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


DATE: 5/4/2000

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