Presidents throughout the years have had a wide range of traditions surrounding their annual address in January. This article explores the origins and evolution of these presidential customs, as well as how they are celebrated today.
The “cool rings” are rings that are made of metal, wood, and other materials. They were first used in the United States to ring in the New Year.
On December 20, a sign that will be illuminated on New Year’s Eve is shown in New York.
Associated Press photo by Seth Wenig
How you spend New Year’s Eve might tell a lot about you. Extroverts love to sing and dance. As the balls drop and the corks explode, the homebodies stay at home. When it comes to presidents, their December 31 customs have frequently mirrored their personalities as well as the spirit of their administrations.
A excellent example is George W. Bush. Mr. Bush laconically answered to reporters in late 2004 when asked about his New Year’s plans, “Early to bed.” His father spent New Year’s Eve 1989 visiting injured American troops who had rescued Panama from the tyranny of Manuel Noriega.
Richard Nixon spent New Year’s Eve 1972 alone in the White House residence, soon after his overwhelming re-election. Ronald Reagan would attend Walter and Leonore Annenberg’s opulent yearly party in Rancho Mirage, California, to celebrate.
Gerald Ford, the lame duck president, attended a party at which reporter Richard Growald presented him with a “Ski Poland” sign that had been changed to say “Ski Free Poland.” Ford’s debate blunder was referenced in the joke: “There is no Soviet dominance of Poland.” Ford, always a good sport, “laughed uproariously” at the prank, according to writer Tom DeFrank.
According to the Starr investigation, Bill Clinton had a tryst with Monica Lewinsky on New Year’s Eve 1995. The week following Christmas in 1962, John F. Kennedy spent at Palm Beach, Florida. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield wanted to talk with President John F. Kennedy about Vietnam as he was relaxing by the pool, but Kennedy was distracted by a Mexican beauty with whom he flirtatiously switched sunglasses. On his final New Year’s Eve, the president and his wife attended a champagne celebration.
On New Year’s Eve 1977, Jimmy Carter was in Tehran. He raised a glass to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and declared Iran “a stable island.” After a coup, the shah fled after just a year. Iran had hundreds of American hostages on New Year’s Eve 1979, and they wouldn’t be freed until after President Jimmy Carter left office in 1981. At a news conference on Dec. 31, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson described the US campaign in Vietnam as “the most meticulous, self-limited air war in history.”
Hollywood-loving On New Year’s Eve, Barack Obama plans to host a family talent show fashioned like “American Idol” and “The X Factor.” Donald Trump used Twitter to ring in the new year. “As our country gets stronger and wiser, I want to greet everyone of my friends, fans, adversaries, haters, and even the dishonest Fake News Media a Happy and Healthy New Year,” he wrote in 2017.
Joe Biden will be president for the first time on New Year’s Eve. Last year, the 78-year-old president-elect and his wife appeared on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” the iconic old people’s program.
Mr. Troy is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and the author of “Fight House: Rivalries in the White House From Truman to Trump,” which was published earlier this year.
The finest of the year from Kim Strassel, Bill McGurn, Mary O’Grady, and Dan Henninger, according to the Journal’s editorial board. Images courtesy of AFP/Getty Images Mark Kelly’s composite
Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
The print version of the December 31, 2021, was published.
- funky rings
- cute rings for women
- unique rings for women