The Olympic flame is a symbol used in the Olympic movement. It is also a symbol of continuity between ancient and modern games. Several months before the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, Greece.
This ceremony starts the Olympic torch relay, which formally ends with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The flame then continues to burn in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, until it is extinguished during the Olympic closing ceremony.
The idea for the Olympic flame was derived from ancient Greece, where a sacred fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics on the altar of the sanctuary of Hestia. In Ancient Greek mythology, fire had divine connotations – it was thought to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus. Sacred fires were present at many ancient Greek sanctuaries, including those at Olympia. Every four years, when Zeus was honored at the Olympic Games, additional fires were lit at his temple and that of his wife, Hera. The modern Olympic flame is ignited at the site where the temple of Hera used to stand.
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.
1954 – NBC makes the first coast-to-coast NTSC color broadcast when it telecast the Tournament of Roses Parade
1962 – United States Navy Seals established.
1930 – Ty Hardin, American film actor (d.2017)
1938 – Frank Langella, American actor