2004 ( ) was a MMIV leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2004th year of the Common Era (CE) and (AD) designations, the 4th year of the Anno Domini 3rd millennium, the 4th year of the 21st century, and the 5th year of the 2000s decade.
January 1 - Deiss becomes President of the Confederation in Switzerland.
January 2 - Several British Airways flights from London Heathrow Airport to Washington D.C. and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are cancelled due to security fears.
January 3 - Flash Airlines Flight 604 crashes into the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt. All 148 aboard are killed.
January 3 - NASA's MER-A ( Spirit) lands on Mars.
January 3 - Blair goes to Basra, Iraq and talks to the British soldiers there. Very few people are told before he comes.
January 4 - Dr. Mikhail Saakashvili wins Presidential Elections in the Republic of Georgia. January 4 - A
NASA rover lands on Mars and starts sending back photos of Mars.
January 5 - Britney Spears's marriage to childhood sweetheart Jason Allen Alexander is annulled (declared invalid) by a Las Vegas court following a surprise 55-hour marriage. January 5 -
China has confirmed that a sick man in southern China has the SARS virus.
January 6 - An official look into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales begins in London. It is held by Michael Burgess, the coroner of The Queen's Household.
January 12 - More than 100 000 people come together in Tel Aviv against their Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from parts of Gaza and the West Bank.
January 13 - An Uzbekistan Airways plane crashes in Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent. 37 are killed.
January 14 - The shock site Goatse.cx is placed on registry lock for violating the AUP.
January 15 - The South Korean Foreign Minister, Yoon Young-kwan resigns after he says he supports American policy towards North Korea.
January 20 - India signs a $1.5 billion deal with Russia to buy the 45,000 tonne aircraft carrier along with 28 Admiral Gorshkov MiG-29k fighter planes.
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 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 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 to overpower the flight crew of American Airlines Flight 11. January 31 - Mystery Science Theatre 3000 ends its run on the Sci-Fi Channel.
February 1 - A Hajj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia kills 251 pilgrims.
February 2 - An apartment building falls apart in Konya, Turkey, killing 92.
February 3 - The CIA admits that there was no immediate threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
February 6 - A suicide bomber kills 41 people on a subway train in Moscow.
February 7 - His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales begins a tour of the Middle East, visiting troops in Iraq, the Iranian earthquake zone at Bam and Saudi Arabia.
February 10 - At least 50 people are killed in a car bomb attack at a center for hiring police officers south of Baghdad.
February 10 - The French National Assembly votes to pass a law banning religious items and clothing from schools.
February 11 - Up to 47 people are killed in a car bomb attack on an army recruiting center in Baghdad.
February 12 - Same sex marriage in the United States: The City and County of San Francisco begins giving out marriage licenses to homosexual couples as an act of civil disobedience.
February 13 - Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of 30 human embryos.
February 17 - 90482 Orcus is discovered (found)
February 18 - A train carrying a convoy of gas, fertiliser and sulphur derails and explodes in Iran, killing 320 people.
February 20 - Iranian parliament election is held. Many reformist candidates are not allowed to run, resulting in a win by conservatives.
February 22 - A suicide bomber kills eight bus passengers in Jerusalem.
February 22 - Rebels capture Haiti's second-largest city, Cap-Haïtien.
February 24 - An earthquake in Morocco kills 571 people.
February 26 - Former British cabinet minister, Clare Short reveals that British Intelligence bugged the phone calls 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 (short-term) president. Aristide later says he was made to resign, and that he was taken from the country by U.S. soldiers.
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 landed in an area where "liquid water once drenched the surface". Opportunity 
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 holy war are found guilty of jihad 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 - CBS broadcasts tape recordings of Diana, Princess of Wales as she describes suicide attempts while pregnant with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
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 - March 9, 2004 attack of Istanbul restaurant in Turkey by two Islamic suicide bombers killing one, injuring five.  
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 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 - A Utah woman is charged with murder when her child is stillborn because she did not want to have a Caesarean section.   
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 - Two suicide bombers kill 10 people in Ashdod, Israel.  
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 - Four U.S. Baptist missionaries working on a water purification project are killed in a drive-by shooting in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. 
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 - ICANN announces that a Toronto, Canada organization, the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR), has applied to sponsor the .xxx top-level domain. IFFOR claims that a special domain would help stop children from seeing pornography. However, in February the Internet Engineering Task Force released RFC 3675, ".sex Considered Dangerous", detailing technical and administrative concerns with such proposals.   
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 19 - The newspaper admits that a former reporter, USA Today Jack Kelley, invented or distorted important parts of at least eight major stories. He was, for example, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 on the basis of an eyewitness account of a suicide bombing that, could not have happened as he described it. 
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.   
March 22 - Israel assassinates Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual head of Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. It then seals off both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.   Kofi Annan, and the British, French, and German governments, amongst others, condemn the killing.  
March 22 - The former chief counter-terrorism aide to United States President Bush, Richard A. Clarke, claims that Bush diverted attention towards Iraq, ignoring the main threat of Al-Qaeda. Clarke was the administration's senior counter-terrorism official when 9/11 took place.    
March 22 - Mijailo Mijailovic is sentenced to life imprisonment for the equivalent of First-degree murder, found guilty of assassination of Sweden's Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, September 10, 2003.
March 22 - Same-sex marriage in the U.S.: Benton County, Oregon commissioners, after receiving a letter from state attorney general Hardy Myers, reverse their earlier vote to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples this Wednesday. But, stating they will observe the principal of equal treatment under the law, the commissioners decide that the county will stop issuing any marriage licenses until the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the law.  
March 23 - Unrest in Kosovo: an UNMIK police patrol is attacked on the road Pristina- Podujevo. A UN police officer from Ghana is killed, a local police officer later dies of his wounds, and their translator is also wounded but in stable condition. 
March 23 - United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell defend their pre- September 11th actions, saying that even if Osama Bin Laden had been killed, the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon would have still happened. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen also testify before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. 
March 23 - Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi is chosen to lead Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the movement's exiled politburo chief Khaled Meshaal is chosen as its overall leader.  
March 24 - The World Trade Organization makes a preliminary ruling that United States laws prohibiting Internet gambling violate international trade agreements, in response to a complaint by Antigua and Barbuda. The Bush administration vows to appeal, while some members of the United States Congress say they would rather allow a trade war or withdraw from future WTO talks than undo laws against online gambling.  
March 24 - Danish artist Marco Evaristti paints an iceberg in Greenland red, using 780 gallons of paint. 
March 24 - Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow: The United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments over the constitutionality of the "under God" clause of the Pledge of Allegiance. 
March 24 - The British explorer David Hempleman-Adams sets an altitude record for a flight in a wicker basket balloon. 
March 24 - The leader of Hamas states that the group has no plans to attack United States targets, retreating from earlier threats by its armed wing. However, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is announced as a new target, instead. 
March 24 - Sharon states that Israel has a " natural right" to pursue those who would destroy it. 
March 24 - Hussam Abdo, a 14-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber fails to detonate his bomb-vest at an Israeli checkpoint outside Nablus. The child was paid $23 and promised sex in heaven as his reward. An armed wing of Fatah takes responsibility for sending the boy. 
March 25 - The 2004 Abel Prize in mathematics is announced to be awarded to Michael F. Atiyah and Isadore M. Singer for their index theorem. 
March 25 - The terrorist group AZF suspends its bombing campaign in France but continues to demand money from the government. News agencies report that the government placed notices in newspaper to contact the terrorists. Libération 
March 25 - Novelist and movie maker Alain Robbe-Grillet is elected to the Académie française. 
March 25 - Five planets ( Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) array across the evening sky in a night show that will not happen again for another three decades. 
March 25 - A prototype of a mechanized five-ton disaster-rescue robot, the T-52 Enryu, is unveiled in Japan. 
March 26 - United Nations electoral expert and security support arrive in Baghdad. 
March 26 - The first South Atlantic hurricane ever recorded forms 275 miles off the coast of Brazil. 
March 26 - ROC presidential election, 2004: The controversial victory of Chen Shui-bian is confirmed by the state electoral commission, with a margin of only 29,518 votes – 0.2% of the total – separating the candidates. Pan-Blue protestors storm and hurl eggs at the Central Electoral Commission building. 
March 26 - Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The United States vetoes a United Nations Security Council resolution (sponsored by Algeria and Libya) condemning the killing by Israel of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin along with six other Palestinians outside a mosque in Gaza City and calling for the end of executions. The veto is publicly motivated by the resolution making no mention of suicide bombings committed by Hamas and attributed to Yassin. 11 votes are recorded in favour, with three ( United Kingdom, Germany, and Romania) abstaining and one (the United States) against.  
March 27 - John F. Kerry joins other Democrats calling for National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to testify before the September 11 commission and states the White House should learn from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's openness during an inquiry after Pearl Harbor. 
March 27 - ROC presidential election, 2004: 500,000 Pan-Blue protesters take to the streets in Taipei to demand a recount. 
March 27 - 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, the fastest ever air-breathing Hypersonic flight. 
March 27 - A powerful cyclone hits the coast of southern Brazil. Brazilian and United States meteorologists disagree over whether Cyclone Catarina is a Hurricane, the first ever recorded in the South Atlantic. 
March 28 - Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, leader of Hamas, states that God has declared war on the United States.    
March 28 - The University of Cambridge wins a controversial victory in the 150th Boat Race by 6 lengths, with a total time of 18:47 minutes. 
March 28 - The Arab League summit is postponed. The meeting was put off indefinitely because people disagreed about ways to change things in the region, including democratization.  
March 28 - Israeli State Attorney Edna Arbel recommends that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon be indicted for taking bribes. 
March 28 - The French regional elections result in massive losses for the governing conservative parties and victories for socialist-green alliances in at least 20 of 22 regions, leading to Raffarin's resignation on March 30.   
March 28 - A coup attempt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo fails. 
March 29 - Dominica switches diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China. 
March 29 - An explosion occurs close to the main bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, killing two and injuring around twenty. Also in the capital, three police officers are shot dead. In the city of Bukhara, another explosion at a suspected terrorist bomb factory kills ten people. (Reuters) (BBC)
March 29 - The Republic of Ireland becomes the first country to ban smoking in all enclosed workplaces (including bars and restaurants). People who break this law risk a large fine. 
March 29 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) welcomes seven new members: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
March 29 - Beauty company Dove is to use " real women" in advertising after a survey finds two-thirds of UK women feel depressed about their figures and have low body confidence as a result of beauty advertising. 
March 29 - Scientists discover methane in the Martian atmosphere and believe it could mean there is life on the Red Planet. 
March 30 - New Jersey physicist Greg Olsen pays $20 million to conduct environmental research for eight days aboard the International Space Station. 
March 30 - Police in Uzbekistan raid a Hideout south of the capital, Tashkent. Fighting has caused 23 deaths in the area. 
March 30 - The Philippines police stop a big bomb attack after arresting four members of the Muslim extremist Abu Sayyaf group. 
March 30 - The White House allows Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security advisor, testify under oath about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 
March 30 - Eight men are arrested after a series of raids in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000. Half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was found during the raids. 
March 31 - Nine Americans are killed during the war in Iraq.
March 31 - The International Court of Justice rules that the USA was wrong to sentence 51 Mexicans to death for murder and says their trials must be reviewed. March 31 - A Canadian court rules that the Canadian Recording Industry Association did not prove that downloading music from the Internet breaks the rules of copyright. 
May 1 - An enlargement of the European Union takes place, expanding the Union by 10 member-states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta, and Cyprus.
May 2 - After 3 weeks of captivity, American contractor Thomas Hamill escapes from his captors in Iraq with just a gunshot wound to the arm and makes it to US Military personnel.
May 5 - Parliament grounds in New Zealand host 15,000 people protesting about the proposed law that would change the ownership of foreshore and seabed.
May 6 - The president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, announces that Adzharian leader Aslan Abashidze has left the country, ending a political crisis there.
May 6 - The final episode of airs on Friends 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 victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya.
May 10 - Canadian Sponsorship Scandal - The RCMP arrest Chuck Guite and Jean Brault in connection with the scandal.
May 10 - Final phase of elections to the Lok Sabha in India
May 10 - National election takes place in the Philippines for the presidency and almost all other elective positions.
May 11 - Explosion destroys a plastics factory in Glasgow, UK, killing nine people and injuring over a hundred.
May 11 - A bomb explodes in a crowded market in Iraq. It kills three people and wounds at least 23.
May 11 - Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov is buried in his home village.
May 12 - An American civilian contractor in Iraq, Nick Berg, is shown being decapitated by a group with links to al-Qaida on a web-distributed video. They state it is retaliation for the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.
May 12 - Semi final takes place in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 in Turkey.
May 13 - In India, the Congress Party wins a shock victory in the elections to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament).
May 13 - The season finale for Frasier is aired.
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 - Danish Crown Prince Frederik has married Australian Mary Konadson in Copenhagen, Denmark.
May 15 - FIFA announces that South Africa will host the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament, making it the first African nation to do so. May 20 - A 6.5-magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan. There is no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
January 5 – Dorota Terakowska, Polish writer
January 5 – Tug McGraw, major league pitcher, father of Tim McGraw
January 6 – Charles Dumas, American high jumper
January 7 – Ingrid Thulin, Swedish actress
January 10 – Spalding Gray, actor, screenwriter, and monologue artist (born 1941)
January 13 – Harold Shipman, the United Kingdom's most prolific serial killer (by suicide)
January 16 – Kalevi Sorsa, Finnish politician
January 27 – Jack Paar, television show host
January 29 – Janet Frame, New Zealand writer
January 29 – Mary Margaret Kaye, British writer
February 14 – Marco Pantani, Italian bicyclist and Giro d'Italia and Tour de France winner
February 15 – Jan Miner, American actress
February 26 – Boris Trajkovski, president of the Macedonia
March 2 – Marge Schott, former owner of the Cincinnati Reds
March 7 – Nicolae Cajal, member of the Romanian Academy, president of the Jewish Communities Federation of Romania
March 9 – Abu Abbas, terrorist
March 18 – Harrison McCain, Canadian billionaire
March 20 – Juliana of the Netherlands,
March 23 – Rupert Hamer, Australian politician
March 28 – Robert Merle, novelist
March 29 – Alistair Cooke, television and radio broadcaster
March 30 – Michael King, New Zealand historian (born 1945)
April 4 – George Bamberger, former major league manager and player, aged 80
April 8 – Bruce Edwards, longtime caddie for golfer Tom Watson, aged 49
April 23 – Pat Tillman, American football player (born 1976)
April 24 – Estée Lauder, cosmetics pioneer (born 1906)
April 30 – Kioumars Saberi Foumani, aka Gol-Agha, Iranian satirist, (born 1941)
May 9 – Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president
May 9 – Alan King, American comedian
June 5 – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States
June 10 – Ray Charles, American musician
July 1 – Marlon Brando, American actor
July 6 – Thomas Klestil, President of Austria.
July 28 – Francis Crick, scientist
September 20 – Brian Clough, English football manager
September 22 – Ray Traylor, American professional wrestler
September 29 – Christer Pettersson, suspect in the murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme
October 10 – Christopher Reeve, American actor
October 25 – John Peel, British DJ
November 2 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch movie maker
November 9 – Emlyn Hughes, English footballer
November 9 – Stieg Larsson, Swedish writer
November 11 – Yasser Arafat, Palestinian political leader
December 1 – Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
December 4 - Elizabeth Azcona Cranwell, Argentine poet
December 28 – Jerry Orbach, American actor
December 28 – Susan Sontag, American writer December 30 – Artie Shaw, American musician
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