Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was chosen to launch the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve. The ceremonial button will be pushed at 11:59 pm on December 31. In addition to pressing the button, Sotomayor will also lead the nation in the final 60-second countdown.
The event is a joint effort between the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment. In an official statement, the co-organizers said the Supreme Court Justice remains “an inspiration to everyone determined to achieve their dreams in 2014.”
With her appointment in 2009, Sotomayor became the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Tim Topkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Who better to join us in the Crossroads of the World?”
A native of South Bronx, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor grew up in the projects. Although she suffered with juvenile diabetes, she was driven by a strong work ethic and a thirst for education. Sotomayor was eventually named valedictorian of her senior class at Cardinal Spellman High School.
Following her high school graduation, Sotomayor attended Princeton University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She was also honored with the university’s M. Taylor Pyne Prize. The future Supreme Court Justice then proceeded to Yale Law School.
As reported by Whitehouse.gov, Sotomayor began her career as an Assistant District Attorney. Throughout the following 30 years, she “worked at almost every level of our judicial system.” She is well-known as an “able champion of the law,” who is blessed with “wisdom, intelligence, collegiality, and good character.”
The first Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration took place in 1904. More than 200,000 people turned out to enjoy a street festival and midnight fireworks display. In 1907, the city introduced the famous illuminated ball, which was lowered at midnight to mark the beginning of 1908. The original ball was constructed of wood and iron. It weighed 700 pounds and was lowered on a flag pole.
Although the celebration has grown through the years, many traditions remain. This year, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is honored with helping the world celebrate the beginning of 2014.
[Image via Facebook]