Let's Turn The Lights On
Special events manager Lydia Ruth said she regretted some of the more commercial lighting choices: Microsoft 95 (blue, red, green and yellow), new M&Ms (blue), and Pink Floyd’s new album (red pulses). On election eve 2008, the tower displayed both red lights for Republicans and blue lights for Democrats. After Obama won, it went all blue.
Douglas Leigh was behind the colorful lighting advancements. In his advertising career, Leigh was also the innovator behind a number of iconic billboards that featured steaming cups of coffee, glowing weather displays and rings of cigarette smoke.
Singers: Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday and also his death (blue)
Fictional Characters: Popeye’s 75th Birthday (green)
Pets: Cat Fanciers Association (purple, orange and white)
Westminster Dog Show (purple and gold)
In 2004, it went dark for 15 minutes in honor of Faye Wray, the actress carried up to the top of the building in King Kong.
Following 9/11, the Empire State Building went off its regular schedule to shine red, white and blue all through the night to offer comfort to those looking out at the sky in the wee hours. (From mentalfloss.com)