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Peter Bowes reports from Los Angeles
"Los Angeles illuminated the Hollywood sign with lights and lasers"
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The BBC's Jane Hughes reports
"It's an explosion of sound, colour and light"
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The BBC's Alex Kroeger reports
The party that swept the world
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The UK marks the millennium
London's Big Ben chimes midnight
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Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 11:03 GMT
Global party reaches Hawaii

Fireworks light up the National Mall in Washington DC

The new millennium has crossed the United States and reached Hawaii on the Pacific Ocean - where fireworks lit up the palm-lined beaches.

Into 2000
Thousands of people watched lasers flash giant numerals on Diamond Head, the rim of an extinct volcano, counting down last 10 seconds.

And pyrotechnics illuminated the Pacific around the main island of Oahu.

Hawaii was the last US territory to herald the year 2000 after Alaska and the West Coast.

A short time after that Samoa became the last place on earth to enter the new millennium.

About 1,000 visitors and journalists had watched the sunset at the tiny village of Falealupo on the western coast of the largest Samoan island of Savai'i.

"This is the most beautiful scenery in the history of this century," said Samoa's Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Matasolia Mapu Vaai.

Blaze of colours

Earlier in Los Angeles, at the stroke of midnight, Mayor Richard Riordan and comedian Jay Leno lit the icon of the world's entertainment capital - the Hollywood sign - in a blaze of colors and laser lights.

At 0700GMT, Las Vegas saw in the New Year with Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Bette Midler headlining at major venues along the Strip.

At the same time, Denver joined the celebrations with the singer Neil Diamond leading the party as midnight moved through one of the last time zones in the Americas.

On the Atlantic coast, New York City led the United States and the Americas into the third millennium with a ticker tape and fireworks extravaganza to rival those seen earlier around the world.

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Manhattan to herald the new century while in Washington, President Bill Clinton called for a "new birth of freedom".

An estimated two million people jammed 20 blocks around Times Square as they watched live images of the world party on huge video screens.

couple A Californian couple see in the new millennium a few hours earlier in New York
At the stroke of midnight, the city witnessed its latest new year "ball" lowered down a 77ft flagpole, an event which has taken place every year since 1907. Thousands of fireworks exploded from the city's skyscrapers.

Meanwhile, millennium bug experts said that the most computer-dependent nation on earth had shown no signs of the long-feared problems which could have come with the year 2000.

Global party

Earlier, some three million people welcomed the global party to the Americas with celebrations on Rio de Janeiro's world famous Copacabana beach.

In Peru, 60,000 people in Cusco held a "festival of the moon", an Andean cosmic vision to represent the staging of ancestral rites.

Fireworks over Big Ben in London
Canada also welcomed the new year to its shores - though Cuba's authorities refused to celebrate the event, saying the real third millennium is reached next year.

One of the defining moments of the day came when midnight brought the third millennium to the home of time itself as it crossed the Meridian Line in London, sparking parties in all of the UK's cities and towns.

As the historic moment passed zero degrees longitude at Greenwich, a wall of fire shot down the River Thames, as fast as the earth rotated into the new age.

Anticipated and celebrated

The scenes in Americas came 19 hours after the first peoples of the planet witnessed the beginning of the year 2000 on Millennium Island in the Pacific islands nation of Kiribati.

A Moscow Father Christmas Muscovites break open the bubbly in Red Square
The BBC's John Simpson, on the island, described the moment: "Standing here, under the extraordinarily brilliant stars, on a bed of coral, the dancers were singing their hearts out, chanting, beating their great box drums.

"There was a real feeling of excitement."

A little more than five hours later, the Kiribati people heralded the first dawn as a choir sang to the sun: "Come, come, we are ready to greet you."

At 1100GMT, the first baby born into the new millennium was delivered in Auckland, New Zealand, one minute after the city began toasting 2000.

The most spectacular scenes of the day came as the world's leading cities battled to put on the largest light and firework shows - with Sydney and Beijing seeking to take the early lead.

In Europe, tens of millions of people were united across the world's most famous capitals as pictures of their parties were relayed from nation to nation.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Berlin but Paris's dramatic fireworks display was marred when the Eiffel Tower's millennium clock broke down hours before midnight.

Millennium contemplation

In Rome, the Pope briefly addressed Christians throughout the world, saying that he wished for a year of peace for all the peoples of the world.

Welcoming a new dawn at Kiribati
Pilgrims in the Holy Land led a religious contemplation of the day with prayers and candle-lit processions in Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

And in a profoundly moving and understated ceremony, former and current South African presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki visited the infamous Robben Island, the place of Mr Mandela's imprisonment during Apartheid. Mr Mbeki, passing a candle of peace to children, said that it was a "good day" to be an African.

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See also:
01 Jan 00 |  UK
UK greets 21st Century dawn
31 Dec 99 |  World
In pictures: Global party round-up
31 Dec 99 |  Sci/Tech
Computer bug fails to bite
01 Jan 00 |  Americas
Celebrating at Times Square
01 Jan 00 |  Europe
Pageantry on the Champs Elysees
31 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Sydney's millennium spectacular
31 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
New millennium's first baby
31 Dec 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Kiribati kicks off the party

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