Schedule of Events for "America’s Millennium: A Celebration for the Nation"

Schedule of Events for "America’s Millennium: A Celebration for the Nation"

Opening Ceremony/Unveiling of the National Millennium Time Capsule
December 31, 1999
10:00 a.m: U.S. Army Band public concert
11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m: Opening Ceremony
Main Street Millennium Stage, Constitution Avenue and 12th Street, N.W.

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
January 1 through January 6, 2000
Millennium Mosaic and Children’s Art Exhibit Display
International Trade Center, Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.

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
December 31, 1999 through January 2, 2000
10:00 am to 5:30 p.m. daily

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

Main Street Millennium
11 a.m. to midnight, December 31, 1999 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., January 1, 2000
Constitution Avenue between 9th and 14th Streets

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

America’s Millennium Gala
9:00 p.m., December 31, 1999 through 1:00 a.m., January 1, 2000
Lincoln Memorial

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:

President Bill Clinton
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton
Muhammad Ali
Kenny Aronoff
Patti Austin
Kathleen Battle
Michel Bell
Avery Brooks
Ruby Dee
Nathan East
Rene Fleming
John Fogerty
Foreigner: Mick Jones, Lou Gramm
Senator John Glenn
Tom Jones
Diane Keaton
Kris Kristofferson
Daniel Lanois
Priscilla Lopez
Kathy Mattea
Senator John McCain
Bobby McFerrin
Brian McKnight
Don McLean
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Pat Morita
Bebe Neuwirth
Jack Nicholson
Jessye Norman
Mark O’Connor
Greg Phillinganes
Vernon Reid
Kenny Rogers
Will Smith
Sounds of Blackness
Luther Vandross
Sam Waterston
Bebe Winans
Edgar Winter
Tom Wopat
Trisha Yearwood
The Young Americans

Choirs/Choral Groups:
Choral Arts Society
U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
World’s Children’s Choir

Marching Bands:
Mount Hebron High School
University of Maryland

Cartier Williams
Ayodelle Casel
Baakari Wilder
George Patterson III

Chicago Dancers

Unfinished Journey:
Ossie Davis
Rita Dove
Nathan and Evelyn Hoffman
Edward James Olmos
Robert Pinsky
Sam Waterston

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

A Millennium Invitation from the President and the First Lady

Schedule of Events for "America’s Millennium: A Celebration for the Nation"

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