UN chief has honor of dropping ball at US New Year celebration

Times Square; Carol M. Highsmith

Times Square from photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

UN secretary general Ban Ki moon has the honor of dropping the ball that will be seen on TV by an estimated 198 million Americans as 2017 arrives January 1. Ban will push the Waterford crystal button in New York’s Times Square in the final 60 seconds of 2016. 

The celebration is planned by Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment.

Performers include Mariah Carey, the USO Show Troupe, and Gloria Estefan. Networks will broadcast live featuring familiar news presenters like Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Bolling and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

The first  year the New Year’s ball dropped in Times Square in New York City was in 1907. TSA described the first ball as having been “made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs… 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds.” The ball didn’t drop during two years in World War II because of “the wartime ‘dimout’ of lights in New York City.” The ball drop is followed by fireworks and parties at area restaurants and bars

Previous ball droppers include Bill and Hillary Clinton and Muhammad Ali.

TSA and the Associated Press conducted a New Year’s poll, finding:

— A majority (55 percent) believes 2017 will be better than 2016, far more than the 43 percent of the population who were optimistic last year.

–When asked to rate the importance of 10 top news stories, a vast majority, 77 percent of Americans, said the victory of Donald Trump and the 2016 election were very or extremely important for them personally.

–Approximately half of Americans plan to celebrate the New Year at home.

Ban is rumored to be in the running for the presidency of his native country South Korea once he departs the United Nations post he has held for a decade. The UN in recent days has again drawn heavy criticism from supporters of Israel for the world bureaucracy’s hostility toward Israel, including a propaganda campaign based on fake or revisionist history.

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Dec. 27, 2016)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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