Clinton: Label Medicines For Kids (8/13/97)
White House Plans Millennium Celebrations
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 15) -- Get out your hats and hooters. Though still over two years away, the White House is busy planning a series of nationwide celebrations and events to ring in the year 2000.
In an event at the National Archives today, President Bill Clinton unveiled details of the White House Millennium Project that will be coordinated by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Among the activities planned are a White House lecture series.
"Still early in our journey, we find ourselves at the turn of our first millennium as a nation," Clinton said. "Whatever the prophecies and forecasts ... whatever the hopes and fears, the millennium is no longer a distant possibility. It has arrived."
The millennial hoopla will also go international, as the president announced that the U.S. will host a pavilion at the World Exposition 2000, to be held in Germany. The U.S. is the last major nation to commit to the event.
Among the other highlights of the White House-planned celebrations will be a "Millennium on the Mall" series sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, and "Millennium Minutes," a series of 60-second TV spots marking key moments in 20th century American life. The Kennedy Center will also offer a free concert series.
Other associated projects include the National Endowment of the Arts' leadership project for the millennium. Its goal will be to tell America's stories through the arts, such as a large-scale photo essay from pictures taken across the country. The National Archives will launch a three-year effort to preserve the country's most precious historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
"The White House millennium program will guide and direct America's celebration of the millennium by showcasing the achievements that define us as a nation -- our culture, our scholarship, our scientific exploration," Clinton said.
"No matter where we are in the country, the celebrations of the millennium will reflect the creativity, diversity and raw energy of Americans," Mrs. Clinton added.
The first lady made light of apocalyptic predictions for the turn of the century. "We won't be trading our earthly jeans and T-shirts for space attire and we hope that the only bolts of light in the sky will be the fireworks we've been planning," she said.
Before Friday's event, White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry jokingly warned reporters that they had not heard the last of Clinton's 1996 campaign themes. "He'll lay out some of the blueprints for the bridge to the 21st century," McCurry said.
CNN's John King contributed to this report.
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