Year was celebrated with gatherings near Trinity Church and a pleasant New Years Day custom of visiting young women in their parlors. But when the New York Times decided to celebrate the opening of their new offices -- in the plaza that would take the name Times Square -- a new tradition was born.
Tens of millions have visited Times Square over the years, gazing up to watch the electric ball drop, a time-telling mechanism taken from the maritime tradition. The event has been affected by world events -- from Prohibition to World War II -- and changed by the introduction of radio and television broadcasts.
ALSO: What happened to the celebration which it reached the gritty 1970s and a Times Square with a surly reputation?
PLUS: A few tips for those of you heading to the New Years Eve celebration this year!