Millennium News - May/June 2000

Communities around the country continue to celebrate this historic millennial year in meaningful ways. There are still many opportunities for your community to receive national recognition through a number of White House Millennium Council programs. A few examples are included in this newsletter. For additional information please visit www.whitehouse.gov/Initiatives/Millennium.

Americans Take to the Trails to Celebrate the New Millennium
Communities across the country are holding events -- such as festivals, trail clean-ups, and cross-country treks -- to mark the designation of their trails as Millennium Legacy Trails and National Millennium Trails. One such event, the East Coast Greenway Wave 2000, started in Key West where a container of clear water from the Gulf of Mexico was handed off to a cyclist to start its journey north to the Canadian border. Volunteers will carry the Wave water by skate, bicycle, horse, wheelchair and foot along the off-road chain of paths that make up the Greenway. In addition, hundreds of Community Millennium Trails will be designated on June 3, National Trails Day. Echoes of the Pony Express will be heard along the rail-trail route of the Face of America ride that is part of the National Trails Day celebration. Starting in Boston and San Francisco, Face of America team members will carry a letter from First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as they pedal, roll and ride toward St. Louis, MO. At stops along the way the letter will receive special postmarks by the U.S. Postal Service. When the teams converge in St. Louis on June 3, the First Lady's message will be read at a grand National Trails Day Celebration. There is still time to nominate your local Community Millennium Trail to be part of this national event! For the simple application form visit www.millenniumtrails.org.

Exploring the Far Frontiers of Sea and Space
Ever wonder what else is out there? Scientists are expanding our knowledge of the limits of the universe by exploring the depths of the oceans and the farthest reaches of space. Join the President, First Lady, and two noted scientists, Marcia McNutt, President of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Neil Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, at the next Millennium Matinee as they discuss the American urge to discover what new ocean and space exploration is teaching us. Scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EST June 12 at the White House, this discussion will be broadcast via satellite to locations around the country. Communities and schools are invited to host downlink sites to view the broadcast and hold local discussions about this exciting topic. Viewers will also be able to watch a cybercast of the event over the Internet and e-mail their questions to the President, First Lady and presenters. Additional details about the Millennium Matinee and hosting a downlink site will be posted, as they become available, at www.whitehouse.gov/Initiatives/Millennium/evenings.html.

500th Save America’s Treasures Project Announced
On May 17, the Howard Theatre was named the 500th official project of the Save America’s Treasures program in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. In a joint effort of public and private partners throughout the D.C. area, the theater will house a local community organization, two movie theaters and restaurants, and a multipurpose cultural arts production center. The Howard Theatre, which opened in 1910, was the first theater built in Washington, D.C. to serve and showcase African-American music, entertainment and talent. The Dunbar Theatre (named after the famous African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar) on the same block also was designated a Save America’s Treasures project and will be used for office and retail space. Washington Mayor Anthony Williams recognized both theaters as landmarks representative of the neighborhood's significant African-American history and commended the two restoration projects as vital to local redevelopment efforts. Many other Save America’s Treasures projects will receive additional assistance when $15 million in federal grants are announced at the end of June. For more information about Save America’s Treasures, and a list of grantees (once announced), please visit www.saveamericastreasures.org.

International Millennial Activities Connect the United States to Europe
The United States will have its own "Day in the Dome!" Cities in Great Britain and countries around the world are being featured throughout the year in London’s Millennium Dome, an enormous fiberglass tent erected on the banks of the Thames River to celebrate the year 2000. On July 1, musicians representing America’s Heartland will perform in the Dome, including a jazz ensemble, a gospel choir, and a blue grass band. In addition, the works of internationally acclaimed sculptor Michael Naranjo, a blind Native-American Vietnam veteran, will be on display. Another international millennial activity is the joint release of two new coins commemorating Leif Eriksson’s discovery of America one thousand years ago. The U.S. Mint and the Icelandic government have partnered in this unprecedented collaboration, complementing the recently opened Viking exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. For additional information about these and other international millennial celebrations, visit www.whitehouse.gov/Initiatives/Millennium.

Communities Continue to Celebrate the Millennium
Cities across the country are continuing their millennium celebrations and millennial projects well into the year 2000. For example, New Bedford, MA, is hosting the only U.S. stop of the art exhibition "A Window on the Azores." This 90-piece collection of 20th-century works from the islands off the coast of Portugal will open June 29th and continue through Labor Day. New Bedford Mayor Frederick Kalisz, Jr., made this exhibit a central component of the city’s millennium celebrations in recognition of the area’s strong Portuguese community. Each month, the White House Millennium Council recognizes a "Millennium Community of the Month" to highlight extraordinary local projects and programs. Past communities include: Pinellas County, FL; Toledo, OH; Germantown, TN; North Providence, RI; Fulton County, GA; and Oakland, CA. Additional Millennium Communities of the Month will be named throughout the year. For more information about these communities or to apply for consideration as a Millennium Community of the Month, please visit www.millenniumcommunities.org.

Arbor Day Celebrations Plant Trees for the Future
Cities large and small are taking up the charge to turn our urban centers green and preserve open spaces as part of the Millennium Green program. Celebrations nationwide on Arbor Day (April 29) included planting trees and highlighting efforts to preserve our natural environment. Thousands of people gathered in Sarasota, FL, to plant the National Millennial Arbor Day Tree and participate in Tree Fair 2000, a day of fun and festivities relating to gardening and tree planting. The National Arbor Day Foundation honored leaders in tree planting and environmental stewardship at an event in Nebraska. Millennial Groves also continue to be planted in states and territories around the country, thanks to a gift from the U.S. Department of Agriculture of 100 trees per state. For additional information on Millennium Green, visit www.green.gov.

Millennium Musical Compositions Ring Out to Celebrate July 4th
Approximately 40 communities across the country will perform original millennial compositions on July 4th, 2000, as part of Continental Harmony, an official Millennium Council project of the American Composer’s Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts. Professional composers worked with local musical organizations to create compositions that reflect the past, present and future of the local communities. This national unveiling of so many of these original pieces on July 4th will truly "Honor the Past and Imagine the Future." For more information and a list of sites, visit www.composersforum.org/harmony.html.

This information is in the public domain -- please feel free to forward this newsletter to any other interested individuals and organizations. Any comments or questions about this newsletter can be directed to millennium@whitehouse.gov.