Americans enjoyed New Year's Day by watching parades and football games as the long holiday season ended.
Taking special enjoyment from the New Year's festivities were the nation's artificial heart recipients, who spent the day with their families.
In one of the oldest and most colorful New Year's parades, thousands, dressed in gaudy costumes and huge, feathered headpieces, danced and strutted Wednesday through the streets of Philadelphia for the 13-hour Mummers parade, before an audience estimated to number around 350,000.
"It is the longest continuous parade that I know of in the world, and it is the oldest, going back way before America was born in this city," said George Karalius, city deputy recreation director and parade coordinator. The annual parade dates to 1901.
$1.5 Million Spent
The parade's clubs and string bands, members of the New Year Shooters and Mummers Assn., spent more than $1.5 million decking themselves out to compete for $318,000 in prizes.
Miami officials say 500,000 people watched the King Orange Parade, and the traffic was so heavy that the city's subway system set ridership records.
In Minneapolis, Mary Lund, the first woman artificial heart recipient, was improving slowly on New Year's Day as family members remained at her side in Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
Lund, 40, who received a Jarvik-7 artificial heart in an operation two weeks ago, continued her slow but steady improvement, although she still is in critical but stable condition, a hospital spokesman said.
Artificial heart patients William J. Schroeder and Murray P. Haydon rang in the New Year quietly, spending the day with their wives at their bedsides and watching football bowl games at a hospital in Louisville, Ky.
2nd New Year's in Hospital
For Schroeder, 53, of Jasper, Ind., the world's longest surviving permanent artificial heart recipient, it was his second straight New Year's at Humana Hospital Audubon.
It was the first New Year's holiday at Humana for Haydon, 59, of Louisville, who has never left the hospital since his Jarvik-7 implant last Feb. 17.
Many thousands watched bowl games in Miami, Dallas, New Orleans and Pasadena, each accompanied by parades, fireworks and other festivities.
Texas opened 1986 with the first observances of its sesquicentennial anniversary of winning independence from Mexico, beginning 10 years as an independent country before joining the union in 1845.
About 60,000 people jammed Alamo Plaza in San Antonio for an all-night party New Year's Eve. Fireworks were choreographed to such songs as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas."
New York's Times Square drew up to 300,000 people, who stood in the rain to watch the apple-shaped ball of lights drop to mark the last seconds of 1985.