2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 2004 calendar), and has also been designated:
- International Year of Technology
- International Year of Rice
- International Year of Education by Sports
- International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition
Elections are to be held in 73 countries in 2004.
Summary of events
For more details see Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
- January 1 - Pervez Musharraf gets the vote of confidence from Parliament and provincial assemblies to continue as President of Pakistan.
- January 3 - Flash Airlines Flight 604 crashes into the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, killing all 148 aboard.
- January 3 - NASA's MER-A (Spirit) lands on Mars.
- January 3 - Tony Blair makes an unannounced trip to Basra, Iraq to give a speech to British troops.
- January 4 - Mikhail Saakashvili wins the presidential elections in Georgia.
- January 5 - Britney Spears's surprise 55-hour marriage to childhood sweetheart Jason Allen Alexander is annulled by a Las Vegas court.
- January 6 - An inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales opens in London held by Michael Burgess, the coroner of The Queen's Household.
- January 8 - Queen Elizabeth II officially names the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner.
- January 13 - An Uzbekistan Airways plane crashes in Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent, killing 37.
- January 14 - UK serial poisoner Harold Shipman is found hanging from the bars of his cell in Wakefield Jail
- January 16 - Goatse.cx is shut down by the Christmas Island Registry after being placed on registry lock for violating the AUP two days earlier.
- January 22 - The European Union bans the import of poultry from Thailand, as bird flu spreads throughout Southeast Asia.
- January 24 - NASA's MER-B (Opportunity) lands on Mars.
- January 27 - A House of Commons vote on University tuition top-up fees is narrowly won by the British Government. It is however the worst voting result for Tony Blair since he came to power in 1997.
- January 28- The findings of the Hutton Inquiry are published in London. The British Government is found not to have falsified information in the "sexed up dossier". The report criticises the BBC's role in the death of David Kelly, a weapons expert on Iraq.
- January 28 - At a hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, it is revealed that the September 11, 2001, terrorists used Mace (a brand of tear gas) or pepper spray in overpowering the flight crew of American Airlines Flight 11.
- February 1 - Janet Jackson's right breast is exposed during the live Super Bowl XXXVIII half time show, sparking a controversy in the United States.
- February 1 - A hajj stampede 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 Iraq.
- February 6- A suicide bomber kills 41 people on a metro car in Moscow.
- February 10 - At least 50 people 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 - Same sex marriage in the United States: The City and County of San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as an act of civil disobedience.
- February 13 - Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of 30 human embryos.
- February 14 - Riots break out between police and Aboriginal residents of Sydney suburb Redfern
- February 18 - A train carrying a convoy of petrol, fertiliser and sulfur derails and explodes in Iran, killing 320 people.
- February 20 - Conservatives win a majority in the Iranian parliament election.
- February 24 - 6.5 Richter scale earthquake in Northern Morocco hits in the Rif mountains near the city of Al Hoceima - over 400 dead. Ait Kamara is destroyed. 517 dead.
- February 26- Former British cabinet minister, Clare Short reveals that British Intelligence bugged the phonecalls of United Nations officials, including Kofi Annan.
- February 26 - The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years.
- February 29 - 2004 Haiti Rebellion: 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 U.S. Democratic Party presidential nomination, 2004 by winning 9 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 5 - CBS broadcasts tape recordings of Diana, Princess of Wales as she describes suicide attempts while pregnant with Prince William of Wales.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- March 14 - Presidential elections in Russia are held. Vladimir Putin easily wins a second term.
- March 15 - A trio of astronomers announce they have discovered a large trans-Neptunian object, the largest object found in the solar system since Pluto was discovered in 1930. Initially designated 2003 VB12, it was named 90377 Sedna in late September.
- March 15 - The new Spanish government announces that it will withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops in Iraq.
- 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 20 - Thousands protest at the 1-year anniversary of the start of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- March 21 - The 2004 Malaysian general election takes place. The incumbent Barisan Nasional party wins 198 out of 219 seats in the Malaysian Parliament.
- March 21 - Tony Saca is elected President of El Salvador (inauguration June 1).
- 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 Gadafi, in return for the dismantling of Libya's WMD program in December 2003. He becomes the first PM to visit that country in over half a century.
- 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 contractors are killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed in Northern 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 - Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
- April 8 - Three Japanese citizens are taken hostage in Iraq.
- April 16 - India defeats Pakistan in their historic 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 is released from prison in Israel after an 18 year term for treason.
- April 21 - CBS broadcasts pictures of Diana, Princess of Wales, as she lay dying moments after the fatal car crash that killed her.
- 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 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 Turkish vote in favour, the Greeks reject the proposal.
- April 28 - Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse 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. Advertisers pay $2 million for 30 second ads.
- 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 - 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. They state it is retaliation for the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.
- May 13 - In India, the Congress Party wins a surprise victory in the elections to the Lok Sabha.
- May 14 - The editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK, Piers Morgan, is sacked after the British army proves photographs in the newspaper, allegedly showing British soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees, to be fake.
- May 14 - Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark marries Australian Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen.
- May 17 - Ezzedine Salim, holder of the rotating leadership of the Iraqi Governing Council, is killed in a bomb blast in Baghdad.
- 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 18 - The IOC announces the short list of candidates for the 2012 Summer Olympics: London, Madrid, Moscow, New York City, Paris. Unsuccessful cities are Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig and Rio de Janeiro.
- May 19 - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is hit with a purple flour bomb during a session of Prime Minister's Questions.
- May 19 - Jeremy Sivits pleads guilty in a court-martial in connection with alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
- May 23 - A section of the ceiling in Terminal 2E at Paris's Charles de Gaulle International Airport collapses, claiming at least six lives.
- May 23 - Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi visits North Korea to secure the release of the families of the nine abducted Japanese citizens returned earlier.
- 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 Asuncion, 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 - The opening ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympics takes place in Athens, as the Games return to its birthplace for the first time in 98 years.
- August 13 - Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida after killing four in Cuba and one in Jamaica.
- August 14 and 15 - Pope John Paul II visits Lourdes, France.
- August 15 - Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein transfers political powers to his son Alois.
- August 20 - Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry files a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth of illegally coordinating their actions with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.
- 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.
- August 31 - 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.
- September 1 - Chechen rebels take between 1,000 and 1,500 people hostage, mostly children, in a school in Beslan, Northern Ossetia. The hostage-takers demand the release of Chechen rebels imprisoned in neighbouring Ingushetia and the independence of Chechnya from Russia.
- September 3 - Russian forces end the 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.
- September 3 and 4 - Hurricane Frances makes landfall in Florida. After killing two people in the Bahamas, Hurricane Frances killed ten people in Florida, two in Georgia and one in South Carolina.
- September 7 - The Scottish Parliament meets in the new Scottish Parliament Building for the first time.
- September 7 to 9 - Hurricane Ivan passes through the Caribbean islands, killing 5 people in Venezuela, 4 in the Dominican Republic, 1 in Tobago and at least 37 people in Grenada.
- September 9 - A bomb blast outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, kills eleven people and injures up to 100 people.
- September 14 - In London a man dressed as Batman breaches security at Buckingham Palace. Protest for Fathers for justice.
- September 15 - The British House of Commons is stormed by a small group of protestors during a debate about fox hunting.
- September 16 - Hurricane Ivan wreaks havoc in the United States, after having crossed the Caribbean in the days before.
- September 17 to 28 - 2004 Summer Paralympics held in Athens, Greece.
- September 17 - Mexico and Japan finish the two year long negotiations and sign a Free Trade Agreement in Mexico City.
- September 23 - Mount St. Helens became active again.
- September 29 - First Ansari X-Prize flight of SpaceShipOne.
- 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.
- October 8 - Suicide bombers detonate two bombs at the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt, killing 34 people, mainly Israeli tourists and Egyptian workers.
- October 9 - Queen Elizabeth II opens the new Scottish Parliament Building in a ceremony in Edinburgh
- October 9 - Incumbent Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, leads the Liberal-National coalition to victory over the Labor Party led by Mark Latham in federal elections.
- October 9 - Democratic elections held for the first time in Afghanistan.
- October 10 - Abdullahi Yusuf is chosen as the new 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 a constitutional ban on a third term for President Alexander Lukashenko. -
- October 19 - General Khin Nyunt is replaced by Lieutenant-General Soe Win as Prime Minister of Myanmar
- October 20- Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 crashes in Missouri, killing 13 people, and injuring 2.
- October 20 - Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono becomes President of Indonesia.
- October 21- Prince Harry of Wales is hit in the face by a camera during a scuffle with the paparazzi after leaving a nightclub in London.
- 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 23- A powerful earthquake strikes Japan, north of Tokyo.
- October 24- The bodies of 49 Iraqi soldiers discovered after being ambushed by insurgents.
- October 24 - Brazil successfuly launches its first rocket into space.
- October 26 - The Cassini probe passes within 1,200km of Titan
- October 27 - Details of the discovery of a new, recent, species of fossil hominid, Homo floresiensis, from the island of Flores, Indonesia are published.
- October 27 - Last lunar eclipse until 2007 seen in the Western Hemisphere.
- October 27 - The Curse of the Bambino is broken as the Boston Red Sox sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series championship for the first time since 1918.
- 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 30 - Closing of Tempelhof International Airport, Berlin.
- October 31 - Tabare Vazquez is elected President of Uruguay, consolidating a general swing to the left in South America.
For more deaths see: Deaths in 2004
- January 5 - Tug McGraw, major league pitcher, aged 59
- January 13 - Harold Shipman, the United Kingdom's most prolific serial killer (by suicide)
- January 23 - Bob Keeshan, famous as Captain Kangaroo
- January 25 - Fanny Blankers-Koen, 4-time Olympic champion athletics
- January 25 - Miklós Fehér, Hungarian football player (b. 1979)
- January 28 - Elroy Hirsch, football player
- January 29 - Joe Viterelli, American actor.
- February 13 - Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, President of Chechnya
- February 14 - Marco Pantani, Italian cyclist, winner of the 1998 Giro d'Italia and the 1998 Tour de France
- February 17 - José López Portillo, former president of Mexico
- February 26 - Boris Trajkovski, president of Macedonia
- March 15 - John Pople, Nobel Prize winning Chemist
- March 18 - Harrison McCain, Canadian billionaire
- March 20 - Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, former Queen of the Netherlands
- March 21 - Ahmed Yassin, Hamas founder
- March 28 - Peter Ustinov, actor
- April 21 – Karl Hass, convicted Nazi war criminal
- April 24 - Estée Lauder, cosmetics pioneer (b. 1906)
- May 9 - Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president
- May 17 - Tony Randall, actor (The Odd Couple) (b. 1920)
- May 22 - Richard Biggs, actor (Days of Our Lives, Babylon 5) (b. 1960)
- May 28 - Umberto Agnelli, chairman of FIAT (b. 1934)
- June 5 - Ronald Reagan, 93, 40th President of the United States (b. 1911)
- June 10 - Ray Charles, musician (b. 1930)
- June 10 - Xenophon Zolotas, former Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1904)
- June 20 - Jim Bacon, former Premier of Tasmania (b. 1950)
- July 1 - Marlon Brando, actor (On the Waterfront, The Godfather) (b. 1924)
- July 6 - Thomas Klestil, President of Austria (b. 1932)
- July 28 - Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA (b. 1916)
- July 28 - Sam Edwards, American actor (b. 1915)
- August 1 - Philip Hauge Abelson, physicist, co-discoverer of Neptunium (b. 1913)
- August 3 - Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer (b. 1908)
- August 6 - Rick James, singer ("Super Freak") (b. 1948)
- August 8 - Fay Wray, actress ("King Kong") (b. 1907)
- August 13 - Julia Child, cook, author, television personality (b. 1912)
- August 14 - Czesław Miłosz, Polish poet, Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980 (b. 1911)
- August 15 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician, Chief Minister of Gujarat
- November 3 - Sergei Zholtok, professional ice hockey player (b. 1972)
- September 7 - Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naudé, South African anti-apartheid activist (b. 1915)
- September 11 - Peter VII, Patriarch of Alexandria (b. 1949)
- September 15 - Johnny Ramone, bandmember of The Ramones (b. 1948)
- September 20 - Brian Clough, English footballer and manager (b. 1935)