America's Millennium

The main event Friday is the celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Actor Will Smith will host the three-hour nationally televised show on CBS, which starts at 10 p.m. on Friday, New Year's Eve. The entertainment will actually begin an hour earlier, at 9 p.m. with concerts by military bands. Joining Smith will be Jessye Norman and fellow opera diva Kathleen Battle; actors Robert Duvall, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sam Waterston and Diane Keaton; Luke Creswell and the company of "Stomp"; singers Trisha Yearwood, Bono, Luther Vandross, Usher, Tom Jones, Don McLean, Kathy Mattea, Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Rogers and BeBe Winans; and numerous other celebrities. Poet laureate Robert Pinsky, poet Rita Dove and author Maya Angelou will read original poems.

At 11:30, a live orchestra will premiere a score by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams as a Steven Spielberg film, "The Unfinished Journey," is shown on four giant screens--one in front of the Lincoln Memorial and three on one side of the Reflecting Pool. Just before midnight, President Clinton, speaking from the Lincoln Memorial, will address the nation on television. And at midnight, there will be a high-powered fireworks show, with pyrotechnic cascades ascending the Washington Monument. After the fireworks, there will be more entertainment for 50 minutes and then a five-minute fireworks finale fired from barges anchored in the Potomac behind the Lincoln Memorial.

For more information, call 888/294-2100 or visit the Web site:

The area of the Mall from 17th Street west to the Lincoln Memorial, between Constitution and Independence avenues, will be fenced off. Public access will be through four entrances only: 17th Street at the Rainbow Pool (two entrances), Constitution Avenue at 19th Street NW and Independence Avenue at the D.C. War Memorial entrance, just west of the Kutz Bridge. These entrances will open at 6 p.m. Alcohol will not be permitted on the Mall. The Washington Monument grounds will be closed to the public, though the sidewalks will remain open.

At the Smithsonian

Free family programs, concerts, performances and demonstrations are featured in the Smithsonian Institution's "America's Millennium on the Mall," Friday through Sunday from 11:30 to 5 in these museums: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History.

Tickets to these free events have already been given away. Unclaimed seats will be given to standbys 15 minutes before each event. Halls will be cleared after each event. For more information, call 202/357-2700 (TDD: 202/357-1729).

The schedule of events:

National Museum of Natural History

Baird Auditorium, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle, Smithsonian).

Friday 11:30 a.m.--NBA Hall of Fame player Bill Russell and Washington Mystics players Chamique Holdsclaw and Nikki McCray discuss "Basketball: We Come to Play."

1 p.m.--Music star Ricky Skaggs discusses and demonstrates "Bluegrass: America's Roots Music."

2:30 p.m.--Scholar Clay Jenkinson, activist Julian Bond and Richard West, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, discuss the "Paradox of Thomas Jefferson."

4 p.m.--Actress Elizabeth Perry plays a women's rights advocate in "Sunflower: The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

Saturday 11:30 a.m.--Dog-sledder Dave Monson discusses the Iditarod race.

1 p.m.--Historian Philip Bock stars as the jurist in "Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Clear & Present Danger." Assistant Attorney General Bill Lann Lee and attorney Wesley Williams Jr. join the discussion.

2:30 p.m.--Actor Edward James Olmos examines the history of Latino Americans in "Americanos."

4 p.m.--Actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee enact vignettes from American history in "Making History."


NOON--Sports photographer Walter Iooss on "Capturing the Moment: 40 Years of Sports Photography."

2 p.m.--Noel Pugach, a history professor at the University of New Mexico, on "Harry Truman: Good Horse Sense, Decency & Guts."

4 p.m.--Legendary bluesman B.B. King and National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bill Ferris discuss "Blues: Past & Future."

National Museum of American History

Carmichael Auditorium, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: Federal Triangle, Smithsonian).

Friday Noon--Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon sings and discusses songs of the civil rights movement in "I Remember, I Believe."

1:30 p.m.--Author/illustrator David Wisniewski on "Words & Pictures."

3 p.m.--Children's author-illustrator Yumi Heo on "A Heritage in Pictures & Words."

Saturday 11:30 a.m.--Children's song leader Ella Jenkins on "The Future Is Our Children."

1 p.m.--National Book Award recipient Virginia Hamilton on "Virginia Hamilton Reads Out Loud."

2:30 p.m.--Author Gayle Ross on "Rabbit Meets Coyote: Trickster Tales."

4 p.m.--Author-storyteller Jose Griego on "Cuentos & Songs From Northern New Mexico."


Noon--Jazz workshop by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Quintet.

1:30 p.m.--Storyteller Marc Spiegel on "Fantasy for the Universal Child."

3 p.m.--The Freestyle Union presents "SLAM! Poetry for Young People."

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW, Ring Auditorium (Metro: L'Enfant Plaza).

Friday Noon--Physicist Neil Gershenfeld and other scholars from MIT discuss "Glimpsing the Future: Technologies for the Millennium."

1:15 p.m.--Christopher Chyba, Seth Shostak, Kent Cullers and Dan Werthimer, from the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, discuss "Searching for Extraterrestrial Life in the New Millennium."

2:30 p.m.--Computer entrepreneur/MIT professor Ray Kurzweil discusses "The Age of Spiritual Machines."

3:45 p.m.--Officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss "Are Humans Endangered?"


Noon--Author-sportswriter John Feinstein talks about "Can Sports Be Mended in the New Millennium?"

1:15 p.m.--Physicists Neil Gershenfeld and Philip Morrison, 8-year-old David Dalrymple, 16-year-old Hillary McQuaide and MIT doctoral candidate Yael Maguire discuss "What's in Your Future?"

2:30 p.m.--Chefs Martin Yan, Vertamae Grosvenor and Raji Jallepalli discuss "The Future of American Taste."

4:30 p.m.--U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky on "The Future of Literature."

Sunday Noon--"The Future of Planet Earth," with James Baker, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Charles G. Groat, director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

1:15 p.m.--Writer Virginia Postrel on "The Open Future: Progress Without a Plan."

2:30 p.m.--"The Future of Democracy," with Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

3:45 p.m.--"The Prospect of Peace," by Richard H. Solomon, president of the U.S. Institute of Peace.

National Air and Space Museum

Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW (Metro: L'Enfant Plaza)

Children will be invited to participate in the Mars Millennium Project, a contest to design a village settlement on Mars. The activities run from 11 to 3 Friday and Saturday. All talks take place in the Space Hall.


12:15--Living and working in space, by shuttle astronaut Roger Crouch.

1--Exploring Mars, by Donna Shirley, former manager of the Mars Pathfinder program.

2--Visiting Mir, by shuttle astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

3--Becoming a space engineer, by Donna Shirley.

4--Visiting Mir, by Wendy Lawrence.


11--Exploring Mars, by Donna Shirley.

The District Of Columbia Celebration

The District of Columbia's "Main Street Millennium" festival is Friday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Constitution Avenue NW, between Ninth and 14th streets.

The festival will feature huge tents with interactive exhibits showcasing Washington and five stages of entertainment.Partygoers can buy tickets for the food and drink that will be served at four heated pavilions throughout the festival area. Eight tickets will cost $5. Food and drink items will require differing numbers of tickets.

For more information, call 202/727-8449 or visit the Web site:

Here is the schedule (subject to change):


Millennium Stage

On 12th Street just north of Constitution Avenue:

10 a.m.--Marine Band concert

11--Opening ceremony, with the president and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mayor Anthony Williams.

1:30--Okyerema Asante with Plunky (African percussion)

3--Brother Ah World Music Ensemble

4:15--Nap Turner Sextet (blues)

5:35--Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun (folk)

7--Mary Jefferson (blues/jazz)

8:30--Ben Andrews Trio

10--Joe Stanley/Big Four Combo (swing/R&B)

11--Joe Stanley/Big Four Combo

Southwest Stage On Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th streets:

12:15--Bob Smith as Benjamin Banneker

1:15--Los de la Mount Pleasant (salsa)

2:30--Ivan Cuesta y sus Vallenatos Autenticos (Latin/Colombian)

4--Cecily Patterson (as Sojourner Truth)

5--Umoja String Quartet

6:30--United House of Prayer Brass Band

8--Djimo Kouyate & Mamaya African Jazz

9:30--Broto Roy (Indian)

11--Charles Sayles Quartet (electronic harmonica)

Southeast Stage

On Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th streets:

12--Chinese entertainers

1--Shir Delite (klezmer)

2:30--Don Nunley Trio (sax)

4--Los de la Mount Pleasant

5:05--Cecily Patterson as Sojourner Truth

5:35--Bob Smith as Benjamin Banneker

6:30--Rising Sun (reggae)

8--Movement (poetry)

9:30--Charles Sayles Quartet

11--Kenny Reed Quartet (trumpet)

Northwest Stage On Constitution Avenue between 10th and 12th Streets:

12:30--Don Nunley Trio

2:10--Shir Delite

3:30--Danny Doyle (Irish)

5--Okyerema Asante with Plunky

6:30--Umoja String Quartet

8--Broto Roy & Ganga

9:30--Kenny Reed Quartet

11--Mary Jefferson

Northeast Stage: On Constitution Avenue between 10th and 12th streets:

12:30--United House of Prayer Brass Band

2--Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun

3:30--Bob Smith as Benjamin Banneker

4--Jean Claude Toran (poet)

5--Danny Doyle

6:30--Brother Ah

8--Nap Turner Sextet

9:40--Ben Andrews Trio

11--Moya (soul)


Millennium Stage:

11--Pookie Hudson & the Spaniels

12:30--Don Rouse Spasm Band

2--Sonny Til's Legendary Orioles

3:30--John Cephas & Phil Wiggins

5--Keter Betts Trio

Southwest Stage: 11--Sonny Til's Legendary Orioles

12:30--Blues Work Trio

2--Cephas & Wiggins

3:30--John Jackson

5--Rising Sun

Southeast Stage:

11--Lauren Lewis portrays a slave girl

11:25--Amitiyah Hyman portrays an Indian girl

12--Bob Smith as Benjamin Banneker

12:45--Curtis Pope and the Midnight Movers

2:15--Don Sheehy's Mariachi Amigos

3:45--Sunny Sumter Quartet

5--Movement (poetry and music)

Northwest Stage:

11--Blues Work Trio

12:30--John Jackson

2--Keter Betts Trio

3:30--Curtis Pope & the Midnight Movers

5--Sunny Sumter quartet

Northeast Stage:

11--Bob Smith as Benjamin Banneker

12--Lauren Lewis portrays a slave girl

12:30--Amitiyah Hyman portrays an Indian girl

1:15--Poet Jean Claude Toran

2--Pookie Hudson & the Spaniels

3:30--Don Sheehy's Mariachi Amigos

5--Jesse Winch & Celtic Thunder

CAPTION: From top right, clockwise: Robert Duvall, Trisha Yearwood, Maya Angelou and Will Smith performing New York's Eve.