1942

Every year, over a million people pack into New York City’s Times Square to revel in the new year.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the ball drop — the tradition of watching a glowing sphere that slides down a pole until midnight.

Let’s take a look at how the celebration has evolved over the past century.

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Since the tradition began in 1904, NYC’s New Year’s Eve celebration has been one of the world’s largest. The first celebration had about 200,000 attendees.

In the early years, crowds gathered at Wall Street’s Trinity Church to listen to church bells at midnight before the Times Square festivity became more popular.

NYC had its first ball drop in 1907 after the city banned fireworks. The 700-pound ball had 100 bulbs, was made of iron and wood, and appeared every year until 1920.

Source: The New Yorker

Over the next few decades, the number of spectators swelled. This was the crowd on December 31, 1941.

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