The feast day of the Martyr Tatiana (commemorated in old Russia on January 26 since the era of Catherine the Great) had been celebrated by the Society since 1951. In the beginning, the celebrations took the form of a concert or “cultural evening” with musical and dramatic performances by the members themselves.
After celebrating their 10th year anniversary in 1961 the ever-active members began to aspire to a more ambitious celebration of this honored day in keeping with the traditions of Tsarist Russia. In 1963 a ball committee was formed headed by Society President George Mezernicky, Secretary Maria Simonoff, T.S. Valueva, Nicholas Verbiski, M. Meshchersky, and Alexander Von der Nonne.
A format for the ball was avidly discussed and argued. It was finally agreed that after a cocktail hour, an elegant dinner was to be served; during dinner musical entertainment of the highest available quality; ballroom dancing to a live orchestra and a debutante pageant would culminate in the election of Miss Tatiana. The price was set at $7.50 per person!