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International Millennium Events

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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
A Smithsonian - Millennium Council Partnership Exhibit

Expand Your Horizons
Countries around the world, from Iceland to South Africa, have established millennium commissions of their own and are busy planning programs and activities. Communities across the U.S. are expanding their millennial celebrations to coordinate with communities worldwide.The President Clinton at Millennium Around the World Event

Why not mark the millennium within your community by reaching beyond local boundaries? Consider using an existing tie with a community overseas to generate ideas for celebration, or forge a sister city relationship through Sister Cities' International. For example, the Chicago Sister Cities' International Program will match at least one Chicago Public School with a school in each of Chicago's Sister Cities' around the world. Students, teachers and administrators are communicating across borders via the Internet, video, letters and exchanges. Each Sister Cities' committee will have a humanitarian project, such as a project between Chicago and Casablanca, Morocco, which have set up a relief fund to revitalize the Children's Hospital in Casablanca.

Additional examples of communities connecting around the world Sister Cities' has planned a US National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. This project pairs libraries with libraries in other parts of the United States or throughout the world to encourage an exchange of professional and cultural information. The primary focus of information exchanged through this program is on children. Sister Cities has also developed a Pause for Peace Initiative, which included the message of peace in all global millennium activities. This includes projects such as "What works in a Peaceful Community: Stories of Courage, Compassion and Civility." The town of Woodbury, New Jersey has a millennium project that will link the city to its English roots. In the spring of 2000, a 112-foot replica of a 1725 brig, the Phoenix, will retrace the historic journey of Henry Wood, a Quaker from Bury who is credited with founding Woodbury. On July 1, 2000, the new ship's crew made up partly of young people from Bury and Woodbury, arrived in Woodbury Creek for a week long millennium celebration. Kentucky has embarked on an international cultural program with France called the Millennium Monument Project. A major feature of this project is the 66,000 pound World Peace Bell, which is decorated with designs highlighting the contributions of mankind over the last 1,000 years. Culminating the project will be a community to community viewing of the bell as it makes its way across the Atlantic from France and up the Mississippi River to the Millennium Monument site in Kentucky. On New Year's Eve 1999, the bell rang once every hour as each time zone heralded the year 2000.

International Millennium Events The President and Mrs. Clinton at Millennium Around the World Event Viking Exhibit. The year 2000 marks the 1000-year anniversary of the Vikings' arrival in North America. According to historic documents and now confirmed by archeological finds, Vikings such as Leif Eriksson sailed west across the North Atlantic from their homelands in Northern Europe, eventually reaching the Northeast coast of North America in 1000 AD.

It was at that moment when Europeans and Native Americans first met. The Leifur Eiriksson Millennium Commission and the White House Millennium Council are commemorating the discovery of North America with the construction and sailing of a Viking ship along the route sailed one thousand years ago by Leif Eiriksson; the ship arrived in Newfoundland on July 28, 2000.

The Viking ship, Islendingur, will dock for public viewing in the following ports:

Portsmouth, New Hampshire - September 5-7
Boston, Massachusetts - September 7-15
New Haven, Connecticut - September 27 - October 1
Mystic, Connecticut - October 2
New York, New York - October 5-23

The Millennium Council, in partnership with the Nordic Council of Ministers and The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. will commemorate this historic event with a major traveling exhibition and educational initiative called Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. This interactive exhibit emphasizes the historical link between Europe and North America while exploring how we have come to know our past and the relevance the past has for the future. This exhibit opened at the National Museum of Natural History on April 29, 2000, and will make a 2-year tour of the continent, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Ottawa. This exhibit includes an interactive web-site, educational materials, artifacts from the Viking voyage sites and a cultural, sociological, and geographical history of the North Atlantic.

On June 21, 2000, in partnership with the Millennium Council, the United States Mint and the Central Bank of Iceland issued two commemorative coins - the first ever domestic and international commemorative coin program celebrating Leif Eiriksson's historic voyage. Click here for more information on the coins.

A joint effort between The National Library of Iceland, Cornell University and The Library of Congress produced a two-day Symposium, May 24-25, 2000 at The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The exhibit included examples of Icelandic manuscripts, printed books from the 16th century onward, visual electronic media, and films to illustrate Icelandic medieval civilization. This is only a few of the more than 230 events at 70 venues across the United States and Canada during the year 2000 that will focus on Iceland. For more information, visit www.icelandnaturally.com.

Assemblies are being planned for young people to join in mapping their own paths for the next century such as: the Incredible Gathering of Youth (Michigan), an International Youth Parliament (Israel), the Millennium International Children's Congress (Hawaii), the Millennium Young People's Congress (England), the UN Youth Assembly (New York), the World Summit of Children and the Young General Assembly (San Francisco and New York).

Recent International Millennium Events
An international exposition in which the United States recently had a presence, The United States Day in the Dome, was held in The Millennium Dome outside London in Greenwich, United Kingdom. Greenwich is the home of the Royal Observatory and the starting point for the measurement of international time zones. The four US Cities that participated and provided music for the program that took place July 1-2, 2000 in The Millennium Dome, included:

Memphis, TN, with The Daddy Mack Blues Band,
Nashville, TN, with traditional country musicians Mark Collie and Clare Burson,
Indianapolis, IN, with The Jesse Green Jazz Trio, and
Chicago, IL, with the gospel choir, Chicago Praise

Through our Millennium Green interagency partnership of the United States Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Interior, Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House Millennium Council presented a Millennium Grove to the people of France in April of this year. The trees presented were to replace some of the 300 million-plus trees destroyed in the ice storms of late 1999. Those damaged trees had originally been given by President George Washington, for the grounds of Versailles, in appreciation to the French for their support in our country's quest for independence. This effort was the first of an International Millennium Green program which was followed by the planting of a Dwight D. Eisenhower White Ash to the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. as a millennium gift to commemorate D-Day. The planting ceremony honored those men and women of the US and French legions who gave their lives on French soil during WWII. Click here for more on this historic tree planting event.

Millennium Around the World: The Millennium Around the World program was an international effort within the overall America's Millennium celebration, for the diplomatic community and their families to commemorate the dawning of the new century. Some of the day's festivities included exhibits of the International Child Art Foundation, and the World Bank, as well as excellent performances from talented international children and murals painted by children. In addition, the President, Mrs. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, addressed the international community and their families during the event.

To see a complete listing of upcoming events around the world, please visit www.millenniumworld.org.

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International Millennium Events

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