The complete text of the letter that I wrote to President Clinton on 1/19/99:

Mr. President,

I was both enriched and horrified by your State of the Union speech this
evening. Several times during the speech you referred to this year as the last
year of the old century or millennium, and the year 2000 as the first year of
the new millennium or century.

Imagine, Mr. President, that you have 30 poker chips in front of you. They are
labeled 1-30, with each set of 10 chips in a different color, red, blue, and

What is the first chip of the red set? 1.
What is the last chip of that set? 10.
What is the first chip of the blue set? 11.
The last chip of that set? 20.
What is the first chip of the yellow set? 21.
And the last? 30.

10 chips, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, with 30 being the last of the
set, and 31 would be the start of the next set. The last one of anything in a
set based on the system of counting by 10's, 100's, and even 1000's always 
ends in a zero, not a 9.

If you simply add zeros to this exercise, it will become clear that in a set of
3000, the last number of the twentieth set of numbers is 2000, not 1999.

Therefore, Mr. President, the last year of the 20th Century is the year 2000,
not the year 1999, and the first year of the 21st Century or millennium is 2001,
not 2000.

Here is a small chart which lays it all out, making it quite easy to see:

0001-0100 -  1st Century
0101-0200 -  2nd Century
0201-0300 -  3rd Century
0301-0400 -  4th Century
0401-0500 -  5th Century
0501-0600 -  6th Century
0601-0700 -  7th Century
0701-0800 -  8th Century
0801-0900 -  9th Century
0901-1000 - 10th Century
1001-1100 - 11th Century
1101-1200 - 12th Century
1201-1300 - 13th Century
1301-1400 - 14th Century
1401-1500 - 15th Century
1501-1600 - 16th Century
1601-1700 - 17th Century
1701-1800 - 18th Century
1801-1900 - 19th Century
1901-2000 - 20th Century
2001-2100 - 21st Century

The magnitude of this error can not be ignored. It has become so ingrained in so
many American minds that this is the last year of the 20th Century when it
clearly is not. Will you join me in straightening out this massive misconception? It is so
huge that the United States Post Office in Dallas, Texas has built a "Countdown
Clock to the Next Century" which will reach zero exactly one year too early.

If you would like me to join you on national television to assist in explaining
this error to our fellow countrymen, I would be honored to help. I'll even provide 2001
numbered color-coded chips as a visual aid.

Please do not let the American people reach the last year of this century, the
year 2000, looking like a country of imbeciles.

Best regards,

Jake Z. Sposato

Oddly enough I received no reply, and to this date President Clinton continues to
refer to the year 2000 as the "Start of the New Millennium."   *sigh*