Events in History in 2004

  • 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" 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 killed in the Gaza Strip 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 Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney
46th Vice President of the United States
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, claims its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism during buildup to 2003 Iraq War helped promote 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 7 "Live Like You Were Dying" single released by Tim McGraw (Grammy Award Best Country Song 2004, Billboard Song of the Year 2004)
  • 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.
  • Jul 4 The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower is laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. (This was largely a symbolic event; actual construction would not start for several weeks)
  • Jul 5 First Indonesian presidential election by the people - first round (eventually won by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono)
  • Jul 16 Millennium Park, considered the first and most ambitious architectural project in the early 21st century for Chicago, is opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 17 Former South African President Nelson Mandela calls for commitment by the world to take action against Aids

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela

Sport awardSports Awards

Jul 18 12th ESPY Awards: Lance Armstrong, Diana Taurasi win

Professional Cyclist and Drug Cheat Lance Armstrong
Professional Cyclist and Drug Cheat
Lance Armstrong
  • Jul 21 The United Kingdom government publishes Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country's armed forces.
  • Aug 1 A supermarket fire kills 396 people and injures 500 in Asunción, Paraguay.
  • Aug 3 The pedestal of the Statue of Liberty reopens after being closed since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
  • Aug 3 MESSENGER spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral
  • Aug 12 New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey comes out publicly as a gay man.
  • Aug 13 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi.
  • Aug 13 Black Friday crackdown by NSS on a peaceful protest in the capital city of Maldives, Malé.
  • Aug 13 Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm, strikes Punta Gorda, Florida and devastates the surrounding area.
  • Aug 17 MD5 collision found by Chinese researchers.
  • Aug 17 The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopts new state symbols for Serbia: Boze Pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms is adopted for the whole country.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 22 "The Scream" (1910 painted version) and "Madonna", two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.

Painter and Print Maker Edvard Munch
Painter and Print Maker
Edvard Munch
  • Aug 24 89 passengers die after two airliners explode after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow. The explosions were caused by suicide bombers (reportedly female) from the Russian Republic of Chechnya.

Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

Aug 31 Barbara Pierce Bush gives a speech to the Republican Convention

Twin daughter of US President George W. Bush Barbara Pierce Bush
Twin daughter of US President George W. Bush
Barbara Pierce Bush
  • Sep 1 The Beslan school hostage crisis begins when armed terrorists take hundreds of school children and adults hostage in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia.
  • Sep 3 The Beslan school massacre ends in the deaths of approximately 344 people, mostly teachers and children.
  • Sep 7 Hurricane Ivan, a Category 5 hurricane hitting Grenada, killing 39 and damaging 90% of its buildings.
  • Sep 8 The NASA unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-lands when its parachute fails to open.
  • Sep 9 Bomb explodes outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing 10 people
  • Sep 11 All passengers are killed when a helicopter crashes in the Aegean Sea. Passengers include Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria and 16 others (including journalists and bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria)
  • Sep 17 Tamil is declared the first classical language in India.
  • Sep 18 29th Toronto International Film Festival: "Hotel Rwanda" directed by Terry George wins the People's Choice Award
  • Sep 21 The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's War and the Maoist Communist Centre of India merge to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
  • Sep 21 Construction of the Burj Dubai starts.
  • Sep 23 At least 1,070 in Haiti reported killed by floods due to Hurricane Jeanne
  • Sep 29 The asteroid 4179 Toutatis passes within four lunar distances of Earth.
  • Sep 29 The Burt Rutan Ansari X Prize entry SpaceShipOne performed a successful spaceflight, the first of two needed to win the prize
  • Sep 30 The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.
  • Sep 30 The AIM-54 Phoenix, the primary missile for the F-14 Tomcat, retired from service. Almost two years later, the Tomcat retires.
  • Oct 2 American Samoa joins the North American Numbering Plan
  • Oct 4 SpaceShipOne wins Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 7 King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicates

King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk
King of Cambodia
Norodom Sihanouk
  • Oct 19 Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt is ousted and placed under house arrest by the SPDC on charges of corruption.
  • Oct 19 Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan is kidnapped in Iraq.
  • Oct 23 A powerful earthquake and its aftershocks hit Niigata prefecture, northern Japan, killing 35 people, injuring 2,200, and leaving 85,000 homeless or evacuated.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 25 Fidel Castro, Cuba's President, announces that transactions using the American Dollar will be banned by November 8

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • Oct 29 In Rome, 25 European heads of state sign a Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 29 Arabic news network, Al Jazeera broadcasts an excerpt from a video of Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist leader first admits direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and references the 2004 U.S. presidential election

Islamic Militant and Terrorist Osama bin Laden
Islamic Militant and Terrorist
Osama bin Laden
  • Nov 1 "That's What I Love About Sunday" single released by Craig Morgan (Billboard Song of the Year 2005)
  • Nov 4 12 French soldiers, 3 UN personnel and hundreds of civilians die during the Côte d'Ivoire civil war.
  • Nov 6 An express train collides with a stationary car near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing 6 and injuring 150.
  • Nov 7 War in Iraq: The interim government of Iraq calls for a 60-day "state of emergency" as U.S. forces storm the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
  • Nov 8 War in Iraq: More than 10,000 U.S. troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
  • Nov 9 Video game Halo 2 a first person shooter first released on Xbox by Bungie Studios
  • Nov 11 New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 11 Yasser Arafat's death through unidentified causes confirmed by Palestine Liberation Organization, Mahmoud Abbas elected PLO chairman minutes later.

Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat
  • Nov 16 "Let Me Love You" single released by Mario (Billboard Song of the Year 2005)
  • Nov 17 Kmart Corp. announces it is buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.
  • Nov 18 Russia officially ratifies the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Nov 21 The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election is held, unleashing massive protests and controversy over the election's integrity.
  • Nov 21 Island of Dominica hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history. Damage concentrated in the north and the town of Portsmouth. Also felt in neighboring Guadeloupe, where one person is killed.
  • Nov 21 The Paris Club agrees to write off 80% (up to $100 billion) of Iraq's external debt.
  • Nov 22 The Orange Revolution begins in Ukraine, resulting from the presidential elections.
  • Nov 23 World of Warcraft, multiplayer online role-playing video game released, world's most subscribed game
  • Nov 26 Ruzhou School massacre: a man stabs and kills eight people and seriously wounds another four in a school dormitory in Ruzhou, China.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 27 Pope John Paul II returns the relics of Saint John Chrysostom to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • Nov 28 Male Poʻo-uli dies of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct
  • Nov 30 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge resigns
  • Nov 30 Lion Air Flight 538 crash lands in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia, killing 26.
  • Dec 8 The Cuzco Declaration is signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.
  • Dec 9 Mary-Kate Olsen pledges that woman sewing garments for her company in Bangladesh will be afforded legal maternity leave

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
  • Dec 14 The Millau viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, near Millau, France is officially opened
  • 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.
  • 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)