Information for the Year 2003
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- North Korea withdraws from treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons (Jan. 10).
- In State of the Union address, Bush announces that he is ready to attack Iraq even without a UN mandate (Jan. 28).
- Ariel Sharon elected Israeli prime minister (Jan. 29).
- Nine-week general strike in Venezuela calling for President Chavez's resignation ends in defeat (Feb. 2).
- U.S. Secretary of State Powell presents Iraq war rationale to UN, citing its WMD as imminent threat to world security (Feb. 5).
- U.S. and Britain launch war against Iraq (March 19).
- Baghdad falls to U.S. troops (April 9).
- U.S.-backed "road map" for peace proposed for Middle East (April 30).
- The U.S. declares official end to combat operations in Iraq (May 1).
- Terrorists strike in Saudi Arabia, killing 34 at Western compound; Al-Qaeda suspected (May 12).
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovers Iran's concealed nuclear activities and calls for intensified inspections (June 18).
- NATO assumes control of peacekeeping force in Afghanistan (Aug. 11).
- Libya accepts blame for 1988 bombing of flight over Lockerbie, Scotland; agrees to pay $2.7 billion to the families of the 270 victims (Aug. 15).
- Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas resigns; "road map" to peace effectively collapses (Sept. 6).
- The Bush administration reverses policy, agreeing to transfer power to an interim Iraqi government in early 2004 (Nov. 14).
- Saddam Hussein is captured by American troops (Dec. 13).
- Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi announces he will give up weapons program (Dec. 19).
- Population: 6.31 billion
- Nobel Peace Prize: Shirin Ebadi (Iran)
- Space shuttle Columbia explodes, killing all 7 astronauts (Feb. 1).
- Bush signs ten-year, $350-billion tax cut package, the third-largest tax cut in U.S. history (May 28).
- Investigation into the loss of space shuttle Columbia cites egregious organizational problems at NASA (Aug. 25).
- Congressional Budget Office predicts federal deficit of $480 billion in 2004 and $5.8 trillion by 2013 (Aug. 26).
- California governor Gray Davis ousted in recall vote; actor Arnold Schwarzenegger elected in his place (Oct. 7).
- President Bush signs $87.5 billion emergency package for post-war Iraq reconstruction; this supplements $79 billion approved in April. (Nov. 5).
- President Bush eliminates steel tariffs after WTO says U.S. violated trade laws (Dec. 4).
- President: George W. Bush
- Vice President: Richard Cheney
- Population: 291 million
- Life expectancy: 77.5 years
- US GDP (2001 dollars): $10,705.6 billion
- Federal spending: $2,158 billion
- Federal debt: $6,783 billion
- Median Household Income(current dollars): $62,405
- Consumer Price Index: 184
- Unemployment: 6.0 %
- Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.37
- Super Bowl Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Oakland Raiders (SCORE 48-21)
- World Series of Baseball Florida defeated New York
- National Basketball Association Championship San Antonio defeated New Jersey
- National Hockey League Stanley Cup New Jersey Devils defeated Anaheim Ducks
- Women Wimbledon Tennis Serena Williams defeated Venus Williams (4-6, 6-4, 6-2)
- Men Wimbledon Tennis Roger Federer defeated Mark Philippoussis (7-6 , 6-2, 7-6 )
- Kentucky Derby Horse Race Champion Funny Cide
- National College Athletic Association Basketball Championship Syracuse defeated Kansas (SCORE 81-78)
- National College Athletic Association Football Champions Louisiana State (RECORD 13-1-0) and Southern California (12-1-0)
- In its second season, American Idol proved to be as popular as low-carb diets. Although Ruben Studdard was crowned America’s second Idol, runner-up Clay Aiken went on to win the hearts of pop fans.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth installment in the wildly popular series, hit the shelves in June and rocketed up the best-seller lists.
- The Pixar team released another animated treasure with Finding Nemo, a fish-out-of-water tale about pair of clown fish who brave dark waters and menacing aquatic creatures to be reunited. The film grossed more than $340 million.
- The Recording Industry Association of America cracked down on people who illegally swapped more than 1,000 songs over the Internet, filing lawsuits against hundreds of people, including a 12-year-old girl. Apple Computer, however, made downloading both affordable and easy with its iTune Music Store. It allows fans to download tunes for 99 cents each.
- Academy Award, Best Picture: Chicago
- Grammy Award - Record of the Year Don't Know Why by Norah Jones
- Emmy Award - Best Television Comedy Everybody Loves Raymond - CBS
- Miss America: Erika Harold, Urbana, Illinois
- Scientists uncover the fossil of a new species of flying dinosaur in northeastern China thought to have existed 120 million years ago. It is the first dinosaur ever found with four wings. The Chinese team that found the dinosaur has named it Microraptor gui, after Chinese paleontologist Gu Zhiwei (Jan. 22).
- Three fossilized skulls discovered near the Ethiopian village of Herto in 1997 have now been identified as the oldest known remains of modern humans. Assigned to a new human subspecies called Homo sapiens idaltu (idaltu means elder in the Afar language of Ethiopia), the skulls are estimated to be about 160,000 years old—a good 50,000 years older than any previously discovered Homo sapiens (announcement made: June 11).
- The Hubble telescope has detected the oldest known planet—and it appears to have been formed billions of years earlier than astronomers thought possible. Nicknamed Methuselah after the aged biblical patriarch, the planet is an astonishing 12.7 billion years old (July 10).
All of the Information on this site is from Fact Monster