THE JEWISH ORIGINS OF A NEW YEARS TRADITION
Do you enjoy the Times Square ball drop ushering in the New Year? You have American Jewish newspaper publisher and immigrant Adolph S. Ochs to thank for this beloved tradition. Ochs was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 12th, 1858. Ochs began his work in the newspaper business at a very young age, delivering newspapers, working as an apprentice, and later as owner/publisher of several leading newspapers. Ochs was able to obtain controlling interest in the faltering New York Times in 1896 where he added the phrase “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” To welcome in 1905, he launched the first New Year’s Eve celebration to draw attention to the new location at One Times Square with a grand firework show. In order to increase crowd size, Ochs sought out a new grander celebration which would incorporate a “time ball” into the festivities. Jewish immigrant Jacob Starr designed the first ball made of iron, wood, and incandescent lights. Bringing in the New Year, 1907, the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball made its maiden descent. An American tradition was born.