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When is the Millennium?

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Millenium Council
When is the Millennium

mil-len-ni-um (n). A span of one thousand years.

The Arrival of the new millennium has sparked a great debate: when does it actually begin? Our instincts told us to celebrate on December 31, 1999. But logic says that every millennium is made up of 1000 years – which means that the year 2000 belongs to the second not the third. Credit for this confusing state of affairs goes to Dennis the Diminutive, a sixth century monk who prepared a calendar for Pope St. John I. Instead of beginning his calendar at year 0, Dennis started with 1 A.D. – bequeathing us the chronological quandary we face today. So what is the answer? According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the third millennium begins on January 1, 2001. Evenso, most Americans and much of the world focused on the flip of the calendar from '99 to '00. White House millennium programs began in 1997 and will run through January 1, 2001. Greeting a new millennium is a once-in-a-thousand years experience… let's make the celebration last!

In the information that follows, you will find descriptions of national and local projects already under way, examples to draw from, models to build on and potential sources of help. We hope this site will help Americans of all ages build new bridges and repair old breaches – welcoming the next one thousand years in a spirit of remembrance, hope and joy.

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