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2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar.
The year 2004 has been designated the:
- February 1 – A hajj stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 251 pilgrims.
- February 1 – The New England Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVIII.
- February 2 – An 11-story apartment building collapses in Konya, Turkey, killing more than 90 residents.
- February 3 – The CIA admits that there was no imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- February 3 – Jóannes Eidesgaard becomes prime minister of the Faroe Islands.
- February 4 – Facebook was founded at Cambridge, Massachussetts.
- February 6 – A suicide bomber kills 41 people on a metro car in Moscow.
- February 7 – Several leaders of Abnaa el-Balad are arrested in Israel.
- February 10 – At least 50 people are 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 – San Francisco, California begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in an act of civil disobedience.
- February 13 – Athens gets hit by a major blizzard which blankets the entire city for days, causing widespread havoc.
- February 13 – Scientists in South Korea announce the cloning of 30 human embryos.
- February 14 – Riots break out between New South Wales Police and Aboriginal residents of Redfern, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
- February 14 – The roof of the Transvaal water park in Moscow collapses, killing 25 and injuring more than 100.
- February 17–20 – A nor'easter blizzard devastates Atlantic Canada, dumping more than 95 centimeters on some areas.
- 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 – A 6.5 Richter scale earthquake in Northern Morocco hits in the Rif mountains near the city of Al Hoceima, killing 400. Ait Kamara is destroyed; 517 are killed.
- February 26 – The United States lifts a 23-year travel ban against Libya.
- February 26 – Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- February 27 – 2004 SuperFerry 14 bombing: The Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group is blamed for the deadliest terrorist attack at sea in world history, which kills 116 in the Philippines.
- February 28 – Over 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947.
- 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.
- February 29 – The 76th Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King directed by Peter Jackson, winning a record-tying 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
- March 2 – John Kerry effectively clinches the 2004 U.S. Democratic Party presidential nomination 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 its landing area was once drenched in water.
- March 10 – Five British men are released from detention at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay. After they land at RAF Brize Norton, 4 of them are immediately arrested for questioning.
- March 11 – Simultaneous terrorist attacks, with bombs in 4 rush-hour trains in Madrid, kill 190.
- March 12 – Following the terrorist attacks in Madrid the previous day, millions of protesters against terrorism take to the streets of Spanish cities.
- March 14 – Two suicide bombers kill 11 Israeli civilians in Ashdod, Israel.
- March 14 – Spanish legislative election, 2004: The incumbent government led by José María Aznar is defeated by the Socialist José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
- March 14 – Russian presidential election, 2004: Vladimir Putin easily wins a second term.
- March 15 – The new Spanish Government announces that it will withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops in Iraq.
- March 17 – A pogrom-like organized violence breaks out over 2 days in Kosovo; 19 people are killed, 8000 Serbian homes burned, schools and businesses vandalized, and over 300 Orthodox monasteries and churches burned and destroyed.
- March 19 – The United Nations launches a political 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 – Malaysian general election, 2004: The incumbent Barisan Nasional party wins 198 out of 219 seats in the Parliament of Malaysia.
- March 21 – Salvadoran presidential election, 2004: Antonio Saca is elected President of El Salvador (inaugurated June 1).
- 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 him and 7 others.
- March 25 – British prime minister Tony Blair visits Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, in return for the dismantling of Libya's Weapons of mass destruction programme in December 2003 (the first time a major western leader had visited 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 28 – The first ever reported South Atlantic hurricane makes landfall in South Brazil in the state of Santa Catarina – the hurricane is dubbed Hurricane Catarina.
- March 29 – The Republic of Ireland bans smoking in all enclosed work places, including restaurants, pubs and bars.
- March 29 – The largest expansion of NATO to date takes place, allowing Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the organization.
- March 31 – Four American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA are killed, and their bodies mutilated, after being ambushed in Fallujah, Iraq.
- April 5 – Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom 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 2 rebel groups.
- April 17 – Israeli helicopters fire missiles at a convoy of vehicles in the Gaza Strip, killing the Gaza leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi.
- April 20 – In Iraq, 12 mortars are fired on Abu Ghraib Prison by insurgents; 22 detainees are killed and 92 wounded. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-04-20-iraq_x.htm
- April 21 – Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed an Israeli nuclear weapons programme in the 1980s, is released from prison in Israel after serving 18 years for treason.
- April 22 – Ryongchon disaster: Two trains carrying explosives and fuel collide in Ryongchon, North Korea, 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 24 – Referendums on the Annan Plan for Cyprus, which proposes to re-unite the island, take place in both the Greek-controlled and the Turkish-controlled parts. Although the Turkish Cypriots vote in favour, the Greek Cypriots reject the proposal.
- April 28 – Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq is revealed on the television show 60 Minutes II.
- April 29 – The last Oldsmobile rolls off of the assembly line.
- 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 4 – A WNBC helicopter crashes in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. This event is covered by rival station WABC-TV.
- May 8 – Would-be "Saudi Princess" "Antoinette Millard" surfaces in New York City, claiming that muggers had stolen jewels worth of $262,000 from her (she later proves to be an impostor).
- May 9 – Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed by a landmine placed under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial parade in Grozny.
- May 9 – Canada wins the World Ice Hockey Championship in Prague.
- May 10 – Philippine general election, 2004: Incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is elected for 6-year term.
- 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 15 – Arsenal completes a whole English Premiership season unbeaten, 38 games.
- May 15 – South Africa is awarded the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- May 15 – Ruslana wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 for Ukraine, with the song Wild Dances in Istanbul, Turkey.
- May 16 – A coup d'état in Chad against President Idriss Déby fails.
- May 17 – Ezzedine Salim, holder of the rotating leadership of the Iraq Interim 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 v. Department of Public Health).
- May 19 – Tony Blair is hit with a purple flour bomb in the chamber of the House of Commons 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.
8 May 22 – Dr. Manmohan Singh assumes office as the 17th and first Sikh Prime Minister of the Republic Of India.
- June 1 – Sasebo slashing: Satomi Mitarai, a 12-year-old Japanese schoolgirl attending Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo, Japan, is murdered. Her killer is an 11-year-old classmate identified by Japanese authorities as "Girl A".
- June 3 – All outgoing flights from the UK are temporarily grounded following an air traffic control computer failure. BBC NEWS
- June 3 – Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet tenders his resignation, citing "personal reasons". John E. McLaughlin, CIA Deputy Director, becomes the acting Director until a permanent Director is chosen and confirmed by Congress.
- June 4 – Marvin Heemeyer destroys many local buildings with a home-made tank in Granby, Colorado.
- June 5 – Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, dies at his home in Bel-Air, California at the age of 93. A 6-day state funeral follows after his death.
- June 6 – At the 58th Annual Tony Awards, Avenue Q upsets front-runner Wicked to win the award for Best Musical.
- June 8 – The first transit of Venus since 1882 occurs; the next one will occur in 2012.
- June 8 – The 30th G8 summit takes place over the next 2 days on Sea Island, in Georgia, USA.
- June 8 – The pickled heart of Louis XVII of France is buried in the royal crypt at Saint-Denis.
- June 11 – Terry Nichols is spared the death penalty by an Oklahoma state court on murder charges stemming from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The decision comes on the third anniversary of the execution of his co-defendant, Timothy McVeigh, in Terre Haute, Indiana.
- June 12 – A 1.3 kg chondrite type meteorite strikes a house in Ellerslie, New Zealand, causing serious damage but no injuries.
- June 16 – The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (or "9/11 Commission") issues an initial report of its findings.
- June 21 – In Mojave, California, SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
- June 28 – June 29 – The 2004 Istanbul Summit is held.
- June 28 – Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains collide in a rural area outside of San Antonio, Texas; 40 cars are derailed, including one chlorine car. Three people die, another 50 people are hospitalized because of exposure to the gas.
- June 28 – The U.S.-led coalition occupying Iraq transfers sovereignty to an Iraqi Interim Government.
- June 28 – Canadian federal election, 2004: The Liberal Party, led by Paul Martin, is reduced to a minority government, after holding a majority since November 1993.
- June 30 – Preliminary hearings begin in Iraq in the trial of former president Saddam Hussein, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- August 13 – Hurricane Charley kills 27 people in Florida, after killing 4 in Cuba and 1 in Jamaica. Charley makes landfall near Cayo Costa, FL as a Category 4 hurricane. Charley is the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
- August 16 – Severe flooding occurs in the village of Boscastle in Cornwall.
- August 18 – In Dublin, Ireland, the Dublin Port Tunnel excavation works are completed and the final tunnel boring machine breakthrough ceremony takes place.
- August 20 – Elbegdorj Tsakhia, the peaceful democratic revolutionary leader of Mongolia, becomes Prime Minister of Mongolia for the second time.
- August 21 – A series of blasts rocks an opposition party rally 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 protesters demonstrate in New York City against U.S. President George W. Bush and his government, ahead of the 2004 Republican National Convention.
- August 29 – Michael Schumacher secures a record 7th world championship title, by finishing second in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
- August 30 – September 2 – U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are renominated at the Republican National Convention in New York City.
- 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 – The Great Laxey Mine Railway of the Isle of Man is re-opened.
- September 1 – Chechen terrorists take between 1,000 and 1,500 people hostage, mostly children, in a school in the Beslan school hostage crisis. The hostage-takers demand the release of Chechen terrorists imprisoned in neighbouring Ingushetia and the independence of Chechnya from Russia.
- September 2 – The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 1559, calling for the removal of all foreign troops from Lebanon. This measure is largely aimed at Syrian troops.
- September 2 – Hurricane Ivan forms.
- September 3 – Russian forces end the siege at a school in Beslan, Northern Ossetia. At least 335 people (among which are 32 of the approximately 40 hostage-takers) are killed and at least 700 people injured.
- September 3 – Hurricane Frances makes landfall in Florida. After killing 2 people in the Bahamas, Hurricane Frances kills 10 people in Florida, 2 in Georgia and 1 in South Carolina.
- September 7 – The Scottish Parliament meets in the new Scottish Parliament Building for the first time.
- September 7 – Hurricane Ivan passes directly over Grenada, killing 37 people. It passes over other Caribbean islands over the next 2 days, killing 5 people in Venezuela, 4 in the Dominican Republic, 1 in Tobago and 20 in Jamaica.
- September 8 – In the "Rathergate" affair, the first Internet posts appear, pointing out that documents claimed by CBS News to be typewritten memos from the early 1970s appear instead to have been produced using modern word processing systems.
- September 9 – A bomb blast outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, kills 11 and injures up to 100 people.
- September 9 – Typhoon Songda hits western Japan, killing 45 and injuring another 1,352.
- September 13 – The U.S. Assault Weapons Ban expires.
- September 15 – Davíð Oddsson, Prime Minister of Iceland, steps down after serving as prime minister since April 30, 1991. Oddson trades posts with his foreign minister Halldór Ásgrímsson, who then becomes Prime Minister.
- September 15 – Security at the Palace of Westminster is compromised, when the House of Commons is stormed by a small group of protestors during a debate about fox hunting.
- September 15 – "Girl A", who committed the Sasebo slashing, is sentenced to be institutionalized.
- September 16 – Hurricane Ivan strikes Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 3 storm, killing 25 in Alabama and Florida, becoming the 3rd costliest hurricane in American history (currently the 4th following the destruction of 2005's Hurricane Katrina).
- September 17 – Hurricane Jeanne causes mudslides in Haiti, killing 3006.
- September 17 – The 2004 Summer Paralympics commences in Athens, Greece.
- September 17 – Mexico and Japan finish 2-year-long negotiations and sign a Free Trade Agreement in Mexico City.
- September 21 – Construction of the Burj Dubai begins.
- September 22 – The TV series Lostairs its pilot.
- September 23 – Mount St. Helens becomes active again.
- September 23 – Tropical Storm Ivan, having come around and reformed in the Gulf of Mexico, makes its final landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, to little effect. In total, the storm kills 92 people.
- September 24 – Major League Baseball announces that the Montreal Expos will move to Washington D.C. in 2005.
- September 25 – Port Adelaide Power wins their first premiership against the Brisbane Lions in the AFL Grand Final.
- September 25 – Hurricane Jeanne makes landfall near Port Saint Lucie, Florida, near the location Hurricane Frances hit 2 weeks earlier. Jeanne kills over 3,030, mostly in Haiti.
- September 29 – In Mojave, California, the first Ansari X-Prize flight takes place of SpaceShipOne, which is competing with a number of spacecraft (including Canada's Da Vinci Project, claimed to be its closest rival) and goes on to win the prize on October 4th.
- 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; 1 crewmember is killed.
- October 8 – Suicide bombers detonate 2 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 – Direct elections for president are held for the first time in Afghanistan. Interim president Hamid Karzai is eventually declared the winner.
- 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 16 – The New York Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox 19–8 in Game 3 of Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series. The game, which pushes the Yankees to a 3 games to 0 series lead, sets a record for longest 9 inning baseball game.
- October 16 – Arsenal loses for the first time in 49 league games, a national record, going down 2–0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
- 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 19 – A team of explorers reaches the bottom of the world's deepest cave, located in Krubera. The depth reached is 2,080 meters (6,824 feet), setting a world record. (National Geographic)
- October 20 – The Ubuntu operating system is first released.
- October 20 – Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 crashes in Missouri, killing 13 people and injuring 2.
- October 20 – Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono becomes the first directly elected President of Indonesia.
- 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 21 – Typhoon Tokage kill 98, injured 552 in western Japan.
- October 23 – A Magnitude 6.7 earthquake and aftershocks of similar scale occur in the Tokamachi area. A huge landslide occurs on the outskirts of Nagaoka. According to Japanese officials, 68 people are killed, 4,085 are injured, and 103,000 are rendered homeless.
- October 24 – Brazil successfully launches its first rocket into space.
- October 24 – Michael Schumacher wins his 7th Formula One World Drivers Championship (5th consecutive), making him the most successful driver in the history of Formula One.
- October 25 – Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
- November 2 – United States presidential election, 2004: U.S. President George W. Bush defeats Senator John Kerry. Republicans make gains in the House and Senate.
- November 2 – Eleven American states ban gay marriage.
- November 2 – Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh is assassinated in Amsterdam, Netherlands by Mohammed Bouyeri.
- November 6 – The Ufton Nervet rail crash in Berkshire, England kills 7 people.
- November 6 – In Côte d'Ivoire, National Army bombings kill 9 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 assault on the Iraqi town of Fallujah, in an effort to rid the area of insurgents before the Iraqi elections in January.
- November 8 – The Irish 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 9 – A meeting of the Scottish Socialist Party executive leads to the resignation of Tommy Sheridan as convenor. Contradictory accounts of what Sheridan said at the meeting become hotly disputed in the Sheridan v News International trial.
- November 13 – After six days of intense battles, the Iraqi town of Fallujah is fully occupied by U.S. forces.
- November 14 – United States Secretary of State Colin Powell submits his resignation. He is replaced by Condoleezza Rice after her confirmation by the United States Congress.
- November 16 – The European Space Agency probe, Smart 1, passes from Earth orbit into the orbit of the Moon.
- November 16 – A train crash near Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia, injures 150 people.
- November 16 – The People's Republic of China agrees to invest $20 billion dollars in Argentina, a deal signed days before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in Santiago, Chile.
- November 16 – NASA's hypersonic Scramjet breaks a record by reaching a velocity of about 7,000 mph in an unmanned experimental flight. It obtains a speed of Mach 9.6, almost 10 times the speed of sound.
- November 17–21 – The APEC Summit is held in Santiago, Chile.
- November 19 – The NBA's Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons engage in a brawl that involves fans and players. The incident gets (then) Pacer Ron Artest suspended for the remainder of the season.
- November 21 – Ukrainian presidential election, 2004: Viktor Yanukovych is declared the winner in the final round. International election observers express severe criticism, and large crowds gather in a protest rally in Kiev; 12 days later, the Supreme Court annuls the result, and a new poll is scheduled.
- November 25 – The Indian political party Congress Jananayaka Peravai merges into the Indian National Congress.
- November 26 – A group of Iraqi political leaders, primarily from Sunni and Kurdish parties, advocate a 6-month delay in popular elections scheduled for January 2005.
- November 28 – An coal mine explosion in China kills over 150.
- November 28 – Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile, promises economic compensation to 28,000 torture victims of Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship.
- November 28 – A male Po'o-uli dies of avian malaria at the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda before it can breed, making the species in all probability extinct.
- December 3 – The Colombian government extradites Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, one of the most powerful drug dealers in the world, arrested in 1995 and 2003, to the United States.
- December 6 – Terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing several people.
- December 8 – The biggest Chinese PC producer Lenovo announces its plan to purchase IBM's global PC business, making it the third largest world PC maker after Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
- December 10 – New Zealand bans smoking in all public places, including bars.
- December 11 – Tests show that Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned with a large dose of dioxin.
- December 13 – Software giants Oracle Corporation and PeopleSoft agree to merge in a $10.3 billion deal, creating the second largest maker of business applications software.
- December 14 – The world's tallest bridge, the Millau bridge over the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains, France, is opened by President Jacques Chirac.
- December 15 – Albanian terrorists take a bus and its passengers hostage in Athens, Greece and demand 1 million euros in ransom money.
- December 16 – The House of Lords rules that the British Government breaches human rights legislation, by detaining without trial foreign nationals suspected of being terrorists.
- December 16 – IT security company Symantec Corp signs a definitive agreement to merge with Veritas Software Corp, valued at $13.5 billion, in an all-stock transaction.
- December 16 – The South Korean high-speed rail system, Korea Train Express, opens between Seoul and Busan.
- December 21 – Iraqi insurgents attack a U.S. military base in the city of Mosul, killing 22 people.
- December 22 – Armed robbers in Northern Ireland steal over £22 million from the headquarters of the Northern Bank. Unionist politicians and the Police Service of Northern Ireland blame the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and stall the peace process.
caused by the December 26, 2004 earthquake strikes Ao Nang
- December 26 – One of the worst natural disasters in recorded history hits Southeast Asia, when the strongest earthquake in 40 years hits the entire Indian Ocean region. The massive 9.3 magnitude earthquake, epicentered just off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, generates enormous tsunami waves that crash into the coastal areas of a number of nations including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. The official death toll in the affected countries stands at 186,983 while more than 40,000 people are still missing.
- December 26 – The re-run of the second round of the Ukrainian presidential election takes place. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko is declared the winner.
- December 27 – Astrophysicists from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich measure the strongest burst from a magnetar. At 21:30:26 UT the earth is hit by a huge wave front of gamma and X-rays. It is the strongest flux of high-energetic gamma radiation measured so far.
- December 28 – The Ukrainian transport minister, Heorhiy Kirpa, is found shot dead, in a suspected suicide.
- December 30 – A fire in a Buenos Aires night club (República Cromagnon) kills 194 people during a rock concert.
- December 31 – Taipei 101, at the time tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 1,670 feet (509 metres ), officially opens.
- December 31 – Simón Trinidad, high-profile FARC leader, is extradited to the United States, following the second extradition of a high drug dealer in a month and in 2004.
- December 31 – Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych resigns.
- January 2 – Paul Hopkins, American baseball player (b. 1904)
- January 2 – Etta Moten Barnett, American actress (b. 1901)
- January 2 – Lynn Cartwright, American actress (b. 1927)
- January 4 – Joan Aiken, English author (b. 1924)
- January 6 – Tug McGraw, American baseball player (b. 1944)
- January 6 – Pierre Charles, Prime Minister of Dominica (b. 1954)
- January 7 – Ingrid Thulin, Swedish actress (b. 1926)
- January 9 – Norberto Bobbio, Italian philosopher (b. 1909)
- January 9 – Yinka Dare, Nigerian Professional Basketball Player (b. 1972)
- January 11 – Mairtín Crawford, Irish poet (b. 1967)
- January 12 – Randy VanWarmer, American singer-songwriter (b. 1955)
- January 12 – Zeno Vendler, American philosopher of language (b. 1921)
- January 14 – Terje "Valfar" Bakken, Norwegian musician (b. 1978)
- January 14 – Uta Hagen, German actress (b. 1919)
- January 22 – Ann Miller, American dancer and actress (b. 1923)
- January 22 – Jack Tunney, Canadian wrestling promoter (b. 1935)
- January 25 – Miklos Feher, Hungarian footballer (b. 1979)
- January 27 – Jack Paar, American television show host (b. 1918)
- January 29 – M. M. Kaye, British writer (b. 1908)
- January 31 – Eleanor Holm, American swimmer (b. 1913)
- February 14 – Marco Pantani, Italian cyclist (b. 1970)
- February 17 – José López Portillo, President of Mexico (b. 1920)
- February 19 – Archibald Paton Thornton, British historian (b. 1921)
- February 21 – John Charles, Welsh footballer (b. 1931)
- February 21 – Nestor de Villa, Filipino actor (b. 1928)
- February 23 – Carl Anderson, American singer and actor (b. 1945)
- February 24 – John Randolph, American actor (b. 1915)
- February 26 – Boris Trajkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia (b. 1956)
- February 26 – Adolf Ehrnrooth, Finnish general (b. 1905)
- February 27 – Paul Sweezy, American economist and editor (b. 1910)
- February 27 – Yoshihiko Amino, Japanese historian (b. 1928)
- February 28 – Daniel J. Boorstin, American historian and Librarian of Congress (b. 1914)
Juliana of the Netherlands
- March 2 – Cormac McAnallen, Irish footballer (b. 1980)
- March 2 – Mercedes McCambridge, American actress (b. 1918)
- March 2 – Marge Schott, American baseball team owner (b. 1928)
- March 4 – Claude Nougaro, French singer (b. 1929)
- March 4 – Stephen Sprouse, American fashion designer, artist, and photographer (b. 1953)
- March 6 – Ray Fernandez, American pro wrestler (b. 1956)
- March 5 – Priscilla Paris, American singer (b. 1953)
- March 7 – Paul Winfield, American actor (b. 1941)
- March 8 – Abu Abbas, founder of the Palestine Liberation Front (b. 1948)
- March 8 – Robert Pastorelli, American actor (b. 1954)
- March 8 – Tichi Wilkerson Kassel, American film personality and publisher (b. 1926)
- March 15 – John Pople, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925)
- March 20 – Juliana, Queen of The Netherlands (b. 1909)
- March 22 – Ahmed Yassin, Palestinian co-founder of Hamas (b. 1937)
- March 26 – Jan Berry, American singer (b. 1941)
- March 26 – Jan Sterling, American actress (b. 1921)
- March 29 – Peter Ustinov, English actor and director (b. 1921)
- March 30 – Alistair Cooke, English-born journalist (b. 1908)
- April 1 – Carrie Snodgress, American actress (b. 1946)
- April 3 – Gabriella Ferri, Italian singer (b. 1942)
- April 15 – Ray Condo, Canadian musician (b. 1950)
- April 17 – Edmond Pidoux, Swiss writer (b. 1908)
- April 18 – Kamisese Mara, first Prime Minister of Fiji and President of Fiji (b. 1920)
- April 19 – Norris McWhirter, Scottish co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records (b. 1925)
- April 19 – John Maynard Smith, English biologist (b. 1920)
- April 22 – Pat Tillman, American football player and U.S. Army Ranger (b. 1976)
- April 24 – Estée Lauder, American cosmetics entrepreneur (b. 1906)
- April 25 – Thom Gunn, British poet (b. 1929)
- April 26 – Hubert Selby, Jr., American writer (b. 1928)
- May 5 – Ritsuko Okazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter and author (b. 1959)
- May 7 – Nicholas Berg, American businessman (b. 1978)
- May 9 – Tommy Farrell, American supporting actor and comedian (b. 1921)
- May 9 – Alan King, American actor (b. 1927)
- May 9 – Olive Osmond, Osmond family matriarch (b. 1925)
- May 14 – Anna Lee, British actress (b. 1913)
- May 17 – Tony Randall, American actor (b. 1920)
- May 17 – Ezzedine Salim, President of the Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
- May 22 – Richard Biggs, American actor (b. 1960)
- May 22 – Ronald Smith, British pianist and musicologist (b. 1922)
- May 22 – Mikhail Voronin, Russian gymnast (b. 1945)
- May 25 – Roger W. Straus, Jr., American publisher (b. 1917)
- May 28 – Umberto Agnelli, Swiss-born automobile executive (b. 1934)
- May 28 – Bob Couture, Canadian musician (b. 1940)
- May 29 – Archibald Cox, American Watergate special prosecutor (b. 1912)
- May 29 – Jack Rosenthal, English playwright (b. 1931)
- May 29 – Samuel Dash, American Congressional counsel (b. 1925)
- June 2 – Loyd Sigmon, American amateur ("ham") radio broadcastor (b. 1909)
- June 5 – Ronald Reagan, American politician and actor, 40th President of the United States (b. 1911)
- June 5 – Iona Brown, British violinist and conductor (b. 1941)
- June 7 – Quorthon, Swedish musician (b. 1966)
- June 10 – Ray Charles, American singer and musician (b. 1930)
- June 11 – Egon von Furstenberg, Swiss fashion designer (b. 1946)
- June 11 – Xenophon Zolotas, Greek economist, interim 177th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1904)
- June 13 – Dick Durrance, American skier (b. 1914)
- June 16 – Thanom Kittikachorn, Thai military dictator, 10th Prime Minister of Thailand (b. 1912)
- June 20 – Jim Bacon, Australian politician, 41st Premier of Tasmania (b. 1950)
- June 21 – Ron Ashman, former footballer and football manager (b. 1926)
- June 22 – Mattie Stepanek, American poet (b. 1990)
- June 26 – Naomi Shemer, Israeli songwriter (b. 1931)
- June 27 – Darrell Russell, American race car driver (b. 1968)
- June 27 – George Patton IV, American general (b. 1923)
- June 30 – Jamal Abro, Sindhi writer (b. 1924)
- July 1 – Peter Barnes, English writer (b. 1931)
- July 1 – Marlon Brando, American actor (b. 1924)
- July 1 – Todor Skalovski, Macedonian composer (b. 1909)
- July 2 – John Cullen Murphy, American comic strip artist (b. 1919)
- July 3 – Percy Wickman, Canadian politician (b. 1941)
- July 4 – Jean-Marie Auberson, Swiss conductor (b. 1920)
- July 5 – Hugh Shearer, Jamaican politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Jamaica (b. 1923)
- July 5 – Rodger Ward, American race car driver (b. 1921)
- July 6 – Thomas Klestil, Austrian politician and diplomat, 10th President of Austria (b. 1932)
- July 9 – Isabel Sanford, American actress (b. 1917)
- July 6 – Syreeta Wright,American singer,songwriter (b.1946)
- July 12 – Betty Oliphant, co-founder of National Ballet of Canada (b. 1918)
- July 13 – Carlos Kleiber, Austrian conductor (b. 1930)
- July 16 – Pat Roach, British wrestler and actor (b. 1937)
- July 19 – Zenko Suzuki, Japanese politician, 70th Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1911)
- July 21 – Edward B. Lewis, American geneticist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1918)
- July 21 – Jerry Goldsmith, American composer (b. 1929)
- July 28 – Francis Crick, English molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1916)
- July 28 – Sam Edwards, American actor (b. 1915)
- August 1 – Philip Abelson, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
- August 3 – Henri Cartier-Bresson, French photographer (b. 1908)
- August 6 – Rick James, American musician (b. 1948)
- August 8 – Fay Wray, Canadian actress (b. 1907)
- August 12 – Godfrey Hounsfield, English electrical engineer and inventor, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1919)
- August 13 – Julia Child, American chef (b. 1912)
- August 14 – Czesław Miłosz, Polish-born writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)
- August 15 – Sune Bergström, Swedish biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1916)
- August 17 – Thea Astley, Australian writer (b. 1925)
- August 17 – Gérard Souzay, French baritone (b. 1918)
- August 18 – Elmer Bernstein, American composer (b. 1922)
- August 18 – Charlie Waller, American singer and guitarist (b. 1935)
- August 24 – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-born psychiatrist (b. 1926)
- August 26 – Laura Branigan, American singer (b. 1957)
- August 27 – Willie Crawford, American baseball player (b. 1946)
- August 30 – Fred Lawrence Whipple, American astronomer (b. 1906)
- August 30 – Indian Larry, American motorcycle builder (b. 1949)
- September 1 – Ahmed Kuftaro, Grand Mufti of Syria (b. 1915)
- September 8 – Frank Thomas, American animator (b. 1912)
- September 10 – Brock Adams, American politician (b. 1927)
- September 11 – Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria (b. 1949)
- September 13 – Luis E. Miramontes, Mexican chemist (b. 1925)
- September 14 – Ove Sprogøe, Danish actor (b. 1919)
- September 15 – Johnny Ramone, American guitarist (The Ramones) (b. 1948)
- September 18 – Norman Cantor, Canadian historian (b. 1929)
- September 18 – Russ Meyer, American director and photographer (b. 1922)
- September 19 – Árpád Bogsch, Hungarian-born civil servant (b. 1919)
- September 19 – Skeeter Davis, American singer (b. 1931)
- September 19 – Ellis Marsalis, Sr., American businessman, musician, and activist (b. 1908?)
- September 20 – Brian Clough, British football manager of Nottingham Forest and Derby County (b. 1935)
- September 22 – Ray Traylor, American professional wrestler (b. 1962)
- September 24 – Françoise Sagan, French writer (b. 1935)
- September 26 – Marianna Komlos American professional wrestler and fitness model (b. 1969)
- October 1 – Bruce Palmer, Canadian musician (Buffalo Springfield) (b. 1946)
- October 1 – Richard Avedon, American photographer (b. 1923)
- October 3 – John Cerutti, American baseball player and announcer (b. 1960)
- October 3 – Janet Leigh, American actress (b. 1927)
- October 4 – Gordon Cooper, American astronaut (b. 1927)
- October 4 – Rio Diaz, Filipino actress and TV host (b. 1959)
- October 5 – Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian and actor (b. 1921)
- October 5 – Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-born physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1916)
- October 8 – Jacques Derida, Algerian-born French literary critic (b. 1930)
- October 8 – James Chace, American historian (b. 1931)
- October 10 – Ken Caminiti, American baseball player (b. 1963)
- October 10 – Christopher Reeve, American actor and activist (b. 1952)
- October 13 – Enrique Fernando, Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court (b. 1915)
- October 16 – Pierre Salinger, U.S. President John F. Kennedy's White House Press Secretary (b. 1925)
- October 20 – Anthony Hecht, American poet (b. 1923)
- October 23 – Bill Nicholson, British footballer (b. 1919)
- October 23 – Robert Merrill, American baritone (b. 1919)
- October 24 – Ricky Hendrick, American race car driver and owner (b. 1980)
- October 25 – John Peel, British radio disc jockey (b. 1939)
- October 28 – Jimmy McLarnin, Irish-born boxer (b. 1907)
- October 29 – Edward Oliver LeBlanc, Dominican politician (b. 1923)
- October 29 – Peter Twinn, English mathematician and World War II code-breaker (b. 1916)
- October 30 – Peggy Ryan, American actress (b. 1924)
- November 1 – Mac Dre, American rapper (b. 1970)
- November 2 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch film director (b. 1957)
- November 2 – Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the United Arab Emirates (b. 1918)
- November 3 – Sergei Zholtok, Latvian hockey player (b. 1972)
- November 7 – Howard Keel, American singer and actor (b. 1919)
- November 7 – Eddie Charlton, Australian snooker player (b. 1929)
- November 10 – Katy de la Cruz, Filipino singer (b. 1907)
- November 11 – Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1929)
- November 13 – Ol' Dirty Bastard, American rapper (b. 1968)
- November 14 – Margaret Hassan, Irish-born aid worker (b. 1945)
- November 15 – John Morgan, British-born comedian (b. 1930)
- November 19 – John Robert Vane, British pharmacologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1927)
- November 23 – Rafael Eitan, Israeli politician (b. 1929)
- November 29 – John Drew Barrymore, American actor (b. 1932)
- November 29 – Bernard Robinson, English footballer (b. 1911)
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
- December 1 – Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, German born Prince Consort of the Netherlands (b. 1911)
- December 2 – Alicia Markova, English ballerina (b. 1910)
- December 2 – Mona Van Duyn, American poet (b. 1921)
- December 5 – Seymour Ginsburg, American computer scientist (b. 1928)
- December 7 – Frederick Fennell, American conductor (b. 1914)
- December 8 – Dimebag Darrell, American guitarist (Pantera and Damageplan) (murdered) (b. 1966)
- December 10 – Gary Webb, American journalist known for his investigation into the Iran-Contra affair (b. 1955)
- December 12 – Kathryn Eames, American actress (b. 1908)
- December 14 – Fernando Poe, Jr., Filipino actor and 2004 presidential candidate (b. 1935)
- December 15 – Vassal Gadoengin, Nauruan politician (b. 1943)
- December 18 – Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
- December 19 – Herbert C. Brown, English-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1912)
- December 19 – Renata Tebaldi, Italian soprano (b. 1922)
- December 20 – Son Seals, American guitarist (b. 1942)
- December 23 – P. V. Narasimha Rao, Indian politician, 10th Prime Minister of India (b. 1921)
- December 24 – Johnny Oates, American baseball player and manager (b. 1926)
- December 26 – Mieszko Talarczyk, Swedish guitarist/musician (Nasum) (b. 1974)
- December 26 – Reggie White, American football player (b. 1961)
- December 27 – Hank Garland, American guitarist (b. 1930)
- December 28 – Jerry Orbach, American actor (b. 1935)
- December 28 – Susan Sontag, American writer and activist (b. 1933)
- December 30 – Artie Shaw, American musician (b. 1910)
- December 31 – Gérard Debreu, French-born economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1921)
ht:2004 (almanak gregoryen)