Things You Didn’t Know About New Year’s Eve

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As with every holiday, New Year’s Eve holds some mystery, some joy, and, of course, confused emotions about one’s existence. New Year’s has only two meanings; replace your calendar and peg one day as the start of the rest of your life. The day has people crazed by impossible goals, supposedly easy to accomplish within a few months, but tied to a one-year deadline as a finish line for changing one’s life.

The biggest and most commonly broken resolutions are:

  • Lose Weight and Get Fit
  • Quit Smoking
  • Learn Something New
  • Eat Healthier and Diet
  • Get Out of Debt and Save Money
  • Spend More Time with Family
  • Travel to New Places
  • Be Less Stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink Less

Although not reported as the top resolution, finding love, getting married and having a child are high up on the “let’s-pressure-ourselves-beyond-the-limits-of-realistic-goals” list. In reality, one major
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change in life, such as quitting smoking, or losing weight, is enough for one person. Taking on two or more resolutions is just foolishness as the human animal can’t change that quickly, unless a heart
attack demands you fall in line or die. That motivates some, but not all. It’s just not easy.

And when it comes to resolutions, don’t involve others in your maniacal delusions. You want to eat better, go ahead, but let the family make their own choice on the matter. Likewise, the resolution of spending more time with family has to include the research that your family really want to see each other more.

Still, January 1st gives us new hope no matter what we have done to better ourselves, or not. It’s a fresh year and electronic banking has removed having to remember writing the new year on your checks.

It’s a useful date for changes to take place, and throughout history, it is a date that has seen many important events, laws, technological advances and incredible introductions have been tied to the new year. Here’s a few notable events that occurred on January 1st:

Happy New 2014404 AD – The last known gladiatorial competition in Rome takes place.

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

1772 – The first traveler’s cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London.

1788 – First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.

1800 – The Dutch East India Company (the first international mega-corporation) is dissolved.

1801 – The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1804 – French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and first independent country in the West Indies.

2014 Year of the Horse greeting card1808 – The importation of slaves into the United States is banned.

1863 – American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.

1877 – Queen Victoria of Britain is proclaimed Empress of India.

1892 – Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.

1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.

Vector 2014 Happy New Year background1902 – The first American college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford, is held in Pasadena.

1908 – For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York City’s Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight.

1925 – The American astronomer Edwin Hubble announces the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.

1934 – Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.

1959 – Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s forces during the Cuban Revolution.

1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.

Happy new year 2014 - PF 20141971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television (vintage cigarette commercial above).

1985 – The first British mobile phone call is made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

Can’t be in Times Square for the dropping of the ball New Year’s Eve? Perhaps there’s somewhere near you that drops something at midnight to ring in a start of a new year. Beyond that, it’s up to you how the rest of your life will proceed… at least for the next 365 days.

Images ©GL Stock Images

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Speider Schneider

Speider Schneider is a former member of The Usual Gang of Idiots at MAD Magazine and has designed products for Disney/Pixar, Warner Bros., Harley-Davidson, ESPN, Mattel, DC and Marvel Comics, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon among other notable companies. Speider is a former member of the board for the Graphic Artists Guild, co-chair of the GAG Professional Practices Committee and a former board member of the Society of Illustrators. Follow him on Twitter @speider

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