On This Day

December 2003 in History

Events in History

  • 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.

Election of Interest

Dec 12 Paul Martin becomes Prime Minister of Canada after resignation of Jean Chretien

Historic Event

Dec 13 Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit, during Operation Red Dawn by US forces

  • Dec 14 President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt
  • Dec 14 US 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 22 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits near San Simeon, California.
  • 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 30 U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself and his office from the Plame affair.

Birthdays in History

  • Dec 7 Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, eldest child of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, born in HMC Bronovo, The Hague, Netherlands

Weddings in History

  • Dec 6 "The Bachelorette" star Trista Rehn (31) weds Ryan Sutter (29) at The Lodge in Rancho Mirage, California

Larry Ellison

Dec 18 Founder of Oracle Larry Ellison (59) weds romance novelist Melanie Craft in Woodside, California


Deaths in History

  • Dec 1 Clark Kerr, first Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (b. 1911)
  • Dec 2 Alan Davidson, British author (b. 1924)
  • Dec 6 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (b. 1918)
  • 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 7 Joe Skeen, American politician (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Mexico), dies at 76
  • Dec 9 Paul Simon, American politician (U. S. House of Representatives, 1975-85; U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1985-97), dies at 75
  • Dec 10 John Watts, British army and Chief of Defense (Omani Armed Forces), dies at 73
  • Dec 11 Ahmadou Kourouma, Ivorian writer (b. 1927)
  • Dec 12 Heydər Əliyev, President of Azerbaijan (b. 1923)
  • Dec 12 Joseph Anthony Ferrario, American Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu (1982-1993), dies at 77
  • 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 Blas Ople, Filipino journalist & politician, dies at 76
  • Dec 15 George Fisher, American political cartoonist (b. 1923)
  • Dec 16 Robert Stanfield, Premier of Nova Scotia (b. 1914)
  • Dec 17 Brian Lee, father of Wikipedia user, James Lee (b. 1948)
  • Dec 18 Susan Travers, English-French Foreign Legion soldier, dies at 94
  • Dec 19 Peter Carter-Ruck, English lawyer (b. 1914)
  • 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 24 David Hobman, English human right activist and director (Age Concern England), dies at 76
  • Dec 25 Nicholas Mavroules, American politician (Rep-D-MA, 1979-93), dies at 74
  • Dec 28 Benjamin T. Hacker, American naval aviator (first Naval Flight Officer (NFO) to achieve Flag rank), dies at 68
  • Dec 30 David Bale, South African-born activist (b. 1941)
  • Dec 30 John Gregory Dunne, American writer, dies of heart attack at 71
  • Dec 31 Arthur R. von Hippel German physicist (pioneer in the study of dielectrics, ferromagnetic and ferroelectric materials, and semiconductors and was a codeveloper of radar during World War II), dies at 105