Opening Ceremony/Unveiling of the National Millennium Time Capsule
President and Mrs. Clinton will be joined by District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams and Senator Thomas Daschle to kick off "America's Millennium" with an Opening Ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on the Main Street Millennium Stage at Constitution Ave. and 12th Street, N.W. Gates will open to the public at 9:00 a.m. The festivities will include the sounds of the U.S. Army Band and Chorus, the voices of the New Millennium Choir, the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Honor Guard, and a special appearance by the Golden Knights U.S. Army Precision Parachute Team. Also participating will be the Very Reverend Nathan Baxter, U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, and acclaimed American opera singer Denyce Graves.
At the Opening Ceremony, the National Millennium Time Capsule will be unveiled. Presidential and Congressional medalists from a variety of fields were invited to suggest the ideas and artifacts that should be included in the time capsule, which is designed to show future generations how we lived and what we valued most in our time. In addition, through the state teachers of the year, the White House Millennium Council invited children from across the country to contribute their ideas of what should be sealed in the capsule. A prototype of the National Millennium Time Capsule will be on display at the event and then temporarily exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. The actual time capsule and a sampling of the contents will be exhibited and then housed at the National Archives and Record Administration, to be opened in 100 years. Contributors to the National Millennium Time Capsule featured at the Opening Ceremony include retired Army General Colin L. Powell, John Hope Franklin, Peggy Charren, Maurice Hilleman, and schoolchildren Chiniqua Washington and Eric Timmons.
Millennium Around the World
From January 1 through January 6, visitors to the International Trade Center at the Ronald Reagan Building can view a montage of international millennium events. Video monitors will provide a continuous playback of the arrival of the new millennium across international time zones. This millennium mosaic will include moving pictures from the first time zone to witness the new millennium to the final celebrations around the world. Guests may also view exhibits including international children's art celebrating their heritage and providing glimpses into the dreams of children around the world.
America's Millennium on the Mall
From December 31 to January 2, the Smithsonian Institution will offer lectures and demonstrations in the worlds of music, art, literature, sports, science and technology. Speakers at the National Museum of Natural History include musician Ricky Skaggs and actor Edward James Olmos. At the Hirshhorn Museum, scientists will discuss space exploration and extraterrestrial intelligence, a panel of chefs will speak about the future of American taste, and author John Feinstein will talk about sports. The lineup at the National Museum of American History includes children's authors David Wisniewski, Yumi Heo and Virginia Hamilton; singer/cultural historian Bernice Johnson Reagon; and children's song leader Ella Jenkins. National Air and Space Museum visitors will have a chance to participate in "Launch 2000," a nationwide project challenging students to design the first village on Mars in the year 2030. Although all of the free tickets have been distributed, there may be some last-minute seating available. For a complete schedule of programs and performances, please contact the Smithsonian Institution at 202-357-2700, or visit the Smithsonian's web site at http://www.si.edu/americasmillennium.
Main Street Millennium
The District of Columbia will hold a two-day street festival featuring a diverse group of local and regional entertainers and culinary fare from DC's top restaurants housed in over 60,000 square feet of heated pavilions. Entertainers include master percussionist Okyerema Asante, Latin Band Ivan Cuesta y sus Vallenatos Autenticos, the Midnight Movers Reggae Band, the Keter Betts Quintet and the BET Urban Nation Hip Hop Choir. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.2000dc.com.
America's Millennium Gala
On New Year's Eve, the Lincoln Memorial will be the backdrop for America's Millennium Gala, produced by Quincy Jones and George Stevens, Jr. and hosted by Will Smith. The Gala features a star-studded concert of great American music and the world premiere of the Steven Spielberg film "The Unfinished Journey," a concert piece of original music, poetry and images evoking the highlights and spirit of the last century. As midnight approaches, viewers will be treated to a spectacular high-tech sound and light display between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument that will be the nation's salute to the new century.
The following are scheduled to speak or perform at the Gala:
America's Millennium is an effort of the White House Millennium Council, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Park Foundation, in cooperation with the District of Columbia. America's Millennium is supported by private contributions. For more information, call 1-888-294-2100 or visit www.si.edu/americasmillennium.
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