Set during a time when Theodore Roosevelt was President, 1903 was a year of many firsts. As a side note, the world back then was much smaller. Experts estimate the world population then to have been just over 1.6 billion people. These 365 days laid the foundation for many things we now take for granted: women’s rights, automobiles, modern toys, books, famous races, and t modern airport congestion. It gave birth to people like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and saw an end to western performer Calamity Jane. This year’s most popular names were classics: Mary and John. In short, like all years, this one is worth remembering.


A lot changed in 1903. Let’s start with the progress made by nearly half of the world’s population: women. In this year, Aida De Acosta, became the first woman to operate a powered-aircraft without assistance; she piloted a dirigible from Paris to the Château De Bagatelle. In addition to the first woman pilot, this year also saw Madame Curie win the Nobel Prize for Physics; she later became the first woman to win two. In addition, this was the year Norway voted unanimously to grant women the right to vote. However, ladies were not the only people to benefit from these 365 days. Children gained a new best friend: the Teddy Bear. On February 15th of this year, Rose and Morris Michtom completed stitching together the first of these cuddly little guys. The classic Call of the Wild and the thought provoking The Soul of Black Folk by W.E.B DuBois were published. People, books, and toys were not the only things that changed. In the world of sports, the first Tour De France was hosted. Henry Ford changed automobiles forever and incorporated his automobile company. The first western, The Great Train Robbery, also saw its debut in 1903. In addition, Australia saw the first sitting and decision of its highest court. Additionally, this year also set the foundations for airports and airplanes worldwide. On December 17th of 1903, the Wright Brothers made their first sustained flight at Kitty Hawk. So, whether you want to cuddle up with your Teddy Ruxpin, watch a Clint Eastwood marathon, or take a two-hour flight to Orlando, you can thank 1903 for that.

Discover how the world looked like in 1903

Nobel Prize

Nobel Prizes

All Nobel Prize winners of 1903

Peace Prize

  • Randal Cremer


  • Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson


  • Henri Becquerel
  • Pierre Curie
  • Marie Curie


  • Svante Arrhenius

Physiology or Medicine

  • Niels Ryberg Finsen
vinyl songs

Music charts

Which were the top hits of 1903?

Top #1 songs in the USA

  • - Jack Tar March


Which were the most popular Movies released in those months?
Watch popular movies, TV series and live events, start your 30-day free trial

The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

Directed by: Georgi Yungvald-Khilkevich

The Divorce

The Divorce

Directed by: Donald Welch

Massacres de Macédonie

Massacres de Macédonie

Der Specht

Der Specht

Directed by: N/A

Starring: N/A

Country: Germany

Reliance: Shamrock III

Reliance: Shamrock III

Popular names

Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1903 in the USA ?


Historical Events

Which were the important events of 1903?


  • 01 Jan Edward VII of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Emperor of India.
  • 02 Jan President T Roosevelt shuts down post office in Indianola Michigan, for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress because she was black.
  • 04 Jan Topsy, an elephant, is electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.
  • 06 Jan Dutch Press museum opens in Amsterdam.
  • 07 Jan Start of Sherlock Holmes Adventure of Blanched Soldier (BG)
  • 09 Jan 2 NYers buy Baltimore baseball franchise for $18,000 and moved it to New York
  • 12 Jan Rhodes Opera House burns in Boyertown Pa, killing 170
  • 17 Jan El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico becomes part of the United States National Forest System as the Luquillo Forest Reserve.
  • 18 Jan President Theodore Roosevelt sends a radio message to King Edward VII: the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States.
  • 19 Jan New bicycle race "Tour de France" announced.
  • 21 Jan International Theater (Majestic, Park) opens at 5 Columbus Circle New York City, New York.
  • 29 Jan Dutch railroad workers strike.
  • 04 Feb Stanley Cup: MontrTal AAA beat Winnipeg Victorias, two games to one and one tie.
  • 11 Feb Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony receives its first performance in Vienna.
  • 14 Feb The United States Department of Commerce and Labor is established (later split into Department of Commerce and Department of Labor).
  • 16 Feb -59 degrees F (-51 degrees C), Pokegama Dam Minnesota (state record).
  • 17 Feb El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico becomes part of the United States National Forest System as the Luquillo Forest Reserve.
  • 18 Feb Kuyper government launches anti strike laws.
  • 20 Feb Nick Young remains as National League president as AG Spalding ends challenge.
  • 21 Feb Cornerstone laid for US army war college, Washington DC.
  • 22 Feb Due to drought the US side of Niagara Falls runs short of water.
  • 23 Feb Cuban state of Guantanamo leased to USA.
  • 24 Feb US signs agreement acquiring a naval station at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
  • 28 Feb Barney Dreyfuss and James Potter buys Philadelphia Phillies for $170,000.
  • 02 Mar Martha Washington Hotel, catering to women only, opens in New York City, New York.
  • 03 Mar North Carolina becomes first state requiring registration of nurses.
  • 05 Mar Definitive treaty for construction of Baghdad railway drawn.
  • 10 Mar Harry Gammeter, Cleveland, patents multigraph duplicating machine.
  • 12 Mar New York Highlanders (Yankees) approved as members of AL
  • 14 Mar Stanley Cup: Ottawa Silver 7 sweep Rat Portage Thisles in two games.
  • 15 Mar Frederick Lugard occupies Sokoto West Africa.
  • 19 Mar The oldest Turkish football club, Besiktas JK, is founded in Istanbul.
  • 22 Mar Niagera Falls runs out of water because of a drought.
  • 23 Mar Wright brothers obtain airplane patent.
  • 26 Mar American Hotel opens in Amsterdam.
  • 31 Mar Richard Pearse allegedly makes a powered flight in an early aircraft.
  • 06 Apr General railroad strike against "worgwetten" (anti-strike laws).
  • 07 Apr Fredrikstad Football Club (FFK) is founded in Norway.
  • 14 Apr Dr Harry Plotz discovers vaccine against typhoid (New York City, New York).
  • 20 Apr 7th Boston Marathon won by John Lorden of Massachusetts in 2:41:29.8.
  • 22 Apr New York Highlanders (Yankees) 1st game, Senators win 3-1 before 11,950
  • 23 Apr New York Highlanders (New York Yankees) win their first game beating Washington Senators 7-2.
  • 29 Apr Limestone slides at Turtle Mountain kills 9 (Frank Alberta).
  • 30 Apr New York Highlanders (New York Yankees) first home game, (Hilltop Park-168th Steet and Broadway, Manhattan), they beat Washington Senators, 6-2.
  • 02 May 29th Kentucky Derby: Hal Booker aboard Judge Himes wins in 2:09.
  • 04 May The leading Macedonian Bulgarian revolutionary Gotse Delchev is killed in a skirmish with the Turkish army.
  • 06 May Chicago White Sox commit 12 errors against Detroit Tigers.
  • 14 May President Theodore Roosevelt visits San Francisco.
  • 15 May US Treasury Department purchases 250,000 ounces of silver for the San Francisco Mint.
  • 16 May George Wyman makes 1st motorcycle trip across the US
  • 17 May Cleveland Indians beat the New York Highlanders 9-2 in Columbus Ohio
  • 18 May The port of Burgas, Bulgaria opens.
  • 22 May Launch of the White Star Liner, SS Ionic.
  • 24 May The Paris-Madrid race begins, during which at least eight people are killed.
  • 26 May Start of Sherlock Holmes Adventure of 3 Gables (BG)
  • 27 May 37th Belmont Stakes: John Bullman aboard Africander wins in 2:21.75.
  • 29 May May coup d'etat: Alexander Obrenovich, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, are assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization.
  • 30 May 28th Preakness: W Gannon aboard Flocarline wins in 1:44.8.
  • 02 Jun Netherlands Korfball League forms
  • 11 Jun Group of Serbian officers stormed royal palace and assassinated King Alexander Obrenovic and his wife queen Draga.
  • 12 Jun Niagara Falls, Ontario incorporated as a city.
  • 14 Jun The town of Heppner, Oregon, is nearly destroyed by a cloud burst that resulted in a flash flood that kills an estimated 238 people.
  • 16 Jun Pepsi Cola company forms
  • 21 Jun Sherlock Holmes Adventure of Mazarine Stone takes place (BG)
  • 24 Jun Russia prohibits meetings dealing with Zionist
  • 25 Jun Boston Beaneater Wiley Piatt is only 20th-century pitcher to lose 2 complete games in one day, falling to Pittsburgh 1-0 and 5-3
  • 27 Jun 9th US Golf Open: Willie Anderson shoots a 307 at Baltusrol Golf Club - New Jersey
  • 29 Jun British government protests against abuser in Belgian Congo
  • 01 Jul 1st Tour de France bicycle race begins
  • 02 Jul AL / NL batting champ Ed Delahanty, disappears, found dead days later
  • 04 Jul Pacific Cable (San Francisco, Hawaii, Guam, Phil) opens, President Theodore Roosevelt sends message.
  • 06 Jul George Wyman arrives in New York City by motorcycle 51 days out of San Francisco.
  • 07 Jul The British take over the Fulani Empire.
  • 20 Jul Giuseppe Sarto elected Pope Pius X.
  • 23 Jul Ford Motor Co sells 1st Model A car
  • 25 Jul Castle on top of Telegraph Hill closes.
  • 30 Jul August 23 (July 17ampndashAugust 10, O.S.) ampndash Second Congress of the All-Russian Social Democratic Labour Party held in exile in Brussels, transferring to London.
  • 02 Aug Unsuccessful uprising of Macedonians against Turkey.
  • 04 Aug Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto of Venice elected Pope Pius X
  • 08 Aug 3rd Davis Cup: British Isles beats USA in Boston (4-1)
  • 10 Aug Paris Metro train fire takes place.
  • 14 Aug James J Jeffries KOs James J Corbett in 10 for heavywgt boxing title
  • 16 Aug Tigers play a home game in Toledo Ohio, New York Yankees win 12-8.
  • 17 Aug Joe Pulitzer donated $1 million to Columbia University and begins Pulitzer Prizes
  • 18 Aug German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers.
  • 23 Aug 6th Zionist Congres, Theodor Herzl declares Jewish state
  • 25 Aug Judiciary Act passed.
  • 26 Aug Phillies walk 17 Dodgers in a game
  • 27 Aug 23rd US Mens Tennis: Hugh L Doherty beats William A Larned (60 63 108)
  • 29 Aug The Russian battleship Slava, the last of the five Borodino-class battleships, is launched.
  • 31 Aug Joe McGinnity wins his third doubleheader of the month.
  • 06 Sep Start of Sherlock Holmes Adventure of Creeping Man (BG)
  • 07 Sep Federation of American Motorcyclists organized in New York.
  • 09 Sep 6 km long Engadin-railroad tunnel of Switzerland inaugurated
  • 11 Sep The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin is held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.
  • 14 Sep New York Giants Red Ames no-hits Saint Louis, 5-0 in a five inning game.
  • 15 Sep Queen Wilhelmina calls railroad strikers criminals
  • 17 Sep Boston Pilgrims clinch AL pennant, beating Cleveland, 14-3
  • 19 Sep King Leopold II deny Belgian cruelty in Congo
  • 21 Sep 1st cowboy film Kit Carson, premieres in US
  • 22 Sep Italo Marchiony granted patent for the ice cream cone.
  • 24 Sep Alfred Deakin succeeds Edmund Baston as Australia Premier
  • 27 Sep Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.
  • 29 Sep Prussia becomes the first locality to require mandatory drivers licenses for operators of motor vehicles.
  • 30 Sep The new Gresham's School is officially opened by Field Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood.
  • 01 Oct Baseball: The Boston Americans play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.
  • 05 Oct Sir Samuel Griffith is appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia and Sir Edmund Barton and Richard O'Connor are appointed as foundation justices.
  • 09 Oct 11 (28.4 cm) rainfall in 24 hours (NYC)
  • 10 Oct The Women's Social and Political Union is founded in the UK.
  • 12 Oct Lyric Theater opens at 213 W 42nd St, New York City
  • 13 Oct Boston wins its first of seven World Series titles, beating Pittsburgh at their home park, Huntington Avenue Grounds.
  • 16 Oct Homel, 1st Jewish self defense organization founded in Russia
  • 20 Oct US wins disputed boundary between the District of Alaska and Canada.
  • 24 Oct George Sutton becomes billiard champ.
  • 26 Oct Yerba Buena is first Key System ferry to cross San Francisco Bay.
  • 02 Nov Lyceum Theater (New Lyceum) opens at 149 W 45th St, New York City
  • 03 Nov Colombia grants Panama independence.
  • 04 Nov With the encouragement of the United States, Panama proclaims itself independent from Colombia.
  • 06 Nov USA recognizea independence of Panama
  • 13 Nov The United States recognizes the independence of Panama.
  • 17 Nov The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for ''majority'') and Mensheviks (Russian for ''minority'').
  • 18 Nov The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty is signed by the United States and Panama, giving the United States exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.
  • 19 Nov Carrie Nation attempts to address the Senate.
  • 23 Nov Enrico Caruso US debut (Metropolitan Opera House, New York) in "Rigoletto".
  • 24 Nov Clyde Coleman of New York City patents automobile electric starter.
  • 03 Dec Panglima Polim surrenders to Captain Colijn at Atjeh.
  • 06 Dec Sumatra Atjehs guerilla leader Panglima Polim surrenders.
  • 09 Dec Norwegian parliament vote unanimiously for female suffrage.
  • 10 Dec Nobel for physics awarded to Pierre / Marie Curie
  • 11 Dec British forces under MacDonald and Young march into Tibet.
  • 12 Dec Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo.
  • 13 Dec Italo Marcioni patents the ice cream cone (New Jersey).
  • 14 Dec The Wright brothers make their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 16 Dec Majestic Theater, New York City, New York, becomes first in US to employ women ushers.
  • 17 Dec At 10:35 AM, the first sustained, controlled, powered aircraft flight is made by Orville Wright in 12hp Flyer I at Kill Devil Hills, Kittyhawk, North Carolina. The flight lasts 12 seconds.
  • 19 Dec Williamsburg suspension bridge opens between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  • 28 Dec Electric lamp sets fire to Iroquois theater in Chicago; 602 die.
  • 29 Dec French Equatorial Africa separates into Gabon, Chad and Ubangi-Shari.
  • 30 Dec American Political Science Association founded at New Orleans Louisiana.