On this day: December 31

POSTED: 02:25 AM PST Dec 29, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Dec 30, 2013 

Times Square holds its first New Year's Eve celebration, the board game Monopoly is patented, "Calvin and Hobbes" say goodbye, and the U.S. relinquishes control of the Panama Canal, all on this day.

OTD December 31 - Times Square
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Public domain

1907: New York City's Times Square holds its first New Year's Eve ball drop, with hundreds of thousands of people congregating to watch an iron and wood ball, lit with 100 25-watt bulbs, weighing 700 pounds and measuring 5 feet in diameter, being lowered on a pole atop the One Times Square building. The celebration replaced a lavish fireworks display from the top of the building that was held from 1904 to 1906, but stopped by city officials because of the danger of fire.

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