On This Day

January 2004 in History

Events in History

Election of Interest

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))

General and 10th President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf
General and 10th President of Pakistan
Pervez Musharraf
  • 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.

Historic Event

Jan 8 RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II

Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom
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" 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.

Spirit Rover Begins Mars Mission

Jan 25 NASA's Opportunity rover (MER-B) lands on the surface of Mars

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The first color image compiled by photos from the Spirit rover - at the time the highest quality photo taken on another planet
The first color image compiled by photos from the Spirit rover - at the time the highest quality photo taken on another planet
Learn More
  • 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.
  • Jan 26 Mydoom , the most destructive computer worm (so far), first sighted on computers in North America. Goes on to cause $38 billion in damages.

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 21 Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

Deaths in History

  • Jan 2 Jess Collins, American artist, dies at 80
  • Jan 3 Des Corcoran, Premier of South Australia (b. 1928)
  • Jan 4 John Toland, American political writer (Rising Sun, Pulitzer 1971), dies at 91
  • Jan 4 Joan Aiken, English writer of children's books (The Whispering Mountain), dies at 79
  • Jan 4 Jeff Nuttall, English writer (b. 1933)
  • Jan 6 Francesco Scavullo, American celebrity photographer, dies at 82
  • Jan 6 Pierre Charles, 5th Prime Minister of Dominica, dies at 49
  • 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 (fluid dynamics), dies at 81
  • Jan 13 Arne Næss Jr., Norwegian mountain climber and businessman, dies at 66
  • Jan 13 Harold Shipman, British general practitioner and prolific serial killer, commits suicide at 57
  • 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 and playwright (The Tied Up Balloon), dies at 74
  • Jan 22 Thomas Mead, Australian politician and journalist, dies at 85
  • Jan 23 Helmut Newton, German photographer, dies at 83
  • 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 (The Far Pavilions), dies at 95
  • Jan 29 Janet Frame, New Zealand novelist (Intensive Care, Owls Do Cry), dies at 79