Does the new millennium actually begin on January 1, 2000, or on
January 1, 2001?
The new millennium actually begins on January 1, 2001. But, this won't stop
people from having their big parties on New Year's Eve, 1999.
Many people use the Gregorian calendar, which measures time from the birth
of Christ. The calendar starts with year 1, not year 0. So the first
millennium begins with year 1 and ends with year 1000. The second
millennium will last from the beginning of year 1001 to the end of year
2000. This means the new millennium won't start until the beginning of the
Regardless of when the new millennium begins, many computers will have
problems when the date flips to the year 2000. Some computers and
software, especially older machines and programs, only record the year as
two digits--"97" instead of "1997". This convention uses less memory for
what designers considered to be useless numbers; they figured their
machines would be replaced by the turn of the century. This means that in
some places, a person born in 1979 would be -79 instead of 21 years old.
And you thought you'd be legal!
As a side note, year 2000 is a leap year. An extra day is added every
four years, except for each century. For each century, the year has to be
divisible by 400 instead of just 4. That means that 2000 will be a leap
year but that 1900 wasn't.
Submitted by Jeremy (age 14, Tennessee, USA)
(September 9, 1997)
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