"The Century is dead; long live the Century!…..The lights flashed, crowds sang, the sirens of craft in the harbor screeched and roared, bells pealed, bombs thundered, rockets blazed skyward, and the new century made its triumphant entry…..

Tonight when the clock strikes twelve, the present century will have come to an end. We look back upon it as a cycle of time within which the achievements in science and in civilization are not less than marvelous.

The advance of the human race during the past one hundred years has not been equaled by the progress of man within any of the preceding ages.

The possibilities of the future for mankind are the subjects of hope and imagination…..

On this occasion, which is one of solemnity, I express the earnest wish that the rights of the individual man shall continue to be regarded as sacred, and that the crowning glory of the coming century shall be the lifting up of the burdens of the poor, the annihilation of all misery and wrong, and that the peace and goodwill which the angels proclaimed shall rest on contending nations as the snowflakes upon the land."

New York Times (beginning of 20th century)


"The Rocky Mountain News, following the calendar literally, believed the 20th century began on the first day of the first year-1901. It marked the milestone with a 56-page, five-section edition that was journalistically ambitious, but just slightly bizarre.

   The lead headline was big and celebratory:


  But part of the lead story ushering in the new era was a four-inch sidebar more closely resembling science fiction than journalism:


 Great Wizard Predicts Startling Revelations in Astronomy in the Near Future

"Special to the News.

"Chicago, Dec. 31.-Nikola Tesla, the great electrician writes:

".....I have observed electrical actions which have appeared inexplicable, faint and uncertain though they were, and they have given me a deep conviction and foreknowledge that before long all human beings on this globe, as one, will turn their eyes on the firmament above, with feelings of love and reverence, thrilled by the glad news:

"Brethren, we have a message from another world, unknown and remote it reads: One, One, two ,three."

"(Signed) NIKOLA TESLA.'


"Several months ago,"

the report continues.

"Nikola Tesla made a journey to Colorado. He went up among the mountains, away from human habitation. There he made many experiments. His dream for years had been to ascertain if the planets are inhabited. Is it possible that in some mysterious way this electrical wizard has received a message from Mars?'



"So the Twentieth Century came it began with 1901"

-Gertrude Stein


"Everything in this century is aimed at the disappearance of boundaries, everything tends toward general fusion, everything favors peace."



"The twentieth century will be American....The regeneration of the world, physical as well as moral , has begun."

-Senator Beveridge


"Here we are at the end of the century, drifting through a hero less age. We have no leaders we can trust, no visions to invest in, no faith to ride. All we have are our own protean moralities, our countless private codes, which we each shape and reshape according to our own selfish needs. We don't dare to think too far ahead, we can't see too far ahead. Here we are, trapped by whatever season we find ourselves enduring, waiting out the weather, staring at a drought sun, stupefied, helpless-or scrambling like fools to make it home before the rain really comes down and the dry river floods and the hills crash into the valley. Where do we find the courage to do what is right?"

-Peter Gadol


"The horror of the Twentieth Century was the size of each new event, and the paucity of its reverberation."

-Norman Mailer

A Fire on the Moon


"The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude."

-Albert Camus

The Rebel


"The 20th century will be chiefly remembered by future generations not as an era of political conflicts or technical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective."

-Arnold Toynbee


"This filthy twentieth century. I hate its guts."

A. J. Rowse   Time 13 Nov, 1978


"Even now, the idea of that ‘Annus Mir Abilus’ The year of Grace 2000, begins to affect us. We feel that if we could live to witness its advent, we should almost expect something to happen in the Cosmos, so that we might read the great date written on the skies."

(London Spectator 1892)


"Just as I was thinking that no century could possibly be dumber than the nineteenth, along comes the twentieth. I swear, the entire planet seemed to be staging some kind of stupidity contest. I could tell then how the human story would end."

-Martin Amis

Einstein's Monsters


"All in all, I would not have missed this century for the world."

-Gore Vidal


"...The truth about industrialized countries is that they only seem to appear to be true civilizations, but in fact they are not; because more and more, at the end of the 20th Century and at the beginning of the third millennium, they will disregard all true love, true freedom, and true wisdom as well as true peace along with all values of humaneness and all values of men's and women's True being."

-Bill Meier


"The marriage of reason and nightmare which has dominated the 20th century has given birth to an ever more ambiguous world. Across the communications landscape move the specters of sinister technologies and the dreams that money can buy. Thermonuclear weapons systems and soft drink commercials coexist in an overlit realm ruled by advertising and pseudoevents, science and pornography. over our lives preside the great twin leitmotifs of the 20th century-sex and paranoia."

-J. G. Ballard


 "Why did the Twentieth century produce so many-and such vivid-dystopias, works of fiction depicting not an ideal future but a future as terrible as could be imagined."

-Theodore Dalrymple

Our Culture, what's Left of It


   "At the City of London Tavern on the night of 21 August 1817, Owen spoke before a packed crowd of radicals, clergymen and bullish free-traders. To their astonishment, and accompanied by some hisses, he rounded on religion, denouncing it as nothing but lies. Then he offered to end that 'long bondage of error, crime, and misery'. The new millennium began there and then. According to Owen's highly partial account, the audience were first thunderstruck, then burst into applause and cheering. The great crisis and misery, the Last Days, were now over, he told them, a new dawn had arrived, brought about by the 'invincible and irresistible power of Truth."

Kevin Rushby

Paradise: A History of the Idea That Rules The World


"It is perhaps not too much to say that, in the first decade of the new millennium, humanity has entered into a condition that is in some sense more globally united and interconnected, more sensitized to the experiences and suffering of others, in certain respects more spiritually awakened, more conscious of alternative future possibilities and ideals, more capable of collective healing and compassion, and, aided by technological advances in communication media, more able to think, feel, and respond together in a spiritually evolved manner to the world's swiftly changing realities than has ever before been possible."

-Richard Tarnas


"What ideas individuals may attach to the term Millennium I know not; but I know that society may be formed so as to exist without crime, without poverty, with healthy greatly improved, with little, if any, misery, and with intelligence and happiness increased a hundredfold; and no obstacle whatsoever intervenes at this moment, except ignorance, to prevent such a state of society from becoming universal."

-Robert Owen  "an address, for Better Working conditions in England" (1816)



Book: AT CENTURIES END….great minds reflect on our times." ed by Bill Moyers

Book: "Millennium" by Felipe Fernandez-Arnesto

Book: "Our Lives & Times: From the Turn of the Century to the War on Terrorism." ed. by Lorraine Glennon

Book: "The End of the World as We Know It: Faith, Fatalism, and Apocalypse in America" by Daniel Woyjcik

Book: "Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life" by Eric Hobsbawm

Book: "The War Of The World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West" by Niall Ferguson

Book: "Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown." by Stephen J. Gould

Book: "The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2000 Millennium Collector's Edition" Ed. by Robert Famighetti

Book: "The Twentieth Century: A World History" by Clive Ponting

Book: "The Most Influential People of The Last 100 Years" by Peter Murray with R. Nidamboor

Book: "Visual History of the Twentieth Century" Ed. by Terry Burrows

Book: "1900" by Rebecca West

Book: "A History of the Twentieth Century, Vol One, 1900-1933" by Martin Gilbert

Book: "The 20th Century: A Retrospective" by Choi Chatterjee et al.



© 2001



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