Pat Shingleton: "Watching the Ball, Having a Ball..."
On this date in 1907, The New York Times moved its offices to a building on a square that now bears its name. To commemorate the paper's new home, Publisher Alfred Ochs provided a lavish New Year's celebration intended to attract parishioners from Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. The church was traditionally the gathering place on New Year's Eve. As noted in a previous column, 200,000 people celebrated New Year's Eve for the first time, 107 years ago, in the newly-named Times Square. That same year, Ochs added a 700-pound ball, 5 feet in diameter, made of iron and wood, covered with lights. Weather for the first event was 52 degrees with light rain. In 1917, it was minus 13 degrees with snow. Tonight, revelers will experience 27 degrees.