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Welcoming the Centennial new Year -- "Ring Out the Old, Ring in the New"--Preparations for the Midnight Hour - A Universal Jubilee.

The old year is to be rung out as the clock strikes the midnight hour, and the new one - the Centennial year - is to be run in more merrily than has any one of its predecessors. Extensive preparations are being made in various quarters to give the New Year an enthusiastic welcome and the old one a kindly burial. The Mayor has realized fully the importance of the occasion and has issued the following proclamation:
MAYOR'S OFFICE, San Francisco, Dec. 30, 1875.

I recommend that the opening of the Centennial year shall be celebrated in this city in the following manner:

The fire bells will be run for five minutes at midnight, Friday. Permission to make bonfires and fire salutes can be obtained at this office and a policeman will be detailed by the Chief of Police at each bonfire.

I suggest that all the church bells in the city be rung at midnight, Friday for half an hour and that on Saturday the National flag be displayed on all public buildings, places of amusement and business, and on the shipping in the harbor, from sunrise to sunset.

I invite the assistance of all citizens in making a celebration worthy of the day.

A. J. Bryant, Mayor.
Superintendent Urquhart of the Fire Alarm Telegraph has been as busy as a beaver to-day, inspecting and strengthening his batteries, so as to strike a chime of one hundred bells on the fire alarm bells throughout the city, precisely at the hour of twelve. So as to be certain of the moment, he has obtained the sun time from Thomas Tennent; it would be on that account, be a good idea for all other bell-ringers to take their cue from the fire alarm when its chimes commence to peal forth. Mr. Urquhart intends to complete the one hundred strokes within the five minutes allowed in the Mayor's proclamation, a telegraph bell feat which, it is claimed, has never before been accomplished.

A salute will be fired by the National and City Guards in front of the armory of the former on Post street opposite Union Square.

The First California Guard will salute the New Year in front of its armory, Market street near Eighth.

To-morrow morning, a sermon will be delivered by the Rev. D. Beers, rector of the Trinity Church, the services closing with the administering of communion.

On Sunday evening a New Year's Praise Service will be held at Plymouth Church on Taylor street... .

There will be a general suspension of business throughout the city to-morrow. The banks, stock exchanges, courts and public offices will be closed. Although no order has been received at military headquarters to make any demonstration, the national bunting will be displayed on the flagstaffs at all of the military posts and in all probability the forts will blend a harmonious note into the universal chorus of rejoicing.

San Francisco Bulletin
December 31, 1875
How it Was Ushered in in San Francisco

The advent of the Centennial year was accompanied by a rain, which, however, seemed to have no depressing effect upon the large number of people who remained up to welcome it in. The Fire Alarm Telegraph office, under the supervsion of J. S. Urquhart, was beautifUlly illuminated throughout the evening, bearing the titles "1776" and "1876," in bold figures. Shortly before midnight the Exempt [fire] Company lighted a large bonfire on Brenham place, and when the bell began to strike bombs were thrown in and exploded, and the tower whereon the large bell is located was illuminated with variegated fires, and a large force of enthusiasts were busily engaged in dispatching rockets and Roman candles upwards through the rain. The bells were run for five minutes, one hundred and ten strokes being struck on the bell at the Plaza. The rapid strokes of the bell shook the building like an earthquake. Shortly after the ringing had been concluded, a ticking was heard, and Urquhart imagining that it was a fire alarm, ran to the machine and received a "Happy New Year" from his wife.

The firing of the cannon by the National Guard could be indistinctly heard in the din in the vicinity of the City Hall. Shortly before the stroke of the midnight bell, the International Hotel burst out in a blaze of colored Bengal lights which illuminated the streets in a beautiful manner. Showers of rockets and candle stars were also shot into the air.

Despite the rain and the hour, the principal streets were well filled with enthusiastic and patriotic, not to say bibulous individuals who discharged fire-crackers, bombs, pistols, Roman candles as and all kinds of explosives, and in many a happy jovial group drank to each other a "Happy New Year."

The first California Guard hailed the advent of the Centennial year in front of their new armory on market street near Eighth.

The illumination of the CHRONICLE office attracted a large crowd which showed its appreciation of the many bombs there exploded and the brilliant fireworks exhibited at the moment of the death of the old and the birth of the New Year, by vociferously cheering this journal, and wishing it a happy and prosperous New Year... .

Daily Chronicle,
January 1, 1876

Donated to the Museum by Garrett Kone of the San Francisco Department of Electricity.

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