GUEST COMMENTARY: Rediscovering America: It Happened on New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1

GUEST COMMENTARY: Rediscovering America: It Happened on New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1


Happy New Year!

The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of key historic events and customs tied to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

1. What famous presidential document was finalized on January 1, 1863?

A. Emancipation Proclamation

B. Great Society Speech

C. Louisiana Purchase Treaty

D. Gettysburg Address

2. In what year did the first New Year’s Eve Ball drop at midnight in Times Square in New York City?

A. 1902

B. 1907

C. 1911

D. 1913

3. Since the first year, there have been only two years that the Ball wasn’t dropped. What were those years and what was the reason?

A. 1915 and 1916 because of World War I

B. 1929 and 1930 because of the Great Depression

C. 1942 and 1943 because of World War II

D. 2001 and 2002 because of 9/11

4. What historical figure is credited with saying: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

A. Samuel Adams

B. William Penn

C. Benjamin Franklin

D. Thomas Jefferson

5. Which former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was born on January 1?

A. Robert Mueller

B. J. Edgar Hoover

C. Stanley Finch

D. Louis Patrick Gray

6. What important New York site opened on January 1, 1892?

A. Statue of Liberty

B. Empire State Building

C. Grand Central station

D. Ellis Island

7. The term “United Nations” was coined on January 1 by what president and in what year?

A. Herbert Hoover in 1933

B. Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942

C. Harry S. Truman in 1945

D. Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954

8. Which military special operations force came into existence on January 1, 1962?


B. Army Rangers

C. Green Berets

D. Marine Raiders

9. Which of the following New Year’s Day college football “bowls” is the oldest of the bowl games?

A. Sugar Bowl

B. Citrus Bowl

C. Rose Bowl

D. Outback Bowl

10. What song is most closely associated with ringing in the New Year?

A. “Bottoms Up”

B. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

C. “Let’s Start the New Year Right”

D. “Auld Lang Syne”

Answers: 1-A, 2-B, 3-C, 4-C, 5-B, 6-D, 7-B, 8-A, 9-C, 10-D

Patrick Maloney is deputy director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. He wrote this for The opinions are the writer's.


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