2000: The Weird Year
The Year 2000 has been the weirdest year of my life. The events that happened this year would make suitable material for Johnathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels or Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. There are two ways in which I found this year to be weird: calendrical and real. Here are a few weird items from each of these ways:
- 2000 is a round number: the nines have changed to zeroes, like an odometer.
- 2000 had no New Year's Day; at least as far as state and federal holidays were concerned. Since 2000 January 1 was a Saturday, New Year's Day 2000 was celebrated in the previous millennium: 1999 December 31, a Friday. 1999 had two New Year's Days.
- 2000 has 54 weeks; most years have only 53.
- In the U.S. Federal Government, 2000 has 27 pay periods; most years have only 26.
- In the U.S. Federal Government, the pay and leave year 2000 goes all the way to 2001 January 13.
- 2000 February 29 was so unusual that it occurs only once every 400 years: a century year Leap Year Day.
- 2000 had one of the latest Easters possible: April 23.
- In 2000, a solar eclipse occurred on Christmas Day.
What will 2001 be like? After a year like the past one, I would think it would be more sensible.
- The year started off with a major crisis (the Y2K computer bug) that did not happen.
- The U.S. Election 2000 was one of the weirdest in history. Although Al Gore received more popular votes than any other candidate, a raging battle over who gets Florida's electoral votes and whether chad should be counted ended with George W. Bush getting elected.
- A custody fight over 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez of Cuba escalated to the national level.
- Chilly, 60-degree, rainy weather hit western Virginia at the end of July.
- A Concorde crashes because a DC-10 drops a piece of metal on a runway, and they ground the entire Concorde fleet, perhaps for good.
- NASDAQ and Internet stocks take off like mad at the beginning of the year, then fall back to the ground like a balloon that's been punctured.
- The wife of a U.S. President who had an inappropriate relationship with an intern runs for Senate from a state other than the one she came from and wins.
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