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2000: World celebrates New Millennium
Billions of people around the world have welcomed in the New Millennium with some of the most spectacular celebrations ever seen.

The first people to witness the dawn of the new era were Pacific Islanders - among the last were the Americans.

And fears that the dreaded Millennium Bug would cause computer meltdown around the world failed to materialise to the relief of those who have invested billions in trying to avert a potential crisis.

The unique global experience, which will never again be witnessed by any person living today, was marked by all denominations and all classes and creeds of people across the planet.

Here in the UK a huge clean-up is now under way after one of the most amazing, yet trouble-free, celebrations this country has ever witnessed.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, who celebrated with his wife, Cherie, the Queen, and thousands of others at the Millennium Dome, said the "confidence and optimism" for the new Millennium should be bottled and kept forever.

More than two million people lined the banks of the River Thames to watch a firework spectacular and although the emergency services were stretched to capacity no major disturbances were reported.

In Edinburgh five tonnes of fireworks were set off in four minutes in the city's largest Hogmanay celebrations to date.

Today, thousands of people turned out for a Millennium Day Parade in London and bells were rung simultaneously in churches and cathedrals around the country at noon.

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The Millennium Dome
The Queen, Prime Minister and others celebrated at the Millennium Dome

Billions celebrate as world heralds New Millennium

How the millennium was marked around the world
New Zealand - first babies of the new Millennium are born.
Australia - Millions converge in Sydney Harbour for one of the world's most impressive fireworks displays.
South Africa - Nelson Mandela returned to his former prison cell in Robin Island where he was kept for 22 years of his 27 years in prison. He lit a candle to symbolise reconciliation and passed it to a young child to symbolise South Africa's hopes for the future.
Bethlehem - Crowds gathered in Manger Square where 2,000 doves of peace were released.
Rome - The Pope delivered a special New Year blessing at the Vatican during which he said man must work hard to make the next 1,000 years a time of peace around the world.
Paris - 20,000 flashing lights adorned the Eiffel Tower where a fire-work display was also held.
USA - President Clinton launched the celebrations in Washington while in New York's Time Square four tonnes of confetti rained down on more than three million revellers.
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