According to the Times-Picayune, it was a relatively quiet New Year’s in New Orleans: two non-fatal shootings and no reported injuries from falling bullets.

Falling bullets, you say! Well, yes. It is a New Orleans tradition to fire guns into the air to welcome in the New Year. And gravity, being what it is, those bullets have to fall somewhere. And invariably, some poor unsuspecting persons get between a bullet and the Earth. The police have increased patrols and produce billboards and public service announcements  asking citizens to refrain from the practice. Apparently, it is working.

The tradition does have some historical importance. On New Year’s 1913, an eleven year-old Louis Armstrong was arrested for firing his father’s pistol in the air as part of the celebration. He was sent to the Colored Waif’s Home where he learned to play the cornet. And the rest, as they say, is history.