Share on Facebook

What New Year’s Eve Parties Used to Look Like More Than 50 Years Ago

These vintage photos show how people rang in the New Year from the 1920s through the 1960s.

vintage new yearsCourtesy Betty Davidson/Reminisce


“Prohibition was in effect in 1925, so my aunt and uncle (middle couple) took a Caribbean cruise with friends and celebrated New Year’s Eve in Havana Harbor,” writes Betty Davidson of Stuart, Florida. Check out the best New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world.

baby new year vintage photo celebrationCourtesy Beatrice Allen/Reminisce


“When our son, Donald, was 2, my husband got the bright idea of making him the New Year’s baby for 1943,” says Beatrice Allen of Bellows Falls, Vermont. “He made the banner, then put his big hat on Donald. We thought the photo was so cute.” This is the surprising reason we drop a ball on New Year’s Eve. 

vintage photo new year's celebrationsCourtesy Maggie Tullie/Reminisce

Late 1940s

“I wish I got to know my grandparents when I was growing up. They look like they knew how to have a great time. This picture was taken in the late 1940s on New Year’s Eve. My grandparents are on the left drinking out of a bottle—celebrating the Italian way,” says Maggie Tullie.

vintage new years photo celebrationCourtesy John Pritchard/Reminisce


“As I approached my teenage years, my father decided to turn our old chicken coop into a rumpus room, where I held my first boy-girl party on New Year’s Eve in 1949,” says John Pritchard of Huntington, West Virginia.

vintage new years celebration photoCourtesy Jerome Heisdorf/Reminisce


Helen and Adolph Heisdorf welcomed guests on Dec. 30, 1950, after the wedding of their daughter, Bernice. This picture shows Carol Koehler, Carl Rahn and the uncle of the bride, Raphael Reding, enjoying cigars, cocktails and a friendly game of cards. 

vintage photo new yearsCourtesy June Grimm/Reminisce


“I attended a New Year’s Eve party in 1954 at the renowned Hotel Claremont in Berkeley, California. Looking back, I can’t believe all the wonderful food and dancing we enjoyed for a mere $12 cover charge,” says June Grimm of San Rafael, California. Try making some of these life-changing New Year’s resolutions, too.

vintage photo new years celebrationCourtesy Hazel Magner/Reminisce


“My sons Jerry and Roger toasted the New Year with Kool-Aid on Dec. 31, 1957, at our home in Omaha, Nebraska,” writes Hazel Magner. Check out these lucky New Year’s traditions.

vintage photo new years celebrationCourtesy Harry Sheppard/Reminisce


“On New Year’s Day 1961, two of our children, Stanley (left) and Sally, offered to help clean up the living room after a New Year’s Eve party,” says Harry Sheppard of San Mateo, California. “The kids decided to have their own New Year’s party by draping themselves with confetti.” Here are some of the best New Year’s resolution cartoons that are hilariously spot-on.

vintage photo new year celebrationCourtesy Sandra Hubbs Wilmoth/Reminisce


In 1969, I went on a blind date to a New Year’s Eve party at the Playboy Club in Denver. No idea now of the guy’s name, but I do remember that silk dress—I loved it,” says Sandra Hubbs Wilmoth of Evans, Colorado. If you want to throw your own New Year’s Eve party, here are some easy tips.

Originally Published in Reminisce

Newsletter Unit

CMU Unit

Subscribe & SAVE Save Up To 84%!