- July 1 - In Hong Kong, 500,000 people march to protest Hong
Kong Basic Law Article 23, which redefined treason
- July 5 - SARS is declared to be contained by WHO.
- July 5 - Double suicide bombing at a Moscow rock concert kills
the female attackers and 15 other people.
- July 15 - AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape Communications
- August 2 - The United Nations authorizes an international
peacekeeping force for Liberia.
- August 14 - A widespread power outage affects northeast United
States and Canada.
- August 25 - 52 killed in two bomb blasts in Mumbai,
- November 18 - Goodridge et al. v. Department of Public Health
rules anti-same-sex marriage laws unconstitutional in
- December 5 - A suicide bombing on commuter train in southern
Russia kills 44 people. President Vladimir Putin condemns the
attack as a bid to destabilize the country two days before
- December 13 - Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, is
captured in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
- December 17 - The 100th birthday of aviation.
- December 22 - Parmalat is first accused of falsifying accounts
to the tune of USD $5 billion, later admitted by founder Calisto
Tanzi; observers call it "Europe's Enron".
- December 24 - At the request of the U.S. Embassy in Paris, the
French Government orders Air France to cancel several flights
between France and the U.S., in response to terrorist
- December 24 - The Spanish police thwarts an attempt by ETA to
detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 PM on Christmas Eve inside
Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.
- December 26, 2003 - A massive earthquake devastates
southeastern Iran. Over 40,000 people are reported to have been
killed in the city of Bam.
2003 - The number of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide reaches 40 million total, of which 2.5 million are children.
- January 22, 2004 - The European Union bans the import of
poultry from Thailand as bird flu spreads throughout Southeast
- February 1 - A stampede during the hajj 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
- February 10 - At least 50 people are killed in a car bomb
attack on a police recruitment centre south of Baghdad.
- February 10 - The French National Assembly votes to pass a law
banning religious items and clothing from schools.
- February 12 - The City and County of San Francisco begins
issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as an act of civil
- February 13 - Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of
30 human embryos.
- February 29 - 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 - John Kerry effectively clinches the 2004 U.S.
Democratic Party presidential nomination, by winning nine out of 10
"Super Tuesday" primaries and caucuses.
- March 2 - NASA announces that the Mars rover MER-B
(Opportunity) has confirmed that the area of Mars they landed in
was once drenched in water.
- March 10 - Five British men are 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. In the following days, millions of
protesters take to the streets of Spanish cities against
- March 14 - 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, whose party
opposed Spain's participation in the invasion of Iraq. The next
day, the new government announces that it will withdraw Spain's
1,300 troops from Iraq.
- March 19 - The United Nations launches a corruption
investigation due to the scandal over its Iraqi Oil for Food
- 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 the sheikh and 7 others.
- 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 Shiia insurgents supporting Muqtada al-Sadr rise
against coalition forces.
- April 8 - The Sudanese government and two rebel groups, in an
attempt to resolve the Darfur conflict, sign a ceasefire
- April 17 - Israeli helicopters fire missiles at a convoy of
vechiles in the Gaza Strip, killing the Gaza leader of Hamas, Abdel
- April 22 - Two trains carrying explosives and fuel collide in
the North Korean town of Ryongchon, killing 161 people, injuring
1,300 and destroying thousands of homes.
- April 22 - The last coal mine in France closes, ending nearly
300 years of coal mining.
- 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 13 - In India, the Congress Party wins a surprise victory
in the elections to the Lok Sabha.
- May 17 - Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage in
compliance with a ruling from the state's Supreme Judicial Court
(Goodridge et al. v. Department of Public Health).
- May 30 - Thousands of people in Hong Kong take to the streets
to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square
- June 6 - The 60th anniversary of D-Day is remembered in
- June 11 - The national funeral service for former U.S.
president Ronald Reagan is held at the National Cathedral in
- June 16 - The 9/11 Commission (officially called the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks) issues an initial report of its
- June 21 - SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded
spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
- June 28 - The U.S.-led coalition occupying Iraq transfers sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government.
- Nobel Prize for Literature: J. M. Coetzee
- Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
- Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Nilo Cruz, Anna in the Tropics
- Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Paul Muldoon, Moy Sand and Gravel