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What Happened in 2004 Major News Events, Popular Culture, History Prices

Greece -- Summer Olympics

The Games of the XXVIII Olympiad were held in Athens, Greece during August. A total of 10,625 athletes (4,329 women and 6.296 men) from 201 countries participated in 301 sporting and athletic events. These were the first Games in which record-breaking U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won his first (6) gold medals and set the record for most medals won at a single Games with 8 in total. Several events were held at Ancient Olympic sites and the site of the 1896 Olympics (the first in modern times). These games were also the first to feature women’s wrestling and women’s sabre fencing.

Strongest earthquake in 40 years

The strongest earthquake in 40 years originates from the Indian Ocean close to Indonesia, measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale. Creating tsunami 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 are confirmed to have died from South Asia to as far as South Africa.

United States - Mars Spirit Rover

After a brief period of inactivity due to a glitch, NASA’s Spirit rover, part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, returns to full functionality during February. The Spirit rover was launched in June of 2003 and arrived on Mars early in January of 2004. It suffered an issue with its flash memory that required NASA to send a software patch and reformat its memory. Once it was updated it resumed its scientific mission which included searching for evidence of water on Mars, analyzing rocks and minerals, evaluating the terrain, searching for iron, and assessing if there were ever the conditions to sustain life on the planet. NASA lost contact with Spirit in March of 2010 and officially ended the mission on May 24, 2011.

EU undergoes it's largest expansion so far

The EU undergoes it's largest expansion so far by accepting 10 new states into the EU Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, and Cyprus.

The European Union goes through a huge expansion as ten countries are added on the 1st of May in 2004. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus and the Czech Republicare all added. The expansion of the European Union was an important step in joining the economies of the Eastern countries to the Western countries for the first time since the break up of the Soviet Union. Later that year the 25 European Union countries establish a constitution.

Space - Cassini-Huygens Probe

1. The Cassini-Huygens orbiter and probe entered Saturn’s orbit and took the first close photos of Saturn’s rings during July, 2004.

2. The space craft was launched in October of 1997 and made a seven year journey over 2.2 billion miles.

3. Its mission was to study Saturn’s atmosphere, weather, magnetic fields, moons, and rings.

4. The space craft cost $3.3 billion to build and was one of NASA’s most ambitious and sophisticated projects to date.

5. During December of 2004, Cassini released the Huygens probe which landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

6. In May of 2008 , Cassini concluded its primary mission but continued to study Saturn and the surrounding area.

Boston Red Sox win the World Series

The Boston Red Sox win the World Series in baseball for the first time since 1918.

The Boston Red Sox baseball team won their first World Series since 1918 in October of 2004, breaking an eighty-six year championship drought. The team had languished since 1918 with several near wins for the title only to come up short, maintaining the third longest World Series drought on record. Referred to as the “Curse of the Bambino,” some believed the drought was related to the Red Sox’s sale of legendary player Babe Ruth to their rival, the New York Yankees, in 1920.

NASA Launches Gravity Probe B

NASA launches the Gravity Probe B satellite during April. It was launched on a Delta II rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and went into a very precise polar orbit. The purpose of the mission was to test two parts of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the geodetic effect and frame-dragging. It measured the spacetime curvature near Earth and confirmed the theories by using four very precise gyroscopes to note slight changes that would indicate the gravity of a large object (Earth) was warping space and time and the rotation of it was pulling space and time.

RMS Queen Mary 2

Queen Elizabeth II christens the RMS Queen Mary 2 cruise liner, currently the largest ocean liner in the world

Weapons of mass destruction

The CIA admits that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Iraq Suicide Bombers

Suicide Bombers Detonate car bombs in Basra, Iraq, killing at least 74

Spain Simultaneous explosions

Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid kill 190 people. Five suspects blow themselves up

Systematic torture

CBS uncovers systematic torture of Iraq Prisoners at the Abu Ghraib Prison


Spain withdraws Spanish troops from Iraq.


US transfers sovereignty and control of Iraq back to the Iraq people

60th anniversary D-Day

The 60th anniversary of D-Day is remembered by world leaders


A World Aid Report tells of 5 million new cases in 2004 and 3 million people died

Japan multiple earthquakes

Japan is hit with multiple earthquakes and multiple typhoons causing major loss of life and major damage to the economy

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas wins an unprecedented 6th consecutive Tour de France cycling title

Hurricane Charley

Hurricane Charley kills 12 people in Florida after killing four in Cuba and one in Jamaica.

Fox Hunting

Fox Hunting is outlawed in the UK

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is reopened to the public

Sudan ethnic cleansing

Following ethnic cleansing by government backed militia in Darfur, Sudan one million people flee their homes

Cost of Living 2004

How Much things cost in 2004

Average Cost of new house $274,500.00

Average Median Income $45,817.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas $2.10

Popular Culture 2004

Janet Jackson's breast is briefly exposed by Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl halftime show

Ken Jennings wins over 2.5 million dollars on Jeopardy!

The highly controversial Fahrenheit 9/11 film opens in US Movie Theaters

Popular Films

Shrek 2

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Spider-Man 2

The Incredibles

The Passion of the Christ

The Day After Tomorrow

Meet the Fockers


Shark Tale

Ocean's Twelve

Million Dollar Baby


The Aviator


Popular Musicians


Green Day


The Libertines

Snow Patrol

Tears For Fears


Alicia Keys

Band Aid 20

Britney Spears



3 Doors Down

Ayaka Hirahara



The Delays

The Darkness

Scissor Sisters

Avril Lavigne


Mick Jagger

Bryan Adams

Robbie Williams

Brian McFadden

Velvet Revolver

Duran Duran

Franz Ferdinand

Locusts Plagues

West African Countries including Chad and Mauritania are suffering the worst Locusts Plagues in 40 years

Afghanistan democratic election

Afghanistan held its first democratic election when Hamid Karzai becomes the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Russia Siege at a school

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 Ivan

Hurricane Ivan strikes the tiny island of Grenada causing damage to 90% of the Islands Homes

After striking Grenada, Jamaica and Cuba Hurricane Ivan strikes mainland US with winds in excess of 130MPH causing massive damage and loss of life.

Colin Powell

Colin Powell announces his resignation and Condoleezza Rice is nominated as his replacement for Secretary of State

President George Bush

President George Bush beats Democratic challenger John Kerry to gain a second term of office


Facebook is launched as a social networking site only open to students from Harvard in February by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is expanded first to other colleges in the Boston area and other Ivy League Colleges

Hurricane Jeanne

Hurricane Jeanne killed over 3,000, most in Haiti.

U.S. $50.00 a barrel oik

Oil Peaks at just over $50.00 a barrel then retreats back to below $50.00

Oil Company Profits

After increases in Fuel Prices the Major Oil Companies make the highest profits in History Exxon Mobile --- $242,365 Billion, Royal Dutch Shell $235,598 Billion, British Petroleum $232,571 Billion,

John Muhammad

Ex-soldier John Muhammad is found guilty of one of a series of sniper shootings that terrorized Washington, D.C.,

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart is convicted of a felony and sentenced to five months in prison

U.S. Environmental protection laws

Environmental protection laws dropped to allow increased logging in US National Forests

Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson is found guilty for the murder of his wife Laci Peterson

Taiwan Taipei 101

Taipei 101 currently ( 2007 ) the tallest skyscraper in the world completed

Same Sex Marriage

First Same Sex Marriage Performed in Massachusetts


Spain elects a New Socialist Government

Iraq Four US Contractors Ambushed

Four US Contractors Ambushed and Murdered with Photos released to news agencies worldwide

Operation Phantom Fury

US Marines carry out Operation Phantom Fury to clean out insurgent fighters in the city of Fallujah


Merck & Co voluntary withdraw Vioxx from the market following concerns over increased risk of heart attack

2004 Calendar

Technology 2004

SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately-funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight. And New funding for the successor SpaceShipTwo comes from British tycoon Richard Branson, who is to fund for his new company Virgin Galactic through a 21 million US$ deal

The Cassini probe passes within 1,200km of Titan and sends detailed pictures of Saturn's Rings.

The Computer Worm My Doom is considered to be the fastest worm ever to infect the internet

The European Space Agency probe, Smart 1 passes from orbit of the Earth into orbit of the Moon

Software giants Oracle Corporation and PeopleSoft merge

The Google initial public offering ( IPO ) raises US$1.67 billion

The US Army cancels its The Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program after sinking US$8 billion into it

The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 508 metres or 1,676 feet.

The National World War II Memorial opens to the public in Washington D.C.

Remains of a previously unknown species of human is discovered in Indonesia. Named Homo floresiensis

NASA succeeds in a second attempt to fly its X-43A experimental airplane from the Hyper-X project, attaining speeds in excess of Mach 7

Major World Political Leaders 2004

Australia Prime Minister John Howard

Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao

France President Jacques Chirac

Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Till May 22

India Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh

From 22 May

Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Mexico President Vicente Fox

Russia / Soviet Union General Secretary of the CPSU Vladimir Putin

South Africa State President Thabo Mbeki

United States President George W. Bush

United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair