Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Trivia

by Cindy K. Stewart

On this first day of 2017, all of us at Heroes, Heroines, and History would like to wish you a Happy New Year!

Today I’m sharing New Year’s trivia.

Americans enjoy ringing in the new year in many ways. Here are some of them:
  • Singing “Auld Lang Syne” (translated “for old times’ sake”) – this tradition originated in Scotland, based on the ancient poem Robert Burns set to paper and submitted to the Scots musical museum. According to, the song is “about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year.” This tradition has spread all over the world.
Times Square Ball 2010 by Susan Serra -
Creative Commons
  • Dropping the New Year Ball at Times Square in New York City - begun in 1907 with an illuminated iron and wood ball, the current 12-foot diameter ball, weighing nearly 12,000 pounds and covered with Waterford Crystal, starts it’s one-minute descent at 11:59 PM and arrives at its destination promptly at 12:00 AM of the new year. Other public drops include pickles (Dillsburg, PA) and possums (Tallapoosa, GA).
  • Honking horns, blowing whistles, lighting fireworks, and setting off firecrackers at midnight on New Year’s Eve – many of these traditions started in other countries.

    Sparrowman980 at English Wikipedia

      Watching the . . . 

          Rose Bowl (est. 1902),
          Orange Bowl (est. 1935),

          Sugar Bowl (est. 1935)

       College Football Games

Notable Americans born on January 1st:

1735 - Paul Revere, silversmith and U. S. Patriot from Revolutionary War days

1752 - Betsy Ross, seamstress credited with making the 1st American flag

1895 - J. Edgar Hoover, 1st director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations                  (served from 1935-1972)

Historical events which took place on January 1st:

  630 - Muhammad sets out toward Mecca with the army that captures it bloodlessly

Charles II - Wikipedia
1651 - Charles II Stuart is crowned king of Scotland (later becomes king of England, Scotland, and Ireland)

1673 - Regular mail delivery begins between New York and Boston 

1800 - Dutch East India Company dissolves

1801 - Irish Parliament votes to join the Kingdom of Great Britain

1808 - U.S. Congress prohibits the importation of slaves

1863 - Emancipation Proclamation is signed by Abraham Lincoln to free slaves in the U.S. confederate states

1892 - Ellis Island in New York Harbor opens where immigrants to the U.S. are processed until 1954

Ellis Island, 1892 - Wikipedia

1902 Radio - Wikipedia
1902 - 1st public demonstration of the radio takes place in Pennsylvania

USSR State Emblem, 1923 -
1923 - Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) is established

1928 - 1st U.S. air-conditioned office building opens (San Antonio, TX)

1958 - European Economic Community (Common Market) starts operations

1962 - U.S. Navy SEALs established

U.S. Navy SEALs Insignia - Wikipedia

1985 - Internet's Domain Name System is created

1992 - Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic is renamed the Russian Federation, becoming the successor state to the Soviet Union

Euro Banknotes & Coins - Wikipedia

2002 - Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union's member states


Would you like to share a New Year's tradition or event that is special to you?


Cindy Stewart, a high school history and language arts teacher, church pianist, and inspirational historical fiction author, was the historical category winner for ACFW’s 2014 First Impressions writing contest, a 2014 Bronze medalist in My Book Therapy’s Frasier contest, and tied for second place in the 2015 South Carolina ACFW First Five Pages contest. Cindy is passionate about revealing God’s handiwork in history. She resides in North Georgia with her college sweetheart and husband of thirty-five years and near her married daughter, son-in-law, and three adorable grandchildren. She’s currently writing a fiction series set in WWII Europe.


  1. Thanks for the New Year's Trivia. Spending quality time with family is the best tradition for me.

    1. That's a wonderful tradition, Marilyn! Thanks for sharing.

    2. That's a wonderful tradition, Marilyn! Thanks for sharing.

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