Headlines From New Year's Eves Past

As we look forward to 2013, here are some headlines regarding New Year’s Eves past that show how much and how little things have changed.  

NEW YEAR’S EVE IN LIBBY PRISON: Our Soldiers Merry in Adverse Circumstances. (30 Dec 1864, p.0_4)

NEW YEAR’S EVE: Watch-Night Services in the Churches (31 Dec 1869, p.0_4)
“Among religiously-disposed people it has been customary to regard and celebrate as an event of especial solemnity and importance the expiration of the old and the advent of the new year. The “watch-night” services in the various churches, beginning on this evening and holding until the clock signals midnight and the birth of 1870 are announced as follows…[list of churches]”

SYLVESTER ABEND.: HOW THE GERMANS ENJOYED IT. BALLS AND CONCERTS (01 Jan 1875, p.11)
“There is no nationality on the face of the earth which ushers in the New Year in a more joyous and pleasant manner than the Germans. “Sylvester Abend” as they call New-Year’s Eve is taken advantage of by old and young. Almost every society and organization gives a concert, ball or both. In this way they are kept awake, and they are able to bid each other a happy New Year at the precise hour of 12 o’clock.”

THE SOCIAL WORLD.: WHY THERE WERE FEWER CALLS NEW YEAR’S-DAY. MARRIAGES AND OTHER EVENTS OF THE WEEK. (05 Jan 1879, p.12)
“The society editor of the Saturday Evening Herald states that there was a marked falling off in New-Year’s calls this season, and gravely charges the decrease to the daily papers of the city, which, he says, “with a lack of knowledge which comes of long practice, declare that there was quite as much as usual”; also, that the ladies received very generally this year,… “

The Tribune disputed this charge and stated that gentlemen “appeared to have dropped the disgusting fashion of striving to see how many calls each could make in a given time…Where a gentleman made from one to two hundred calls two years ago, this year he confined his list to a dozen, and enjoyed himself much better.”

FAREWELL TO OLD 1889: WITH SMILES FOR THE NEW AND A SIGH FOR THE DEAD YEAR. THE PEOPLE WELCOME 1890 WITH THE CUSTOMARY SIGNS OF MIRTH AND PLEASURE–A FEW WATCH MEETINGS HELD IN HALLS AND CHURCHES–HOW THE DAY WAS OBSERVED ON THE BOARD OF TRADE–OTHER EVENTS OF THE DAY. (01 Jan 1890, p.6)
“By 11 o’clock nearly everybody had a tin horn. Large men with silk hats marched through the bustling arteries of commerce tossing off solos. Small boys hurled B flat melodies through the open doors of saloons. At midnight joyous souls shot off guns and the tugs in the harbor and the locomotives along the railroad tracks pulled the string and sent forth a scream of mirth. In this way Chicago shot the Old Year out into the past.”

NOW SWEAR OFF (30 Dec 1892, p.4)
“Milwaukee Journal: On New-Year’s day, while Democratic officials are going through the ceremony of swearing in, it would be a good time for Republican editors to swear off.”

DIES AFTER PRIZE FIGHT: PUGILIST FRANK WELCH VICTIM OF NEW YEAR’S BOUT  (09 Jan 1901, p.9)

All quotes are from the Chicago Tribune (1860-1872) and the Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1922). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com

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