- International Year of Rice (by the United Nations)
- International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO)
See The world in 2004 for a description of the state of the world in this year.
2001 2002 2003 – 2004 – 2005 2006 2007
| Decades: |
1970s 1980s 1990s – 2000s – 2010s 2020s 2030s
| Centuries: |
20th century – 21st century – 22nd century
2004 in topic:
Table of contents
- January 1 – Pervez Musharraf gets a vote of confidence from an electoral college consisting of Parliament and the provincial assemblies, confirming him as President of Pakistan until 2007.
- January 3 – Flash Airlines Flight 604 crashes into the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, killing all 148 aboard.
- January 4 -
- January 8 – Queen Elizabeth II christens the RMS Queen Mary 2 cruise liner, currently the largest ocean liner in the world.
- January 13 – An Uzbekistan Airways plane crashes in Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent, killing 37.
- January 22 – The European Union bans the import of poultry from Thailand, as bird flu spreads throughout Southeast Asia.
- January 24 – NASA's MER-B (Opportunity) lands on Mars.
- January 27 – The British government narrowly wins a House of Commons vote on the proposed introduction of tuition top-up fees in British universities.
- January 28 –
- The findings of the Hutton Inquiry are published in London. The British Government is found not to have falsified information in the "sexed up dossier". The report criticises the BBC's role in the death of David Kelly, a weapons expert on Iraq.
- At a hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, it is revealed that the September 11, 2001, terrorists used Mace (a brand of tear gas) or pepper spray in overpowering the flight crew of American Airlines Flight 11.
- February 1 – A hajj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 251 pilgrims.
- February 3 – The CIA admits that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- February 6 – A suicide bomber kills 41 people on a metro car in Moscow.
- February 10 -
- February 12 – Same sex marriage in the United States: The City and County of San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as an act of civil disobedience.
- February 13 – Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of 30 human embryos.
- February 14 – Riots break out between police and Aboriginal residents of Redfern, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
- February 18 – A train carrying a convoy of petrol, fertiliser, and sulfur derails and explodes in Iran, killing 320 people.
- February 20 – Conservatives win a majority in the Iranian parliament election.
- February 24 – 6.5 Richter scale earthquake in Northern Morocco hits in the Rif mountains near the city of Al Hoceima – over 400 dead. Ait Kamara is destroyed. 517 dead.
- February 26 – The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years.
- February 29 – 2004 Haiti rebellion: Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as president of Haiti. The chief justice of the Haitian Supreme Court, Boniface Alexandre, is sworn in as interim president.
- March 2 -
- March 10 – Five British men released from detention at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay land at RAF Brize Norton. Four are immediately arrested for questioning.
- March 11 – Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid kill 190 people.
- March 12 – Following the terrorist attacks in Madrid on March 11, millions of protesters take to the streets of Spanish cities against terrorism.
- March 14 -
- Two suicide bombers kill eleven Israeli civilians in Ashdod, Israel.
- The Spanish parliamentary elections of 2004 take place. The incumbent government led by José María Aznar is defeated by the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
- Presidential elections in Russia are held. Vladimir Putin easily wins a second term.
- March 15 -
- A trio of astronomers announce they have discovered a large trans-Neptunian object, the largest object found in the solar system since Pluto was discovered in 1930. Initially designated 2003 VB12, it was named 90377 Sedna in late September.
- The new Spanish government announces that it will withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops in Iraq.
- March 17 – Organized violence breaks out over two days in Kosovo. Nineteen people are killed, 139 Serbian homes are burned, schools and businesses are vandalized, and over 30 orthodox monasteries and churches are burned and destroyed.
- March 19 – The UN launches a corruption investigation due to the scandal over its Iraqi Oil for Food program.
- March 20 – President Chen Shui-bian wins the Taiwanese presidential election by 0.2% of the vote. The day before, he and Vice President Annette Lu were 'shot'. Lien Chan refuses to concede and demands a recount. A controversial 'peace referendum' opposed by the People's Republic of China is invalidated.
- March 21 -
- March 22 – Palestinians protest in the streets after an Israeli helicopter gunship fires a missile at the entourage of Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City, killing Yassin and 7 others.
- March 25 – British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi, in return for the dismantling of Libya's WMD programme in December 2003 – the first time a major western leader has visited the nation in several decades.
- March 28 – In France, the government of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin suffers a stunning and unprecedented defeat in regional elections.
- March 29 -
- March 31 – Four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq.
- April 3 – A bomb explosion in a Madrid flat kills a Spanish policeman and five terrorists suspected of responsibility for the Madrid train bombings on March 11.
- April 4 – Serious fighting breaks out in Najaf, Sadr City, and Basra in Iraq as Shia insurgents supporting Muqtada al-Sadr rise against coalition forces.
- April 5 – Queen Elizabeth II begins a state visit to France to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale
- April 8 -
- April 16 – India defeats Pakistan in their first cricket tour in 14 years
- April 17 – Israeli helicopters fire missiles at a convoy of vehicles in the Gaza Strip, killing the Gaza leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi.
- April 21 – Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed an Israeli nuclear weapons programme in the 1980s, is released from prison in Israel after an 18 year term for treason.
- April 22 -
- April 25 – Referenda on a United Nations plan, which proposes to re-unite the island of Cyprus, take place in both the Greek and Turkish parts. Although the Turks vote in favour, the Greeks reject the proposal.
- April 28 – Abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq is revealed on the television show 60 Minutes II.
- May 1 – the largest expansion to date of the European Union takes place, extending the Union by 10 member-states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta and Cyprus.
- May 6 – The final episode of Friends airs on NBC, drawing an estimated 52 million viewers in North America.
- May 9 – Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed by landmine placed under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial parade in Grozny.
- May 10 – The 2004 Philippine presidential and legislative elections take place. Incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wins the presidency.
- May 11 – An explosion destroys a plastics factory in Glasgow, UK, killing nine people and injuring over a hundred.
- May 12 – An American civilian contractor in Iraq, Nick Berg, is shown being decapitated by a group allegedly linked to al-Qaida on a web-distributed video.
- May 13 – In India, the Congress Party wins a surprise victory in the elections to the Lok Sabha.
- May 14 – Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, marries Australian Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen.
- May 17 -
- May 18 – The IOC announces the short list of candidates for the 2012 Summer Olympics: London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris. Unsuccessful cities are Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig and Rio de Janeiro.
- May 19 -
- May 23 -
- May 26 – Terry Nichols is convicted by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
- May 29 – Dedication of the National World War II Memorial takes place in Washington, DC.
- May 30 – Thousands of people in Hong Kong take to the streets to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
- June 1 – 12-year-old Satomi Mitarai, a Japanese schoolgirl attending Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo, Japan is murdered. Her killer, an 11-year-old classmate identified by Japanese authorities as "Girl A", becomes the basis for the Nevada-tan Internet meme.
- June 6 – The 60th anniversary of D-Day is remembered by world leaders.
- June 8 -
- June 11
- Terry Nichols is spared the death penalty by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The decision came on the third anniversary of the execution of his co-defendant, Timothy James McVeigh, in Terre Haute, Indiana.
- After the first presidential state funeral since 1973, President Ronald Wilson Reagan is laid to rest at Simi Valley, California, at the site of the Reagan Presidential Library.
- June 12 – A 1.3 kg chondrite type meteorite struck a house in Ellerslie, New Zealand causing serious damage but no injuries.
- June 16 – The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (or "9/11 Commission") issues an initial report of its findings.
- June 21 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately-funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
- June 28 -
- June 30 – The preliminary hearings begin in Iraq in the trial of former president Saddam Hussein, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- July 1 – The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft arrives at Saturn.
- July 4 -
- July 15 – 18 – The Open Championship in golf takes place in Troon, Scotland.
- July 25 -
- August 1 – Supermarket fire in Asunción, Paraguay, kills about 400 people and leaves over 100 missing.
- August 3 – Statue of Liberty reopens after security improvements.
- August 6 – A United Nations report that blames the government of Sudan for crimes against humanity in Darfur is released.
- August 12 – Singapore's prime minister Goh Chok Tong hands over his position to Lee Hsien Loong.
- August 13 –
- The 2004 Summer Olympics begin in Athens. They end on August 29.
- Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida after killing four in Cuba and one in Jamaica. Charley made landfall near Cayo Costa, FL as a Category 4 hurricane. Charley was the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
- August 21 – A series of blasts rocks a rally of an opposition party in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing at least 13 people.
- August 22 – Armed robbers steal Edvard Munch's The Scream, Madonna and other paintings from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.
- August 24 – Two airliners in Russia, carrying a total of 89 passengers, crash within minutes of each other after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, leaving no survivors. Authorities suspect suicide attacks by rebels from Chechnya to be the cause of the crashes.
- August 29 – Around 200,000 protesters demonstrate in New York City against President George W. Bush and his government, ahead of the 2004 Republican National Convention.
- August 31 -
- Two suicide attacks on buses in Beer Sheva, Israel, kill at least 16 people and injure at least 60. Hamas claims responsibility for the attacks.
- A woman commits a suicide attack near a subway station in northern Moscow, Russia, killing at least 10 people and injuring at least 50. Authorities hold Chechen rebels responsible.
- September 1 – Chechen rebels take between 1,000 and 1,500 people hostage, mostly children, in a school in Beslan, Northern Ossetia. The hostage-takers demand the release of Chechen rebels imprisoned in neighbouring Ingushetia and the independence of Chechnya from Russia.
- September 2 – The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 1559 calling for the removal of all foreign troops from Lebanon. This measure is largely aimed at Syrian troops.
- September 3 -
- Russian forces end the siege at a school in Beslan, Northern Ossetia. At least 335 people (among which at least 32 of the approximately 40 hostage-takers) have been killed and at least 700 people have been injured.
- Hurricane Frances makes landfall in Florida. After killing two people in the Bahamas, Hurricane Frances killed ten people in Florida, two in Georgia and one in South Carolina.
- September 7 -
- September 8 – In the "Rathergate" affair, the first Internet posts appear pointing out that documents claimed by CBS News to be typewritten memos from the early 1970's appear instead to have been produced using modern word processing systems.
- September 9 – A bomb blast outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, kills eleven people and injures up to 100 people.
- September 15
- September 16 – Hurricane Ivan wreaks havoc in the United States, after having crossed the Caribbean in the days before.
- September 17 -
- September 23 – Mount St. Helens became active again.
- September 25 – Hurricane Jeanne makes landfall near Hutchinson Island, FL. In all, Jeanne killed over 3,000, most in Haiti.
- September 29 – First Ansari X-Prize flight of SpaceShipOne.
- October 4 – Two car bombs kill at least 16 people and injure dozens more in Baghdad.
- October 5 – A fire breaks out on the Canadian submarine HMCS Chicoutimi leaving it stranded without power in the North Atlantic ocean, off the north coast of Ireland. One crewmember is killed.
- October 8 -
- October 9 -
- Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Scottish Parliament Building in a ceremony in Edinburgh
- Incumbent Prime Minister of Australia John Howard leads the Liberal-National coalition to victory over the Labor Party led by Mark Latham in federal elections.
- Direct elections for president held for the first time in Afghanistan. Interim president Hamid Karzai is eventually declared the winner.
- October 10 – Abdullahi Yusuf is chosen as the new transitional president of Somalia.
- October 14 – Prince Norodom Sihamoni is chosen as the new king of Cambodia.
- October 17 – A referendum in Belarus approves the lifting of constitutional term limits for the presidency.
- October 19 – General Khin Nyunt is replaced by Lieutenant-General Soe Win as Prime Minister of Myanmar.
- October 20 –
- October 21 – The Ministry of Defence approves the deployment of the Black Watch regiment of the British Army to Baghdad, Iraq after a request for assistance by the U.S. government.
- October 24 -
- The bodies of 49 Iraqi soldiers discovered after being ambushed by insurgents.
- Brazil successfully launches its first rocket into space.
- October 26 – The Cassini probe passes within 1,200km of Titan
- October 27 –
- October 29
- A videotape of Osama Bin Laden speaking airs on Arabic TV, in which he threatens terrorist attacks on the USA, and taunts the president, George W. Bush, over the September 11 Terrorist attacks.
- European heads of state signed in Rome the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution.
- October 31 – Leftist candidate Tabaré Vázquez is elected President of Uruguay.
- November 2 – U.S. presidential election: President George W. Bush defeats Senator John Kerry. Republicans make gains in the House and Senate.
- November 6 –
- November 7 – U.S. forces launch a major assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah, in an effort to rid the area of insurgents before the Iraqi elections in January
- November 9 – The Ireland High Court rules that Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan can sue the Revenue Commissioner to have their Vancouver, British Columbia Same-sex marriage recognized for tax purposes.
- November 12 – Jury finds Scott Peterson guilty of murder of his wife Laci and unborn son, Connor
- November 13 – After six days of intense battles, Iraqi town of Fallujah fully occupied by U.S. forces.
- November 14 – American Secretary of State, Colin Powell submits his resignation. He was replaced by Condoleezza Rice after her confirmation from the United States Congress.
- November 16
- The European Space Agency probe, Smart 1 passes from orbit of the Earth into orbit of the Moon
- A train crash near Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia, injures 150 people.
- The People's Republic of China to invest $20 billion dollars in Argentina, a deal signed days before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in the City of Santiago in Chile.
- NASA's hypersonic jet ScramJet breaks a record by reaching a velocity of about 7,000 mph in an unmanned experimental flight. It obtained a speed of Mach 9.6, almost 10 times the speed of sound.
- November 21 – Final round of presidential election in Ukraine. Official winner: Viktor Yanukovych. International election observers express severe criticism, and large crowds gather in a protest rally in Kiev. 12 days later, the Supreme Court annuls the result, and a new poll is scheduled.
- November 21 – The Nintendo DS is released in North America.
- November 26 – A group of Iraqi political leaders, primarily from Sunni and Kurdish parties, advocate a six-month delay in popular elections scheduled for January 2005.
- November 28
- December 3 – The Colombian government extradites Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, one of the most powerful drug dealers of the world, arrested in 1995 and 2003, to the United States.
- December 6 – Terrorists attack the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing several people.
- December 8 – The biggest Chinese PC producer Lenovo announces its plan to purchase IBM's global PC business, making it the third largest world PC maker after Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
- December 11 – Tests show that Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with a large dose of dioxin.
- December 13 – Software giants Oracle Corporation and PeopleSoft to merge in a $10.3 billion deal, creating the second largest maker of business applications software.
- December 14 – The world's tallest bridge, the Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains, France is opened by President Jacques Chirac.
- December 15 –
- December 16 -
- The House of Lords rules that the British Government breaches human rights legislation by detaining without trial foreign nationals suspected of being terrorists.
- IT security company Symantec Corp signs a definitive agreement to merge with Veritas Software Corp valued at $13.5 billion in an all-stock transaction.
- December 21 – Iraqi insurgents attack a US military base in the city of Mosul and kill 22 people.
- December 22 – Armed robbers in Northern Ireland, steal over £22 million from the headquarters of the Northern Bank.
- December 26 -
- The strongest earthquake in 40 years originates from the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra island in Indonesia, measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale and creating tsunami tidal waves that sweep across much of the coastlines of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. At least 290,000 people from South Asia to as far as Somalia in Africa are confirmed to be dead.
- The re-run of the second round of the Ukrainian presidential election takes place. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko is declared the victor.
- December 27 – A gas explosion in the French town of Mulhouse kills 15 people.
- December 28 – The Ukrainian transport minister, Heorhiy Kyrpa is found shot dead, in a suspected suicide.
- December 30 – A fire in a Buenos Aires night club República Cromagnon kills 192 people.
- December 31 -
- Simón Trinidad, high-profiled FARC leader, was extradited to the United States, following the second extradition of a high drug dealer in a month and in 2004.
- Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich resigns.
- The official opening of Taipei 101, the current tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 508 metres or 1,676 feet.
For more deaths see: Deaths in 2004
- January 3 – Leon Wagner, Major League Baseball player (b. 1934)
- January 5 – Tug McGraw, Major League Baseball player
- January 13 – Harold Shipman, English serial killer (suicide)
- January 23 – Bob Keeshan, American television actor
- January 25 – Fanny Blankers-Koen, Olympic athlete
- January 28 – Elroy Hirsch, American football player
- January 29 – Joe Viterelli, American actor
- February 13 – Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, President of Chechnya
- February 14 – Marco Pantani, Italian cyclist
- February 17 – José López Portillo, President of Mexico (b. 1920)
- February 26 – Boris Trajkovski, President of Macedonia
- February 28 – Daniel J. Boorstin, American historian, writer, and Librarian of Congress (b. 1914)
- March 4 – John McGeoch, Scottish musician, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Public Image Ltd. (b. May 28, 1955)
- March 13 – Franz König, Roman Catholic archbishop of Vienna (b. 1905).
- March 15 – John Pople, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925)
- March 18 – Harrison McCain, Canadian billionaire
- March 20 – Princess Juliana of the Netherlands
- March 21 – Ahmed Yassin, founder of Hamas
- March 28 – Sir Peter Ustinov, English actor
- April 1 – Carrie Snodgress, American actress (b. 1946)
- April 8 – Bruce Edwards, golf caddy (b. 1954)
- April 21 – Karl Hass, convicted Nazi war criminal
- April 22 – Pat Tillman, noted NFL Safety with the Arizona Cardinals. (b. 1976)
- April 24 – Estée Lauder, cosmetics pioneer (b. 1906)
- May 9 – Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president
- May 14 – Anna Lee, English actress (b. 1913)
- May 17 – Tony Randall, actor
- May 22 – Richard Biggs, actor
- May 28 – Umberto Agnelli, chairman of Fiat (b. 1934)
- June 3- Frances Shand Kydd, the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales
- June 5 – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States (b. 1911)
- June 7 – Quorthon, musician (b. 1966)
- June 8 – Mack Jones, Major League Baseball player (b. 1938)
- June 10:
- June 20 – Jim Bacon, Premier of Tasmania (b. 1950)
- July 1 – Marlon Brando, American actor (b. 1924)
- July 6 – Thomas Klestil, President of Austria (b. 1932)
- July 21 – Jerry Goldsmith, Composer
- July 28:
- August 1 – Philip Hauge Abelson, physicist, co-discoverer of Neptunium (b. 1913)
- August 3 – Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer (b. 1908)
- August 6 – Rick James, singer ("Super Freak") (b. 1948)
- August 8 – Fay Wray, actress ("King Kong") (b. 1907)
- August 13 – Julia Child, cook, author, television personality, (b. 1912)
- August 14 – Czesław Miłosz, Polish poet, Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980 (b. 1911)
- August 15 – Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician, Chief Minister of Gujarat
- August 17 – Gérard Souzay, French baritone (b. 1918)
- August 22 – Ota Sik, Czech economist and politician, architect of the Prague Spring
- August 30 – "Indian" Larry Desmedt, Motorcycle designer, stunt man
- September 7 – Bob Boyd, Major League Baseball player (b. 1925)
- September 11:
- September 15 – Johnny Ramone, American musician, guitarist with The Ramones (b. October 8, 1948)
- September 20 – Brian Clough, English footballer and manager (b. 1935)
- October 3 – Janet Leigh, actress
- October 5 – Rodney Dangerfield, actor, comedian (b. 1921)
- October 8 – Jacques Derrida, philosopher, founder of deconstruction (b. 1930)
- October 10 – Christopher Reeve, American actor, portrayed "Superman" (b. 1952)
- October 18 – Veerappan, Indian forest bandit and sandalwood smuggler (b. 1945)
- October 19 – Greg Shaw, rock journalist
- October 25 – John Peel, UK radio broadcaster (b. 1939)
- October 29 – HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, 102 (b. 1901, aunt of HM Queen Elizabeth II
- November 2:
- November 3 – Sergei Zholtok, professional ice hockey player (b. 1972)
- November 9:
- November 11 – Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Leader (President of Palestinian National Authority 1996–2004) (b. 1929)
- November 13 – Russell Jones, rapper (known as ODB) (b. 1968)
- November 17:
- November 24
- November 29 – Harry Danning, MLB All-Star catcher (b. 1911)
- December 1 – HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (b. 1911)
- December 3 – Shiing-shen Chern, mathematician (b. 1911)
- December 8 – "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, musician, member of Pantera and Damageplan (b. 1966)
- December 9 – Lea De Mae – Czech pornographic actress (b. 1976)
- December 11 – Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand athletics coach and jogging pioneer (b. 1917)
- December 13:
- December 14:
- December 16 – Ted Abernathy, Major League Baseball player (b. 1933)
- December 19:
- December 22 – Doug Ault, Major League Baseball player (b. 1950)
- December 23 – P. V. Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister of the Republic of India 1991 – 1996
- December 24:
- December 25 – Jane Muskie, widow of U.S. senator, vice presidential and presidential candidate Edmund Muskie
- December 26:
- December 28:
- December 29 – Julius Axelrod, biochemist, Nobel prize winner (b. 1912)
- Physiology or Medicine:
- Wangari Maathai "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"
- Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel