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2004 facts for kids

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(Redirected from As of 2004)
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 1 - Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie blasted ongoing Israeli extrajudicial executions of Palestinian activists, which claimed two more lives on Sunday, and blamed Israel for the weekend of violence, whilst accusing his Israeli counterpart’s government of trying "to kill any possibility for (achieving a) mutual cease-fire".
  • March 1 - Jean-Bertrand Aristide claims that his resignation as President of Haiti was forced and that he was kidnapped by American forces and forced to leave the country against his will. United States Vice President Dick Cheney rejects the accusation.
  • March 1 - President of Russia Vladimir Putin names Mikhail Fradkov as his new prime minister.
  • March 1 - Several hundred United States, French and Canadian troops are sent to Haiti.
  • March 2 - The Palestinian Authority's prisoners' affairs ministry states in its monthly statistical report that the number of Palestinian prisoners has risen to around 7,500. Of those 336 are children, 75 female and 943 in need of medical treatment. Of the 166 prisoners who died, 41% died as a result of medical negligence, while 18% died as a result of torture.
  • March 2 - Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics reports 1,850 new housing units in the Jewish settlements Israel built in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2003, up by 35 percent from the previous year.
  • March 2 - John Kerry wins the Super Tuesday primaries in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island and caucus in Minnesota, effectively winning the nomination. Howard Dean wins in his home state of Vermont even though he is no longer actively campaigning. John Edwards is reported to be withdrawing from the race three hours before polls close in California and just as the caucuses begin in Minnesota.
  • March 2 - Jason West, mayor of New Paltz, New York is charged with 19 criminal counts of solemnizing marriages without a license. If convicted, he faces up to a $500 fine and a year in jail on each count.
  • March 2 - Exploration of Mars: NASA announces that Mars rover Opportunity landed in an area where "liquid water once drenched the surface".
  • March 2 - Bernard Ebbers, ex-CEO of Worldcom, is indicted on three counts of conspiracy for his alleged role in that company's $11 billion accounting scandal in 2002. Worldcom's CFO Scott Sullivan pleads guilty and is expected to cooperate with prosecutors against Ebbers.
  • March 2 - Multiple explosions hit Shiite shrines in Baghdad and Karbala on the Shia festival of Ashura. Over 180 people are reported killed. A three-day long period of national mourning is announced.
  • March 2 - Iraq gets a Bill of Rights, including guarantees of freedom of religion and press, in the form of the Law of Administering the Iraqi State for the Transitional Period.
  • March 2 - The U.S. declares its 2,000-man force to have leadership over all foreign military forces in Haiti. President Bush chose not to wait for the UN Security Council but, instead, to intervene immediately to "restore order" in the western hemisphere's poorest country.
  • March 2 - The European Union imposes additional 5% tariffs on a wide range of goods imported from the United States, such as Honey, paper, and nuclear reactors. The tariffs were sanctioned by the World Trade Organization in 2002 as punitive measures after a ruling declaring that United States tax law unfairly favors U.S.-based companies.
  • March 2 - The European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe is successfully launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket on a mission to investigate the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • March 3 - At the Walt Disney Company's Annual General Meeting, about 43% of Walt Disney stockholders, including several prominent pension funds, vote to oppose the re-election of Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner. The board of directors replaces him as Chairman with George J. Mitchell.
  • March 3 - Researchers at Harvard University announce that they will give scientists free access to 17 human embryonic stem cell lines created without U.S. federal funding. This move is expected to boost stem cell research in the face of federal funding restrictions announced in 2001 by the Bush administration.
  • March 3 - A new government of Serbia, headed by Vojislav Kostunica, is approved by parliament.
  • March 3 - March 3 - Israeli aircraft destroy a car in the Gaza strip with missile fire, killing three people acknowledged by Palestinian officials as members of the militant group Hamas.
  • March 3 - March 3 - A group of Israelis join a court challenge against the Israeli West Bank barrier out of concern it could turn their good Palestinian neighbors into deadly enemies.
  • March 3 - New claims of bubble fusion are made, claiming that the results of previous experiments have been replicated under more stringent experimental conditions.
  • March 4 - bomb blasts in Iraq threaten to de-stabilise the country.
  • March 4 - The guilty verdict for Moroccan al-Qaeda suspect Mounir el Motassadeq's involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks is overturned by the German appeals court, which orders a retrial.
  • March 4 - Three American Muslims accused of using paintball games to train for a jihad holy war are found guilty of conspiracy charges.
  • March 4 - Chinese authorities release Wang Youcai, a day after Rabiya Kadeer's release
  • March 4 - Israeli tanks around 15 armoured vehicles escorted by several bulldozers enter the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, exchanging gunfire with resistance and later demolishing a four-storey building, claiming "anti-terrorist operations".
  • March 4 - The Prime Minister of Malaysia dissolves the national parliament and all state assemblies except Sarawak's, paving the way for the general election to be held within 60 days as dictated by the constitution..
  • March 5 - The National People's Congress convenes in Beijing. Premier Wen Jiabao makes his first state address, saying that "solving the problems of agriculture, villages and farmers is one of the most crucial parts of our entire work".
  • March 5 - Last minute disagreement delays signing of Iraq's interim constitution.
  • March 5 - The Russian polar station will be evacuated. Russia launches rescue operation to evacuate 12 of its scientists stranded on a research station which partially sank near the North Pole.
  • March 5 - Tony Blair defends the war in Iraq, stating that "global threat we face in Britain and round the world is real and existential and it is the task of leadership to expose it and fight it, whatever the political cost."
  • March 5 - Police hold a Haifa man, Eliran Golan, and his 54-year-old father in custody on suspicion of involvement in making and planting bombs over the last three years. Haifa Magistrate court extends for five days the remand of Yivgeny Grossman. Grossman denies any connection.
  • March 5 - Martha Stewart is found guilty by a jury on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements regarding alleged insider trading in December 2001. She faces up to 20 years in prison, though it is considered unlikely that she would be sentenced to that maximum. Sentencing is set for June 17.
  • March 5 - Nunavut general election, 2004: the new legislature returns Paul Okalik to office as premier of Nunavut, the largest territory of Canada.
  • March 5 - Key Tokyo stock indexes Nikkei 225 and Topix hit 21-month highs.
  • March 5 - The trial of former Finnish Prime Minister Anneli Jäätteenmäki ends. She has been accused of leaking secret foreign ministry documents referring to her predecessor Paavo Lipponen's meetings with George W. Bush.
  • March 6 - Tens of thousands demonstrate in Caracas, Venezuela, against what they see as the government's fraud committed by the Consejo Nacional Electoral related to the realization of a presidential referendum in mid-2004.
  • March 6 - The United States puts forth a UN Security Council resolution seeking to freeze the assets of Charles Taylor, the exiled former president of Liberia. The U.S. also announces that it is pledging $35 million to help rebuild Liberia's armed forces and that it supports the cancellation of Liberia's international debt, providing that economic reforms are implemented.
  • March 6 - Palestinians are killed and wounded in attack on the main crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claim responsibility.
  • March 6 - Up to 80,000 people march through the Turkish capital Ankara against plans to reform the country's civil service. The marchers fear that the reforms could lead to the civil service becoming politicised or losing its secular status.
  • March 6 - The scientists of the Russian polar research station near the North Pole are evacuated from their shifting and cracking ice floe by two Russian helicopters via Norway's Spitzbergen island.
  • March 7 - The New York City medical examiner reveals that a body pulled from the East River is that of actor/writer Spalding Gray, who had been missing since January.
  • March 7 - Greek legislative election, 2004: New Democracy, led by Costas Karamanlis, wins over the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, led by George Papandreou.
  • March 7 - An explosion rocks a Moscow apartment block. Initial reports from police suggest that the explosion was caused by a bomb, in spite of increased security in the run-up to the presidential election on March 14. Later reports state that the explosion was due to a gas leak.
  • March 7 - The White House reports that all of Libya's remaining nuclear weapons-related equipment has been sent to the United States.
  • March 7 - Palestinian sources say that 14 people died after an Israeli raid into the refugee camps of al-Bureij and Nusseirat. Israeli sources say it was a "pinpoint" operation against the "terrorist infrastructure".
  • March 7 - The 2004 Formula One championship gets under way with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Michael Schumacher wins.
  • March 7 - In Sweden some 15,500 skiers compete in the 80th installment of Vasaloppet, the oldest and longest cross-country ski race in the world. Norwegian Anders Aukland wins.
  • March 7 - In Austria there are elections in the states of Salzburg and Carinthia. In Salzburg, the SPÖ earns a majority for the first time. In Carinthia, the election is an unexpected success for Jörg Haider FPÖ.
  • March 7 - It is announced that Peter Maxwell Davies is to be the United Kingdom's next Master of the Queen's Music.
  • March 7 - The headquarters of the United States-led coalition in Baghdad come under rocket attack from Iraqi guerillas, the day before the new Iraqi temporary constitution is due to be signed.
  • March 8 - Dr. Jiang Yanyong, who exposed the SARS coverup in the People's Republic of China, sends a letter to the National People's Congress calling the forceful suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 a "mistake."
  • March 8 - Iraq's governing council unanimously approves the country's new constitution.
  • March 8 - On International Women's Day, Afghan President Hamid Karzai encourages men to allow their female relatives to vote in the upcoming election, but also suggests that they control those votes.
  • March 9 - New hubble Space Telescope images show deepest view of the universe yet.
  • March 9 - Opposition members of South Korea's parliament undertake the first steps in impeachment proceedings against President Roh Moo-hyun.
  • March 9 - John Allen Muhammad is sentenced to death by a Virginia judge because he was part of the Beltway sniper attacks.
  • March 9 - A genetically modified crop, Bayer's Chardon LL maize, is approved for growing in England for animal feed from 2005 until October 2006. The Scottish Executive also approves the move, but asks Scottish farmers to hold off. MPs and farmers protest in anger as the science is questioned. The Welsh National Assembly's Environment Minister announces he is still opposed to approving the crop.
  • 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.










Nobel prize winners


  • January 21 – Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
  • February 6 – Princess Louise of Belgium, granddaughter of King Albert II of Belgium.
  • March 21 – Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg
  • November 9 – Sahil Saeed, British kidnap victim


New books

Movies released

Hit Songs


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