Information for the Year 2004

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  • About one third of Iran's Parliament steps down to protest hard-line Guardian Council’s banning of more than 2,000 reformists from running in parliamentary elections (Feb. 1).
  • A. Q. Khan, founder of Pakistan's nuclear program, admits he sold nuclear-weapons designs to other countries, including North Korea, Iran, and Libya (Feb. 4).
  • Spain is rocked by terrorist attacks, killing more than 200. Al Qaeda takes responsibility (March 11).
  • Spain's governing Popular Party loses election to opposition Socialists. Outcome seen as a reaction to terrorist attacks days before and Popular Party's support of the U.S.-led war in Iraq (March 14).
  • Israeli prime minister Sharon announces plan to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza Strip (April 12).
  • U.S. troops launch offensive in Falluja in response to killing and mutilation on March 31 of four U.S. civilian contractors. (April 5–May 1).
  • U.S. hands over power to Iraqi interim government; Iyad Allawi becomes prime minister (June 28).
  • Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez survives recall referendum (Aug. 16).
  • UN Atomic Energy Agency tells Iran to stop enriching uranium; a nascent nuclear weapons program suspected (Sept. 18).
  • Yasir Arafat dies in Paris (Nov. 11).
  • U.S. troops launch attack on Falluja, stronghold of the Iraqi insurgency (Nov. 8).
  • Hamid Karzai inaugurated as Afghanistan's first popularly elected president (Dec. 7).
  • Enormous tsunami devastates Asia; 200,000 killed (Dec. 26).
  • Population:   6.4 billion
  • Nobel Peace Prize:  Wangari Maathai (Kenya)
  • Bush proposes ambitious space program that includes flights to the Moon, Mars, and beyond (Jan. 14).
  • John Kerry secures Democratic nomination after winning nine out of ten primaries and caucuses (March 2).
  • Senate Intelligence Committee reports that intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs was "overstated" and flawed (July 5).
  • Democratic National Convention in Boston nominates John Kerry for president (July 26–29).
  • Republican Convention in New York renominates President Bush (Aug. 30–Sept. 2).
  • U.S.’s final report on Iraq’s weapons finds no WMDs (Sept. 16).
  • Congress extends tax cuts due to expire at the end of 2005 (Sept. 23).
  • Hurricane Ivan ravages U.S. south (Sept. 15). Hurricane Jeanne hits Florida (Sept. 26).
  • George W. Bush is reelected president, defeats John Kerry (Nov. 2).
  • President:  George W. Bush
  • Vice President:  Richard Cheney
  • Population:  294 million
  • Life expectancy:  77.9 years
  • US GDP (2001 dollars):  $11,405.5 billion
  • Federal spending:  $2,293 billion
  • Federal debt:   $7,379 billion
  • Median Household Income(current dollars): $63,813
  • Consumer Price Index:   188.9
  • Unemployment:   5.5%
  • Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.37
  • Super Bowl  New England Patriots defeated Carolina Panthers (SCORE 32–29)
  • World Series of Baseball  Boston defeated Saint Louis
  • National Basketball Association Championship  Detroit defeated Los Angeles
  • National Hockey League Stanley Cup  Tampa Bay Lighting defeated Calgary Flames
  • Women Wimbledon Tennis  Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams (6–1, 6–4)
  • Men Wimbledon Tennis   Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick (4–6, 7–5, 7–6 [7–3], 6–4)
  • Kentucky Derby Horse Race Champion  Smarty Jones
  • National College Athletic Association Basketball Championship  Connecticut defeated Georgia Tech (SCORE 82–73)
  • National College Athletic Association Football Champions  Southern California (13-0-0)
  • 2004 Summer Olympics were held in Athens, Greece
  • Martha Stewart, diva of domesticity, was sentenced to five months in prison in July after being found guilty on four counts of obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators.
  • Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, the phenomenally popular search engine, became instant billionaires when the company went public in August.
  • Dan Rather found himself at the center of a media storm in September, when he and his network, CBS, admitted that they could not definitively prove the authenticity of documents they used in a 60 Minutes segment, which suggested President Bush received preferential treatment when he joined the National Guard and later when he served in it. He announced in December that he would step down in early 2005.
  • Mel Gibson garnered intense buzz for his incendiary film, The Passion of the Christ, months before its February release. The film, in Latin and Aramaic with English subtitles, depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus's life.
  • The number of songs and albums downloaded from the Internet continues at break-neck speed. Apple's iTunes sells its 200,000,000th song. According to Nielsen SoundScan, music fans bought 5.5 million digital albums and 140 million digital songs.
  • American Idol remained one of the top-rated shows on television. Judging by the number of reality shows up and down the dial, viewers still want their entertainment to be "real."
  • Academy Award, Best Picture:  he Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Grammy Award - Record of the Year  Clocks by Coldplay
  • Emmy Award - Best Television Comedy   Arrested Development - FOX
  • Miss America:  Ericka Dunlap, Orlando, Flordia
  • Feb. 1: Scientists created two new chemical elements, named Ununtrium (Element 113) and Ununpentium (Element 115).
  • March 2: NASA announced it detected signs that water had once covered a small crater on Mars
  • March 15: Astronomers confirmed the discovery of the most distant object ever identified in our solar system, a planetoid names Sedna. It is the largest object discovered since Pluto in 1930.
  • June 21: Michael Melvil pilots SpaceShipOne into space, becoming the first person to do so in a privately developed aircraft.
  • July 21: Cosmologist Stephen Hawking reverses himself on his Black Hole theory and concludes that information can in fact be retrieved from black holes.
  • Oct. 28: Australian and Indonesian archaeologists have unearthed skeletons of tiny people who are being called Homo floresiensis. These 3-foot-tall people had very long arms, heads the size of grapefruit, and are believed to have disappeared only 13,000 years ago, or perhaps even more recently.

 

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