2004 in History

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 167

  • Jan 1 In a vote of confidence, Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf wins 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College and is "deemed to be elected" as President according to Pakistan Constitution (Article 41(8))
  • Jan 2 Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that it will return to Earth two years later.
  • Jan 3 Flight 604, a Boeing 737 owned by Flash Airlines, an Egyptian airliner, plunges into the Red Sea, killing all 148 people on board.
  • Jan 4 Spirit, a NASA Mars Rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.
  • Jan 4 Mikheil Saakashvili is elected President of Georgia
  • Jan 6 Costas Simitis announces his resignation as president of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement in Greece.
  • Jan 8 The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Jan 12 The world's largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, makes its maiden voyage.
  • Jan 13 Harold Shipman, a British GP who is believed to have killed more than 200 of his patients in Manchester, is found hanged in his prison cell
  • Jan 14 The national flag of Georgia, the so-called "five cross flag", was restored to official use after a hiatus of some 500 years.
  • Jan 21 Canada: The residence of reporter Juliet O'Neill is searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigating leaks concerning the deportation of Maher Arar.
  • Jan 21 NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies with Flash Memory management and is fixed remotely from Earth on February 6.
  • Jan 25 Opportunity rover (MER-B) lands on surface of Mars.
  • Jan 26 President Hamid Karzai signs the new constitution of Afghanistan.
  • Jan 26 A whale explodes in the town of Tainan, Taiwan. A build-up of gas in the decomposing sperm whale is suspected of causing the explosion.
  • Feb 1 251 people are trampled to death and 244 injured in a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 4 Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder
Mark Zuckerberg
  • Feb 5 Twenty-three Chinese people drown when a group of 35 cockle-pickers are trapped by rising tides in Morecambe Bay, England. Twenty-one bodies are recovered.
  • Feb 5 Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front capture the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion.
  • Feb 5 54th Berlin International Film Festival: "Head-On" wins the Golden Bear
  • Feb 12 The city of San Francisco, California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.
  • Feb 13 The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics discovers the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093.
  • Feb 14 In a suburb of Moscow, Russia, the roof of the Transvaal water park collapses, killing more than 25 people, and wounding more than 100 others.
  • Feb 15 46th Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins (156.341 MPH)
  • Feb 18 Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, die near Neyshabur in Iran when a run-away freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertiliser catches fire and explodes.
  • Feb 19 Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal is awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a "lifetime of service to humanity."
  • Feb 21 The first European political party organization, the European Greens, is established in Rome.
  • Feb 26 Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Feb 26 The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years.
  • Feb 27 Former BPMC general secretary Ordrick Samuel launches a new party in Barbuda, Barbudans for a Better Barbuda.
  • Feb 27 A bombing of a Superferry by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines worst terrorist attack kills 116.
  • Feb 28 Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947
  • Feb 29 Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as President of Haiti following popular rebel uprising.
  • Mar 1 Terry Nichols is convicted of state murder charges and being an accomplice to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
  • Mar 1 Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum becomes President of Iraq.
  • Mar 2 Voters in the U.S. state of Georgia vote on a referendum concerning its Confederacy-derived flag.
  • Mar 2 War in Iraq: Al Qaeda carries out the Ashoura Massacre in Iraq, killing 170 and wounding over 500.
  • Mar 2 Rosetta space probe is launched by the European Space Agency to study comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with Philae lander module aboard
  • Mar 3 Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agreed to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that formed InBev, the world's largest brewer.
  • Mar 7 New Democracy wins the national elections in Greece.
  • Mar 8 A new constitution is signed by Iraq's Governing Council.
  • Mar 11 Terrorists explode simultaneous bombs on Madrid's rail network ripping through a commuter train and rocking three stations, killing 190
  • Mar 12 Roh Moo-hyun, President of South Korea is impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation's history.
  • Mar 15 Announcement of the discovery of 90377 Sedna, the farthest natural object in the Solar system so far observed.
  • Mar 17 Unrest in Kosovo results in more than 22 killed, 200 wounded, and the destruction of 35 Serb Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Belgrade and Nis.
  • Mar 19 A truck and a bus crash head-on in Äänekoski, Finland. 24 people are killed and 13 injured.
  • Mar 19 A Swedish DC-3 shot down by a Russian MiG-15 in the 1950s is finally recovered after years of work. The remains of the crew are left in place, pending further investigations.
  • Mar 19 Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian is shot just before the country's presidential election on March 20.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 20 Stephen Harper wins the leadership of the newly created Conservative Party of Canada, becoming the party's first leader.

22nd Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper
22nd Prime Minister of Canada
Stephen Harper
  • Mar 21 In Malaysia, the 11th Federal and State elections are held, returning the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional to power with an increased majority.
  • Mar 22 Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist militant group Hamas, and bodyguards are killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.
  • Mar 23 Andhra Pradesh Federation of Trade Unions holds its first conference in Hyderabad, India.
  • Mar 27 HMS Scylla, a decommissioned Leander class frigate, is sunk as an artificial reef off Cornwall, the first of its kind in Europe.
  • Mar 29 Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO as full members.
  • Mar 29 The Republic of Ireland becomes the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.
  • Mar 31 In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.
  • Apr 1 Google introduces Gmail: the launch is met with scepticism on account of the launch date.
  • Apr 2 Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid. Their attack is thwarted.
  • Apr 3 Islamic terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks are trapped by the police in their apartment and kill themselves.
  • Apr 6 Rolandas Paksas becomes the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from the post by impeachment.
  • Apr 8 Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups

Battle9/11 Attack on New York's World Trade Towers

Apr 8 U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testifies before the 9/11 Commission

  • Apr 16 The super liner Queen Mary 2 embarks on her first Transatlantic crossing, linking the golden age of ocean travel to the modern age of ocean travel.
  • Apr 20 In Iraq, 12 mortars are fired on Abu Ghraib Prison by insurgents, killing 22 detainees and wounding 92.
  • Apr 22 Two fuel trains collide in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing up to 150 people.
  • Apr 24 The United States lifts economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.
  • Apr 28 Shrek the sheep from Tarra New Zealand, is finally shorn live on tv after 6 years avoidance, the fleece weighed 27 kg (60 lb)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 29 Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testify before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.

46th US Vice-President Dick Cheney
46th US Vice-President
Dick Cheney
43rd US President George W. Bush
43rd US President
George W. Bush
  • Apr 29 Oldsmobile builds its final car ending 107 years of production.
  • Apr 30 U.S. media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
  • May 1 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
  • May 2 Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria.
  • May 9 Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a land mine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya.
  • May 14 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.
  • May 16 The Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev, Ukraine. Here during 1930s and early 1940s communist bolsheviks executed over 100,000 Ukrainian civilians.
  • May 17 Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • May 21 Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbs Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu's record from the previous year.
  • May 21 Stanislav Petrov awarded World Citizen Award for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 after correctly guessing Russian early warning system at fault
  • May 22 The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide. It also kills one local resident.
  • May 23 Part of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport's Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people and injuring three others.
  • May 24 North Korea bans mobile phones.
  • May 26 The New York Times publishes admission of journalistic failings, claiming its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism during the buildup to the 2003 Iraq War helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
  • May 26 The United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
  • May 28 The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, to become Prime Minister of Iraq's interim government.
  • May 29 The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • May 29 The Al-Khobar massacres in Saudi Arabia kill 22.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 2 Ken Jennings begins his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!.

74 Time Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings
74 Time Jeopardy Champion
Ken Jennings
  • Jun 6 Tamil is established as a Classical language by the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.
  • Jun 6 58th Tony Awards: Avenue Q & I Am My Own Wife win
  • Jun 8 Transit of Venus (between Earth & Sun) occurs
  • Jun 11 Cassini-Huygens makes its closest flyby of Phoebe.
  • Jun 12 A 1.3 kilogram chondrite type meteorite strikes a house in Ellerslie, New Zealand causing serious damage but no injuries.
  • Jun 21 SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
  • Jun 24 Capital punishment is declared unconstitutional in New York
  • Jun 28 Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism
  • Jun 28 The 17th NATO Summit starts in Istanbul.
  • Jun 28 Sovereign power is handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.
  • Jul 1 Saturn Orbit insertion of Cassini-Huygens begins at 01:12 UTC and ends at 02:48 UTC.
  • Jul 2 ASEAN Regional Forum accepts Pakistan as its 24th member.
  • Jul 3 Official opening of Bangkok's subway system.

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 21 Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
  • Feb 6 Princess Louise of Belgium
  • Mar 21 Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
  • May 10 The Gosselin Sextuplets

Weddings in History

  • Apr 24 Prince Friso of Orange (35), 2nd son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands marries Mabel Wisse Smit (35) without formal permission of parliament.
  • May 14 Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (35), eldest son of Margrethe II of Denmark and heir apprent, marries Mary Elizabeth Donaldson (32), at Copenhagen Cathedral
  • May 22 Felipe, Prince of Asturias, of the Spanish Royal Family weds Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano at The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain
  • Aug 15 Fashion designer and socialite Nicky Hilton (21) weds businessman Todd Andrew Meister (33) at The Vegas Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada

HeartWedding of Interest

Oct 28 Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz (61) weds professor Anya Schiffrin (41) at the Municipal Building in New York

  • Oct 29 "Jackass" member Chris Pontius (30) weds Claire Nolan in Malibu
  • Nov 13 "The View" co-host Star Jones (42) weds banker Al Reynolds at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City

Deaths in History

Deaths 1 - 100 of 232

  • Jan 2 Jess Collins, American artist (b. 1923)
  • Jan 3 Des Corcoran, Premier of South Australia (b. 1928)
  • Jan 4 John Toland, American historian (b. 1912)
  • Jan 4 Joan Aiken, English author (b. 1924)
  • Jan 4 Jeff Nuttall, English writer (b. 1933)
  • Jan 6 Francesco Scavullo, American photographer (b. 1921)
  • Jan 6 Pierre Charles, Prime Minister of Dominica (b. 1954)
  • Jan 7 Oswald Garrison Villard Jr., American Engineer (over-the-horizon radar), dies of pneumonia at 87
  • Jan 8 John A. Gambling, American radio talk-show host (b. 1930)
  • Jan 9 Norberto Bobbio, Italian philosopher (b. 1909)
  • Jan 10 Alexandra Ripley, American author (b. 1934)
  • Jan 11 Mervyn Pike [Baroness Pike], British politician (C), dies at 85
  • Jan 12 Olga Aleksandrovna Ladyzhenskaya, Russian mathematician (b. 1921)
  • Jan 13 Arne Næss Jr., Norwegian mountain climber (b. 1937)
  • Jan 13 Harold Shipman, British serial killer (b. 1946)
  • Jan 16 Kalevi Sorsa, Prime Minister of Finland (b. 1930)
  • Jan 19 Harry E. Claiborne, American judge (suicide) (b. 1917)
  • Jan 21 Yordan Radichkov, Bulgarian writer (b. 1929)
  • Jan 22 Thomas Mead, Australian politician and journalist (b. 1918)
  • Jan 23 Helmut Newton, German-born photographer (b. 1920)
  • Jan 25 Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch athlete (b. 1918)
  • Jan 27 Jack Paar, American television show host (b. 1918)
  • Jan 27 Salvador Laurel, Vice President of the Philippines (b. 1928)
  • Jan 28 Lloyd M. Bucher, U.S. Navy officer (b. 1927)
  • Jan 28 Don Cholito, Puerto Rican radio host (b. 1923)
  • Jan 29 M. M. Kaye, British writer (b. 1908)
  • Jan 29 Janet Frame, New Zealand writer (b. 1924)
  • Feb 5 John Hench, American animator (b. 1908)
  • Feb 8 Julius Schwartz, American comic book and science fiction editor (b. 1915)
  • Feb 9 Claude Ryan, Canadian newspaper director and politician (b. 1925)
  • Feb 13 Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, Chechen leader (b. 1952)
  • Feb 15 Jens Evensen, Norwegian minister and jurist (b. 1917)
  • Feb 17 José López Portillo, President of Mexico (b. 1920)
  • Feb 21 Guido Molinari, Canadian artist (b. 1933)
  • Feb 23 Sikander Bakht, Governor of Kerala (b. 1918)
  • Feb 25 Donald Hings, Canadian inventor (b. 1907)
  • Feb 26 Shankarrao Chavan, Indian politician (b. 1920)
  • Feb 26 Adolf Ehrnrooth, Finnish general (b. 1905)
  • Feb 26 Boris Trajkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia (b. 1956)
  • Feb 27 Paul Sweezy, American economist and editor (b. 1910)
  • Feb 27 Yoshihiko Amino, Japanese historians (b. 1928)
  • Feb 28 Daniel J. Boorstin, American historian, writer, and Librarian of Congress (b. 1914)
  • Feb 28 Carmen Laforet, famed Spanish novelist
  • Feb 28 Andres Nuiamäe, Estonian soldier (b. 1982)
  • Feb 29 Jerome Lawrence, American playwright (b. 1915)
  • Mar 4 George Pake, American physicist (b. 1924)
  • Mar 4 Stephen Sprouse, American fashion designer (b. 1953)
  • Mar 9 Dr. Gerald Deskin, Ph.D., clinical child psychologist (b. 1929)
  • Mar 13 Franz König, Austrian Catholic Archbishop of Vienna (b. 1905)
  • Mar 15 William "Bill" Pickering, New Zealand-born space scientist at NASA, dies at 93
  • Mar 15 John Pople, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925)
  • Mar 18 Harrison McCain, Canadian businessman (b. 1927)
  • Mar 19 Mitchell Sharp, Canadian politician (b. 1911)
  • Mar 20 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (b. 1909)
  • Mar 20 Pierre Sévigny, Canadian military officer and politician (b. 1917)
  • Mar 22 Ahmed Yassin, Palestinian co-founder of Hamas (b. ca. 1937)
  • Mar 23 Rupert Hamer, Australian politician (b. 1916)
  • Mar 28 Art James, American game show host (b. 1929)
  • Mar 30 Alistair Cooke, English-born journalist (b. 1908)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 30 Michael King, New Zealand historian (b. 1945)

Historian and Author Michael King
Historian and Author
Michael King
  • Mar 30 Frances Schreuder, American socialite convicted of murder, dies at 65
  • Apr 1 Aaron Bank, American OSS officer and founder of the US Army Special Forces (b. 1902)
  • Apr 2 John Argyris, Greek aeronautical engineer (b. 1913)
  • Apr 4 Casey Sheehan, American soldier, son of Cindy Sheehan (b. 1979)
  • Apr 5 Heiner Zieschang, German mathematician (b. 1936)
  • Apr 5 Sławomir Rawicz, Polish soldier (b. 1915)
  • Apr 6 Larisa Bogoraz, Soviet dissident (b. 1929)
  • Apr 17 Edmond Pidoux, Swiss writer (b. 1908)
  • Apr 18 Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, first Prime Minister of Fiji and President of Fiji (b. 1920)
  • Apr 19 Norris McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records (b. 1925)
  • Apr 19 John Maynard Smith, English biologist (b. 1920)
  • Apr 21 Mary McGrory, American journalist (b. 1918)
  • Apr 22 Jason L. Dunham, American Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1981)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 24 Estée Lauder, American cosmetics entrepreneur (b. 1906)

Cosmetics Company Founder Estée Lauder
Cosmetics Company Founder
Estée Lauder
  • Apr 25 Thom Gunn, British poet (b. 1929)
  • Apr 26 Hubert Selby Jr., American author (b. 1928)
  • May 6 Philip Kapleau, American Zen teacher (b. 1912)
  • May 7 Waldemar Milewicz, Polish reporter (b. 1956)
  • May 8 John Peel, British politician (C), dies at 91
  • May 9 Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president (b. 1951)
  • May 17 Jørgen Nash, Danish artist (b. 1920)
  • May 17 Ezzedine Salim, leader of Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
  • May 20 Lord Murray of Epping Forest, British labour politician and union leader, dies of emphysema and pneumonia at 82
  • May 23 Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (b. 1919)
  • May 24 Henry Ries, American photographer (b. 1917)
  • May 24 Milton Shulman, Canadian author and critic (b. 1913)
  • May 24 Edward Wagenknecht, American literary critic (b. 1900)
  • May 25 Roger W. Straus, Jr., American publisher (b. 1917)
  • May 26 Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, Russian astronomer (b. 1931)
  • May 26 Dullah Omar, South African lawyer (b. 1934)
  • May 28 Umberto Agnelli, Swiss-born automobile executive (b. 1934)
  • May 29 Archibald Cox, Watergate special prosecutor (b. 1912)
  • May 29 Samuel Dash, American Congressional counsel (b. 1925)
  • Jun 1 William Manchester, American writer (b. 1922)
  • Jun 2 Loyd Sigmon, American amateur ("ham") radio broadcaster (b. 1909)
  • Jun 3 Frances Shand Kydd, mother of Diana, Princess of Wales (b. 1936)
  • Jun 9 Brian Williamson, Jamaican Gay Activist (b. 1945)
  • Jun 11 Egon von Furstenberg, Swiss fashion designer (b. 1946)
  • Jun 11 Xenophon Zolotas, Greek politician (b. 1904)
  • Jun 13 Dick Durrance, American skier (b. 1914)