Philadelphia Countdowns to Real Millennium
City activates it’s Y2K countdown for a second time to get people into
the millennium spirit
The countdown clock outside Philadelphia’s City Hall is back, and it's
tick-tick-ticking the new millennium our way. Millennium Philadelphia,
the group that organized the city's 24-hour Y2K celebration, has had the
clock restarted to remind all passersby that 2001, the beginning of the
“real” millennium is not that far away.
For those who missed the whole real millennium vs. faux millennium controversy
during all the Y2K partying, time experts such as those at the U.S. Naval
Observatory were pointing out long before the new year dawned that the
new millennium would not start until 2001.
Responsibility for the confusion falls on a sixth-century Roman monk:
Dionysius Exiguus, also known as Dennis the Short. He created the calendar
still in use in most of the Western world. But because Romans did not
have the concept of zero, his calendar started with the year 1. Hence,
a full thousand years must pass before a new millennium begins.
From the start of its millennium celebration on July 4, 1999, the city
had always planned on an 18-month observance, Needle said, culminating
in New Year's Eve festivities on Dec 31, 2000. That will include re-creating
some of the more memorable events of the 1999 24-hour gala, such as fireworks
and the Old City parade.
Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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