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2000: World celebrates New Millennium

VIDEO : Billions celebrate as world heralds 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.

How the millennium was marked around the world