2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 2004 calendar), and has also been designated the:
- International Year of Rice
- International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition
Elections are to be held in 73 countries during 2004.
For more details see Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
- 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 -
- 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 Muammar al-Qaddafi, in return for the dismantling of Libya's WMD program in December 2003 - the first time a major western leader has visted 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 - The Republic of Ireland bans smoking in restaurants, pubs and bars.
- 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 vechiles 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 -
- 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.
- The last coal mine in France closes, ending nearly 300 years of coal mining.
- 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 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.
- 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 - August 29 - The 2004 Summer Olympics takes place in Athens.
- August 13 - Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida after killing four in Cuba and one in Jamaica.
- 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 protestors demonstrate in New York City against President George W. Bush and his government, ahead of the 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.
- 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 -
- Kenneth Bigley, the British hostage held by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an Iraqi insurgent, is killed after a failed escape attempt.
- Suicide bombers detonate two bombs at the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt, killing 34 people, mainly Israeli tourists and Egyptian workers.
- October 9 -
- 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.
- October 31 - Leftist candidate Tabaré Vázquez is elected President of Uruguay.
- November 2 - U.S. presidential election: Incumbent president George W. Bush defeats Senator John Kerry. Republicans make gains in the House and Senate.
- November 6 -
- Ufton Nervet rail crash in Berkshire, England, kills 7 people.
- In Côte d'Ivoire, National Army bombings kill nine people, including French UN soldiers. French UN forces retaliate by destroying the National Army's air force.
- November 7 - U.S. forces launch a major assualt 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 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 resigns, to be replaced by Condoleezza Rice.
- November 16
- 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 annulls the result, and a new poll is scheduled.
- 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
- Explosion in coal mine in China. Death toll expected to be above 150.
- The president of Chile promises economic compensation to 28000 victims of torture during Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship.
For more deaths see: Deaths in 2004
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