Times Square Ball Drops for the First Time (1908)

In 1904, The New York Times moved its headquarters to what is now known as Times Square. That December, it held a New Year’s Eve celebration that proved to be quite popular. A few years later, the newspaper created an illuminated time ball—then a well-known dockside device by which sailors set their ships’ clocks—that would fall at midnight. The annual ball-drop outlived both the newspaper’s address on the square and the use of time balls in general. What was Times Square’s original name? Discuss
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Feast of St. Basil

New Year’s Day and the feast day for Agios Vasilis (St. Basil) are one and the same in Greece and Cyprus, and for all Orthodox Christians. Celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve when Agios Vasilis is believed to visit each house. On New Year’s Day, a cake called the Vassilopita, or “St. Basil’s bread,” is ceremoniously sliced, according to varying traditions going back to Byzantine times. A coin has been baked in the cake, and the person finding the coin will be the luckiest member of the family that year. Discuss
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Jerome David “J. D.” Salinger (1919)

Salinger published his first and only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, in 1951. An immediate success, it generated a cult-like dedication among readers. Though he also released a handful of short story collections, Salinger ceased publishing after 1963 and spent the rest of his life as a recluse in Cornish, New Hampshire. After his death in 2010, rumors swirled that he had left behind a number of finished works. According to one of Salinger’s neighbors, how many novels did he complete? Discuss
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