The 129th Annual Meeting

Why Not Spend New Year’s Eve in New York?

Debbie Ann Doyle, May 2014

New York Times Photo Archives.<p> A crowd gathers on Times Square for updates on the Jack Dempsey-Georges Carpentier fight in 1921.The AHA’s 129th annual meeting will take place in New York, New York, from Friday, January 2, through Monday, January 5, 2015. Rooms in the meeting hotels will be available at AHA’s deeply discounted rate on New Year’s Eve—why not plan to spend the holiday in the city that never sleeps?

If you have never watched the ball drop in Times Square, it is worth bundling up and joining the crowd of approximately one million people watching the annual spectacle. Celebrating the New Year in Times Square has been a tradition since the turn of the 20th century, when the New York Times began sponsoring a celebration from its headquarters building at 42nd Street and Broadway. Decades of radio and television coverage have made the ball drop an American tradition. The meeting hotels are both within easy walking distance of Times Square; the Sheraton is located right inside the recommended viewing area on 7th Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets. See the Times Square Alliance website, www.timessquarenyc.org, for details.

Annual Meeting Hotels

New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas at Sixth Avenue

Sheraton New York Times Square, 811 7th Avenue

Rates: $149 (Sheraton) and $169 (Hilton) a night for a single room and $169 a night for a double.

If watching the ball drop is too touristy for you, or if you hate crowds or cold weather, there are numerous other possibilities for celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York. Options are as diverse as the city. Of special interest to historians, the Merchant’s House Museum near Washington Square holds an annual New Year’s Day open house interpreting 19th-century New Year’s traditions (www.merchantshouse.org). An annual four-mile midnight run through Central Park and a bike ride from Washington Square to Central Park provide options for the athletic. Other options include the annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights, cruises to watch the fireworks from New York Harbor, and daytime programming at the city’s children’s museums. Check out the online roundups of 2014 events at the websites of New York magazine (nymag.com) and Time Out New York (timeout.com) to get an idea of the possibilities.

The meeting hotels are the New York Hilton Midtown (1335 Avenue of the Americas/Sixth Avenue), which will serve as headquarters, and the nearby Sheraton New York Times Square (811 7th Avenue), which will be the co-headquarters. Rates will be $149 a night for a single room and $169 a night for a double. Please note that all rooms are subject to nightly sales and occupancy tax. A limited number of rooms will be available at these rates three days before and after the official meeting dates of January 2–5, 2015. Detailed information about reserving a room at the AHA’s meeting rates will be published in Perspectives on History and on the AHA website in mid-September. Attendees must register for the annual meeting to receive discounted hotel rates.

Debbie Ann Doyle is the AHA’s coordinator of committees and meetings.





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