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2001 is the beginning of the new millennium, not 2000

By Jason Belnap
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 11, 1999
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To the editor,

The Associated Press article, "Women in Norwegian town compete to deliver first millennium baby," is quite hilarious because the town is going to miss it by an entire year. That's right; they are shooting for Jan. 1, 2000, which is not the start of the new millennium; Jan 1, 2001 is.

Let me clarify. The standard calendar system (The Gregorian calendar) holds that this is the year 1999 A.D. (or C.E., Common Era for those non-Christians). A.D. stands for Anno Domini, meaning, "Year of our Lord."

People thinking that 2000 A.D. is the start of the new millennium do so upon the reasoning that the years 1000-1999 is our current millennium; however, this would make the years 0-999 the first millennium A.D. That is the crucial mistake.

The first millennium of the Christian calendar began with the birth of Christ. When Christ was born, he began his first year, which is 1 A.D. (the first year of our Lord), not 0 A.D. So, the first millennium A.D. began in 1 A.D. and thus includes 2000 A.D. (in order to have 1000 years). Thus, the next millennium spans the years 1001 A.D. to 2000 A.D. It is then obvious that the new millennium begins Jan. 1, 2001 A.D.

So, for all of those poor Norwegian women trying to have the first baby of the millennium, I must say that they should either wait until March of 2000 or hope for the longest pregnancy in human history.

Jason Belnap
Mathematics teaching assistant