What Happened in December 2003

Historical Events

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 1 "The Return of the King", 3rd and final film in the Lord of the Rings series, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen premieres in Wellington, New Zealand

Film Director Peter Jackson
Film Director
Peter Jackson
Actor Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood
Actor Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
  • Dec 6 12th SEC Championship Game: #3 LSU beats #5 Georgia, 34-13
  • Dec 6 8th Big 12 Championship Game: #13 Kansas State beats #1 Oklahoma, 35-7
  • Dec 7 The Conservative Party of Canada is officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
  • Dec 9 A blast in the center of Moscow kills six people and wounds several more.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 11 Joe Sakic scores his 500th career goal at Vancouver

NHL Legend Joe Sakic
NHL Legend
Joe Sakic

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 12 Paul Martin becomes the Prime Minister of Canada

21st Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin
21st Prime Minister of Canada
Paul Martin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 12 Jean Chretien formally resigns as the Prime Minister of Canada

20th Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien
20th Prime Minister of Canada
Jean Chretien

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 13 Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein
  • Dec 13 69th Heisman Trophy Award: Jason White, Oklahoma (QB)
  • Dec 14 President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
  • Dec 14 President George W. Bush announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.
  • Dec 17 The Soham murder trial ends at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
  • Dec 17 SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight.
  • Dec 17 "The Return of the King" 3rd Lord of the Ring films is released. Makes US$72 million opening weekend, 2nd film to gross over 1 billion worldwide.
  • Dec 22 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits near San Simeon, California.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 22 The New York Knicks hire Isiah Thomas as President of Basketball Operations

NBA Point Guard and Head Coach Isiah Thomas
NBA Point Guard and Head Coach
Isiah Thomas
  • Dec 23 PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion, Guoqiao, Kai, Chongqing, China, killing at least 234.
  • Dec 24 Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.
  • Dec 25 The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.
  • Dec 26 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.
  • Dec 29 50th National Film Awards (India): "Mondo Meyer Upakhyan" wins the Golden Lotus
  • Dec 30 U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself and his office from the Plame affair.

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 7 Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 5 Coldplay lead vocalist Chris Martin (35) weds actress and singer Gwyneth Paltrow (39) at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California

Lead Vocalist of Coldplay Chris Martin
Lead Vocalist of Coldplay
Chris Martin
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Dec 6 "The Bachelorette" star Trista Rehn (31) weds Ryan Sutter (29) at The Lodge in Rancho Mirage, California

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 7 Queen of hip-hop soul, Mary Jane Blige (32) weds record producer Kendu Isaacs in Bergen County, New Jersey

Singer-Songwriter Mary Jane Blige
Mary Jane Blige

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 13 Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti (68) weds Nicoletta Mantovani at Modena Italy's Teatro Comunale

Operatic Tenor Luciano Pavarotti
Operatic Tenor
Luciano Pavarotti

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 31 "Torn" singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia (28) weds "Silverchair" singer Daniel Johns (24) at Thala Beach Lodge in Port Douglas, Australia

Musician Daniel Johns
Daniel Johns

Famous Divorces

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Dec 29 Retired NFL quarterback John Elway (43) divorces first wife Janet Buchan after 18 years of marriage

NFL Quarterback John Elway
NFL Quarterback
John Elway

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Clark Kerr, first Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (b. 1911)
  • Dec 1 Eugenio Monti, Italian bobsledder (b. 1928)
  • Dec 2 Alan Davidson, British author (b. 1924)
  • Dec 3 David Hemmings, English actor (b. 1941)
  • Dec 4 Iggy Katona, American race car driver (b. 1916)
  • Dec 6 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (b. 1918)
  • Dec 6 Jerry Tuite, American professional wrestler (b. 1966)
  • Dec 6 Hans Hotter, German bass-baritone (b. 1909)
  • Dec 7 Carl F. H. Henry American theologian and publisher (b. 1913)
  • Dec 7 Azie Taylor Morton, Treasurer of the United States (b. 1936)
  • Dec 8 Rubén González, Cuban pianist (Buena Vista Social Club) (b. 1919)
  • Dec 9 Paul Simon, U.S. Senator from Illinois (b. 1928)
  • Dec 9 Norm Sloan, American basketball coach (b. 1926)
  • Dec 11 Ahmadou Kourouma, Ivorian writer (b. 1927)
  • Dec 12 Heydər Əliyev, President of Azerbaijan (b. 1923)
  • Dec 12 Joseph Anthony Ferrario, American Catholic prelate (b. 1926)
  • Dec 12 Keiko, orca (killer whale), star of Free Willy (b. 1976)
  • Dec 13 William V. Roth, Jr., U.S. Senator (b. 1921)
  • Dec 14 Jeanne Crain, American actress (b. 1925)
  • Dec 14 Blas Ople, foreign minister of the Philippines (b. 1927)
  • Dec 15 George Fisher, American political cartoonist (b. 1923)
  • Dec 15 Keith Magnuson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1947)
  • Dec 16 Robert Stanfield, Premier of Nova Scotia (b. 1914)
  • Dec 16 Gary Stewart, American musician and songwriter (b. 1945)
  • Dec 17 Brian Lee, father of Wikipedia user, James Lee (b. 1948)
  • Dec 17 Ed Devereaux, Australian actor (b. 1925)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 17 Otto Graham, NFL Quarterback, dies of a heart aneurysm at 82

NFL Quarterback Otto Graham
NFL Quarterback
Otto Graham
  • Dec 19 Peter Carter-Ruck, English lawyer (b. 1914)
  • Dec 19 Hope Lange, American actress (b. 1933)
  • Dec 19 Les Tremayne, English-born American actor (b. 1913)
  • Dec 19 Roy Hughes, Baron Islwyn, British politician (L), dies at 78
  • Dec 21 Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Spanish playboy and businessman (b. 1924)
  • Dec 22 Dave Dudley, American singer (b. 1928)
  • Dec 25 Nicholas Mavroules, American politician (b. 1929)
  • Dec 27 Alan Bates, English actor (b. 1934)
  • Dec 27 Iván Calderón, Puerto Rican baseball player (b. 1962)
  • Dec 28 Benjamin Hacker, American admiral (b. 1935)
  • Dec 29 Earl Hindman, American actor (b. 1942)
  • Dec 29 Dinsdale Landen, English actor (b. 1932)
  • Dec 29 Bob Monkhouse, English comedian and game show host (b. 1928)
  • Dec 30 David Bale, South African-born activist (b. 1941)
  • Dec 30 John Gregory Dunne, American writer (b. 1932)
  • Dec 30 Anita Mui, Hong Kong singer and actress (b. 1963)
  • Dec 31 Arthur R. von Hippel German-born physicist (b. 1898)