According to Wikipedia, every year up to one million people gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop, and an estimated 1 billion watch the video of the event, 100 million of them in the United States. According to Richard John in Network Nation, this New York tradition harks back to the Western Union building (1875), one of the first skyscrapers in the world, which had “an elaborate time-keeping device atop its clock tower which was known as a time ball. to help mariners calibrate the chronometers they relied on to calculate the longitude, as well as anyone else who wished to know the time, this ball was automatically released every day precisely at noon on a signal from the the Untied States Naval Observatory in Washington, which maintained a highly accurate clock.”
Why the Ball Drops in Times Square?
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