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WGN Channel 9 - A Chicago New Year's Eve (Ending Excerpt, 1979/1980)

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Here's a surviving excerpt of the last few minutes of a New Year's Eve special on WGN Channel 9, "A Chicago New Year's Eve" - presided over at State and Randolph by Roy Leonard, with offscreen commentary by Elizabeth Brackett (not 100% sure it's her) - she sadly passed away in 2018.


Tape comes in at point where Roy urges revelers to stay where they are, and the festivities will begin at any moment (Note: You can see the same footage shot by WBBM from another prespective, which aired on their New Year's special, here: https://youtu.be/QYu48g3XW-s?t=108 - cued up to the relevant time)

Elizabeth (?) speaks of "sea of faces" at gathering (about a thousand by her count), as talk among those on stage continues

Mayor Jane Byrne comes out on stage to say it's two minutes before "Auld Lang Syne," and Roy promises a fireworks display when the New Year arrives, but advises crowd to step back

Finally, the countdown begins, with even numbers shown on screen within left side and odd numbers at right, descending accordingly, and the New Year arrives with "Auld Lang Syne" and the promised fireworks, followed by the band performing "Chicago"

The commentators above hope this type of celebration will be in place for years to come, and Roy mentions how the crowd was bigger than anyone anticipated (he estimates 100,000 or more)

Ending credits:

A Chicago New Year's Eve
Co-ordinator - Steven Novak
Assistant Director - Joe Cornejo
Produced & Directed by Robert Seid
A Presentation of WGN-TV Chicago

"Last Farewell" station ID with New Year's greetings voiceover (by George Bauer)

Incomplete open for The Late Movie (the film was the Marx Bros' Horse Feathers) with "Take Five" theme (tape cuts out at this point)

This aired on local Chicago TV on Monday, December 31st 1979 / early Tuesday, January 1st 1980 between approximately 11:56pm and 12:04am.

About The Museum of Classic Chicago Television:

The Museum of Classic Chicago Television's primary mission is the preservation and display of off-air, early home videotape recordings (70s and early 80s, primarily) recorded off of any and all Chicago TV channels; footage which would likely be lost if not sought out and preserved digitally. Even though (mostly) short clips are displayed here, we preserve the entire broadcasts in our archives - the complete programs with breaks (or however much is present on the tape), for historical purposes. For information on how to help in our mission, to donate or lend tapes to be converted to DVD, and to view more of the 4,700+ (and counting) video clips available for viewing in our online archive, please visit us at:

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