December 2004 in History

Events in History

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

Event 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.

  • Dec 14 The Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, designed by architect Norman FOster and engineer Michel Virlogeux, near Millau, France is officially opened
  • Dec 16 NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is the 1st to cross the termination shock, where solar and interstellar winds merge
  • Dec 19 World's largest indoor water park Tropical Islands Resort, opens in the Aerium, an old airship hanger, in the world's largest free-standing hall, south of Berlin, Germany
  • 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.

Boxing 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

  • 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)

Deaths in History

  • Dec 1 Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands dies of lung cancer at 93
  • Dec 2 Mona Van Duyn, American poet (b. 1921)
  • Dec 3 Shiing-Shen Chern, Chinese mathematician (b. 1911)
  • Dec 6 Raymond Goethals, Belgian football coach (b. 1921)
  • Dec 7 Jay Van Andel, co-founder and former chairman of Amway (b. 1924)
  • 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 11 Margaret Fay Shaw, American photographer and folklorist known for her work in the Scottish Hebrides, dies at 101
  • Dec 13 David Wheeler, English computer scientist (b. 1927)
  • Dec 15 Pauline Gore, mother of Al Gore (b. 1912)
  • Dec 16 Agnes Martin, Canadian American abstract painter dies aged 92
  • Dec 16 Peter Coker, English painter, dies at 78
  • Dec 17 Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (b. 1931)
  • Dec 18 Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
  • Dec 19 Herbert C. Brown, English-born American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1912)
  • Dec 21 Autar Singh Paintal, Indian medical scientist, dies at 79
  • Dec 23 Anne Truitt, American artist dies aged 83
  • Dec 23 P. V. Narasimha Rao, Indian politician, 9th Prime Minister of India (1991-96), dies of a heart attack at 83
  • Dec 23 Peter Beazley, British politician (C) (European Parliament), dies at 82
  • Dec 25 Gennadi Strekalov, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz T-3, T-8, T-11, TM-21), dies at 64
  • Dec 26 Jonathan Drummond-Webb, South African pediatric heart surgeon (b. 1959)
  • Dec 26 Marianne Heiberg, Norwegian mediator (b. 1945)
  • Dec 26 Simon Atlee, British fashion photographer, drowned by tsunami in Thailand at 33
  • Dec 26 Sir Angus Ogilvy, British businessman and husband of Princess Alexandra of Kent, dies at 76
  • Dec 26 Troy Broadbridge, Australian rules footballer, in 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (b. 1980)

Susan SontagSusan Sontag (1933-2004)

Dec 28 American writer, philosopher and political activist (The Benefactor), dies from Myelodysplastic syndrome at 71

  • Dec 29 Julius Axelrod, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
  • Dec 31 Gérard Debreu, French-American economist (Nobel 1983), dies at 83