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2004 facts for kids

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Millennium: 3rd millennium
Centuries: 20th century21st century22nd century
Decades: 1970s  1980s  1990s  – 2000s –  2010s  2020s  2030s
Years: 2001 2002 200320042005 2006 2007

2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar.





  • March 9 - Pakistan announces a successful first flight test of its Hatf VI / Shaheen II long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile. The missile has a range of 2,000 km 1,250 mi and can carry a payload of 1,000 kg 2,200 lb.
  • March 9 - Five of the nine Britons held by American authorities at Guantanamo Bay under suspicion of having links to terrorist organisations are returned to Britain. They are to be questioned by British anti-terrorism police on arrival.
  • March 9 - The FBI arrests William Cottrell, a Caltech student and alleged member of the Earth Liberation Front, in connection with last summer's spate of arson attacks at a car dealerships which destroyed or damaged over one hundred vehicles, including many Hummer H2 luxury SUVs.
  • March 10 - Five British men released from detention at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay land at RAF Brize Norton. Four are immediately arrested by the Metropolitan Police and taken to Paddington Green high security police station in Central London for questioning.
  • March 10 - Lee Boyd Malvo is sentenced to life in prison without parole by a Virginia judge for his role in the Beltway Sniper Attacks.
  • March 11 - The Spirit rover takes first picture of Earth ever made from the surface of another planet.
  • March 11 - March 11, 2004 Madrid attacks: 10 bombs on Madrid commuter trains kill at least 180 people and hurt more than 1400, the most people ever hurt in any bombing in Europe the 1988 Lockerbie bombing killed more but wounded fewer.
  • March 11 - Four British prisoners who had been arrested on their return from Guantanamo Bay are released without charge. A fifth was not arrested on arrival. A further four remain in the Cuban camp. British newspapers vie for the rights to their stories, with offers in the range of £300,000. These five people are expected to sue the United States and UK governments.
  • March 11 - Same-sex marriage in the United States: The California Supreme Court issues an rule ordering San Francisco officials to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court said it would hear oral arguments regarding the controversy in May or June. The state says it did not register any of the thousands of recent gay marriages.
  • March 11 - UN inspectors find weapons-grade uranium in Iran. Iran objects to UN and United States policy, considering it "unrealistic."
  • March 11 - A Maryland woman and former Democratic congressional aide, Susan Lindauer, is arrested on charges of conspiracy against the United States, acting as an Iraqi spy before and during last year's invasion.
  • March 11 - An Australian Senate report on poverty is immediately dismissed by Prime Minister John Howard. The report shows between 2 and 3.5 million Australians, or up to 19 per cent of the population, are living in poverty.
  • March 12 - Millions of people pack rainy streets across Spain in protest against the recent Madrid bombings.
  • March 12 - The parliament of South Korea votes to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun, saying he "breached election rules" by calling for support for the Uri party. Prime Minister Goh Kun will run the country until the Constitutional Court rules on the issue. Roh's supporters dismiss the move as a power play to influence the upcoming April elections. Thousands protest in support of Roh.
  • March 12 - Guantanamo Bay: Recently released British Camp X-Ray inmate Jamal al-Harith is interviewed by the Daily Mirror, alleging physical assaults and psychological torture.
  • March 13- His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester and the Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom attend the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace where the Spanish national anthem is played to honour the victims of the Madrid train bombings. The death toll in the bombings rises to 200; investigators continue search for perpetrators, with suspicions against ETA complemented by the apprehension of five foreign citizens connected to terror attacks in Morocco.
  • March 13 - Fifteen teams that qualified for the DARPA Grand Challenge start on a 150–200 mile robotic race to Las Vegas, Nevada, for a $1 million prize. All of the teams break down within seven miles of the start line; none collect the prize.
  • March 13 - Nine people, including eight children, are found dead in Fresno, California. One of their family members is arrested for the deaths. The police speculate that the deaths may have been part of a ritual.
  • March 14 - The Spanish parliamentary elections of 2004 take place. The incumbent government led by Jose Maria Aznar is defeated by the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
  • March 14 - Madrid bombings: Spanish police receives a videotape where a man identifying himself as an al-Qaeda spokesman says the organisation claims responsibility for the attack, according to an announcement from the country's interior minister. The authenticity of the video has not been verified. The al-Qaeda claim overshadows voting in the general election.
  • March 14 - Occupation of Iraq: Six United States soldiers are killed over the weekend in three separate insurgent roadside bomb attacks, two in Baghdad and one in Tikrit. This occurs amidst the largest U.S. troop rotation since World War II.
  • March 14 - The people of Russia have a presidential election. Current president Vladimir Putin wins by a lot of votes. The election is widely criticised by external observers who said Russian state television was very biased towards Putin during the campaign.
  • March 14 - Pope John Paul II becomes the third-longest reigning pope in history, the other two being Saint Peter and Pope Pius IX.
  • March 14 - Several Kurds storm the Syrian embassy in Brussels protesting about violence and deaths in north-east Syria over the weekend.
  • March 14 - Presidential elections in Russia are held. Vladimir Putin easily wins a second term.
  • March 15 - The city of Aliso Viejo, California, nearly bans foam cups when they learn they are produced from a substance known as Dihydrogen monoxide (water), a substance that could "threaten human health and safety."
  • March 15 - Pavlo Lazarenko, former prime minister of Ukraine, stands trial in a U.S. federal court in San Francisco for money laundering.
  • March 15 - Same-sex marriage in the United States: Commissioners of Multnomah County, Oregon dismiss state attorney general Hardy Myers' non-binding opinion that same-sex marriages are illegal and vow to continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
  • March 15 - Newly elected Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announces his government's opposition to the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq and his intention to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq by June 30, unless they are part of a U.N. force.
  • March 15 - Astronomers announce the discovery of Sedna, a Pluto-like planetoid which is the most distant individual object known to orbit the Sun.
  • March 15 - Exiled Syrian Kurds storm the Syrian consulate in Geneva and other Kurds protest in Turkey and Germany at weekend violence in northeast Syria.
  • March 16 - Spanish police identify six Moroccans suspected to have carried out the March 11 Madrid attacks. Five of the suspects are still at large but one is in custody.
  • March 16 - An explosion at an apartment building in Arkhangelsk, Russia, kills 32.
  • March 16 - The Federal Reserve votes to keep interest rates the same, primarily since there are not many new jobs in the United States.
  • March 17 - Unrest in Kosovo: After two Albanian children are found drowned in the Ibar river in Kosovo and Metohia, with a third still missing, riots erupt in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica and later spread to the entire province. Mitrovica Serbs are blamed by Albanian media for forcing the children into the river, but this is later denied by United Nations officials. At least 22 people are killed by the end of the day with hundreds injured in clashes between Serbs and Albanians; enclaves of Kosovo Serbs elsewhere in the province experience attacks by Kosovo Albanians as well as offices of UN officials which were abandoned. In reaction to the violence in Kosovo, demonstrators in Serbia march in Belgrade and set ablaze mosques in Belgrade and Nish.
  • March 17 - Occupation of Iraq: A car bomb flattens the Mount Lebanon Hotel in central Baghdad, killing at least 17 people and hurting 45 more people.
  • March 17 - Utah bans execution by firing squad.
  • March 18 - Howard Dean announces plans to form Democracy for America, a political organization intended to help progressive candidates holding similar views.
  • March 18 - Unrest in Kosovo: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) announces that it will reinforce its Kosovo peacekeeping force, following ethnic fighting there that has killed at least 31 people over the past two days. More Serbian Orthodox Churches have been set on fire by Albanians and violence has continued in and around Kosovo Serb enclaves. Russia and Serbia-Montenegro call for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council. United Nations officials attempt to restore order in the province and blame the unrest on nationalist extremists on both sides. More demonstrations have taken place across Serbia, so far without the violence seen the previous day.
  • March 18 - Near-Earth asteroid 2004 FH is making the closest approach of an asteroid ever recorded. At 22:08 UTC it will pass 43,000 km above Earth's surface.
  • March 18 - Cleanup work at Love Canal has been completed, federal officials said. The EPA says it should be taken off the Superfund list.
  • March 18 - The United States House of Representatives all agree to double the reward for Osama bin Laden's capture to US$50 million.
  • March 19 - The U.S. military drops all charges of alleged mishandling of classified information against Muslim Army chaplain Yousef Yee at Guantanamo Bay.
  • March 19 - Same-sex marriage in Canada: The Quebec Court of Appeal upholds a Quebec superior court ruling that same-sex marriages are valid under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It joins Ontario and British Columbia in permitting same-sex marriage. The couple which brought the suit is scheduled to be wed on April 10, after a required 20-day waiting period.
  • March 19 - Äänekoski bus disaster: At least 24 young people are killed and 15 hurt, several of them seriously, in a collision on an icy road between a coach and a lorry carrying rolls of paper on Highway 4 near Äänekoski in Central Finland. The accident happened at around 2 a.m. local time (UTC +2).
  • March 20 - ROC presidential election: Chen Shui-bian is declared the winner over Lien Chan by fewer than 30,000 votes of nearly 13,000,000 cast (0.25%). Lien calls the result unfair and demands it be voided. A controversial referendum is invalidated by low turnout.
  • March 20 - Former Queen Juliana of the Netherlands dies aged 94.
  • March 20 - On the first anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, millions join protests in cities across the world to demonstrate against the war and the continued occupation. In London two Greenpeace protesters evade newly tightened security and scale the Houses of Parliament's Clock Tower to unfurl a banner calling for the truth to be told by the UK government.
  • March 20 - Stephen Harper is elected as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, winning 56% of the possible points on the first ballot.
  • March 20 - A Methodist church jury in Bothell, Washington acquits a lesbian minister of violation of church rules.
  • March 21 - Malaysian general election: Secular ruling coalition Barisan Nasional wins a two-thirds majority and wrests back the state of Terengganu from Islamist party PAS. A recount is pending for the closely contested state of Kelantan.
  • March 21 - Measurements taken at Mauna Loa Observatory show carbon dioxide readings of 379 parts per million, up by 3 ppm in one year; average increase for the past decade has been 1.8 ppm. The reason for this accelerated buildup in a greenhouse gas requires further analysis.
  • March 21 - Al-Qaeda claims to have purchased "smart briefcase bombs" with nuclear capabilities on the black market.
  • March 21 - Salvadoran presidential election: Voting takes place to elect a new president of El Salvador.
  • March 21 - ROC presidential election: Taiwan's High Court has ordered all ballot boxes to be sealed, in order to preserve evidence. However, a recount of votes was not ordered. Various protests are held throughout the island.
  • March 22 - Palestinians protest in the streets after an Israeli helicopter gunship fires a missile at the entourage of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City, killing Yassin and 7 others.
  • March 22 - ROC presidential election, 2004: Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party submits a bill to the Legislative Yuan to allow an immediate recount, per Lien Chan's demand, but the majority Pan-Blue Coalition says it is not necessary, because the President could issue an executive order instead.
  • March 22 - Salvadoran presidential election: Tony Saca of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) declares victory over a former Communist Party guerrilla leader, with 60% of the votes.










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