On This Day

What Happened in December 2004

Historical Events

  • Dec 4 13th SEC Championship Game: #3 Auburn beats #15 Tennessee, 38-28
  • Dec 5 93rd Davis Cup: Spain beats USA in Seville (3-2)

Music releaseAlbum Release

Dec 7 Diana DeGarmo releases her debut album, “Blue Skies”

  • Dec 8 Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the Union of South American Nations

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 9 Mary-Kate Olsen pledges that woman sewing garments for her company in Bangladesh will be afforded legal maternity leave

Twin Actress Mary-Kate Olsen
Twin Actress
Mary-Kate Olsen
  • Dec 11 70th Heisman Trophy Award: Matt Leinart, USC (QB)
  • Dec 12 On This Day launches MusicOrb.com and TodayinSport.com, separate sites for music and sports history, now our music and sport channels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 13 Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet is put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest is lifted the same day on appeal.

General and Dictator Augusto Pinochet
General and Dictator
Augusto Pinochet

Sport awardFootball Awards

Dec 13 Ballon d'Or: Milan's Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko is named best football player in Europe ahead of Deco (Porto/FC Barcelona) and Barcelona midfielder Ronaldinho

Football Player Ronaldinho
Football Player
  • Dec 14 The Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, near Millau, France is officially opened

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 15 "Million Dollar Baby", directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman is released (Best Picture 2005)

Actor and Director Clint Eastwood
Actor and Director
Clint Eastwood
Actor Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Actress Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank
  • Dec 16 NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is the 1st to cross the termination shock, where solar and interstellar winds merge
  • Dec 23 Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean is hit by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake.
  • Dec 25 Cassini orbiter releases Huygens probe which successfully landed on Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005.

Historic CommunicationBoxing Day Tsunami

Dec 26 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and edges of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people

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The tsunami hits Ao Nang, Thailand
The tsunami hits Ao Nang, Thailand
Learn More
  • Dec 27 Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.
  • Dec 30 A fire in the República Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina kills 194.
  • Dec 31 Official opening of Taipei 101, then the tallest skyscraper in the world, at a height of 509 metres (1,670 feet)

Famous Weddings

  • Dec 23 CBS executive Les Moonves (55) weds CBS' "Early Show" co-host Julie Chen (34) on a private estate in Acapulco
  • Dec 26 "Kill Bill" actor David Carradine (67) weds Annie Berman (43) at the seaside in Malibu
  • Dec 29 "The X-Files" actress Gillian Anderson (36) weds former journalist and documentary filmmaker Julian Ozanne (42) on Shella island in Lamu, Kenya
  • Dec 30 Boston Red Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon (31) weds Michelle Mangan at Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Hotel in Orlando, Florida
  • Dec 31 English actor Terence Stamp (64) weds Elizabeth O'Rourke (23) in London

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 1 Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands dies of lung cancer at 93
  • Dec 2 Mona Van Duyn, American poet (b. 1921)
  • Dec 2 Alicia Markova, British ballerina (Diaghilev's Ballet Russe 1925-32) dies aged 94
  • Dec 2 Kevin Coyne, English musician, dies at 60
  • Dec 3 Shiing-Shen Chern, Chinese mathematician (b. 1911)
  • Dec 4 Carl Esmond, Austrian actor (Ministry of Fear, Smash-Up), dies of natural causes at 102
  • Dec 4 Elena Souliotis, Greek soprano, dies of heart failure at 61
  • Dec 6 Raymond Goethals, Belgian football coach (b. 1921)
  • Dec 7 Frederick Fennell, American conductor (Time & Winds), dies at 90
  • Dec 7 Jerry Scoggins, American singer (b. 1913)
  • Dec 7 Jay Van Andel, co-founder and former chairman of Amway (b. 1924)
  • Dec 8 "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, American heavy metal guitarist (Pantera) is shot and killed by crazed fan Nathan Gale while performing on stage at 38
  • Dec 8 Nathan Gale, American murderer (Heavy metal Pantera's concert murder), dies at 25
  • Dec 9 David Brudnoy, American radio personality (b. 1940)
  • Dec 9 Lea De Mae, Czech actress (b. 1976)
  • Dec 11 Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach, dies at 87
  • Dec 11 M.S. [Madurai Shanmukhavadivu] Subbulakshmi, Indian singer (1st singer to be awarded the Bharat Ratna), dies at 88
  • Dec 11 José Luis Cuciuffo, Argentinian soccer defender (21 caps; Vélez Sársfield, Boca Juniors, Nîmes Olympique), dies from gunshot wound in stomach while hunting at 43
  • Dec 11 Margaret Fay Shaw, American photographer and folklorist known for her work in the Scottish Hebrides, dies at 101
  • Dec 12 George Hunter, South African boxer (Olympic gold light heavyweight 1948), dies at 77
  • Dec 12 Frank Isola, American jazz drummer (Stan Getz; Gerry Mulligan; Mose Allison), dies at 79
  • Dec 13 Andre Rodgers, Bahamian baseball shortstop (first Bahamian to play in MLB; NY/SF Giants; Chicago Cubs), dies at 70
  • Dec 13 David Wheeler, English computer scientist (b. 1927)
  • Dec 14 Rod Kanehl, American baseball player, dies at 70
  • Dec 14 Fernando Poe, Jr., Filipino actor & politician (2004 presidential candidate), dies at 65
  • Dec 15 Pauline Gore, mother of Al Gore (b. 1912)
  • Dec 16 Peter Coker, English painter, dies at 78
  • Dec 16 Ted Abernathy, American baseball player (b. 1933)
  • Dec 16 Agnes Martin, Canadian American abstract painter dies aged 92
  • Dec 17 Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (b. 1931)
  • Dec 17 Dick Heckstall-Smith, English jazz-blues saxophonist, dies at 70
  • Dec 18 Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
  • Dec 18 John W. Downey, American composer, dies at 77
  • Dec 19 Herbert C. Brown, English-born American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1912)
  • Dec 19 Renata Tebaldi, Italian soprano, dies at 82
  • Dec 20 Son [Frank] Seals, American blues musician (Nothing But the Truth) dies from diabetes complications at 62
  • Dec 21 Autar Singh Paintal, Indian medical scientist, dies at 79
  • Dec 22 Doug Ault, American baseball player (b. 1950)
  • Dec 23 P. V. Narasimha Rao, Indian politician, 9th Prime Minister of India (1991-96), dies of a heart attack at 83
  • Dec 23 Anne Truitt, American artist dies aged 83
  • Dec 23 Peter Beazley, British politician (C) (European Parliament), dies at 82
  • Dec 24 Johnny Oates, American MLB baseball catcher, 1970-81 (Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and 3 other teams), and manager, 1991-2001 (Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers), dies of brain cancer at 58
  • Dec 24 Jan van Vlijmen, Dutch composer, dies at 69
  • Dec 25 Gennadi Strekalov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-3, T-8, T-11, TM-21), dies at 64
  • Dec 26 Sir Angus Ogilvy, British businessman and husband of Princess Alexandra of Kent, dies at 76
  • Dec 26 Marianne Heiberg, Norwegian mediator (b. 1945)
  • Dec 26 Jonathan Drummond-Webb, South African pediatric heart surgeon (b. 1959)
  • Dec 26 Sigurd Køhn, Norwegian jazz musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1959)
  • Dec 26 Aki Sirkesalo, Finnish musician, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1962)
  • Dec 26 Mieszko Talarczyk, Lead singer/Guitarist of grindcore band, Nasum, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1974)
  • Dec 26 Troy Broadbridge, Australian rules footballer, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1980)
  • Dec 26 Simon Atlee, British fashion photographer, drowned by tsunami in Thailand at 33
  • Dec 27 Hank Garland, American musician (b. 1930)
  • Dec 28 Jerry Orbach, American actor (b. 1935)

Person of interestSusan Sontag

Dec 28 Susan Sontag, American writer, dies from Myelodysplastic syndrome at 71

Author Susan Sontag
Susan Sontag
  • Dec 29 Liddy Holloway, New Zealand actress (b. 1947)
  • Dec 29 Ken Burkhart, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals) and umpire, dies at 88
  • Dec 29 Julius Axelrod, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
  • Dec 30 Artie Shaw [Arthur Arshawsky], American bandleader, jazz clarinetist and actor (Begin the Beguine), dies at 94
  • Dec 31 Gérard Debreu, French-American economist (Nobel 1983), dies at 83