2003

The year 2003 went down in history as the international year of fresh water as well as the European year of Disability.

2003

The movie Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was the highest grossing film of the year starring Elijah Wood as Frodo and Sean Astin as Sam. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ by 50 Cent was the best selling album of 2001.

The World Health Organization declared SARS a threat to global health on March 12. In the eight months later, SARS had killed roughly 775 in 29 countries, putting a threat to globalization regarding public health. On July 5, WHO announced that, the transmission of SARS from person to person had ceased.

In the evening of August 14, 21 power plants shut down in three minutes affecting over fifty million people in New York, Detroit, and Cleveland in the USA and Toronto and Ottawa in Canada. The power plants were able to resume transmission after two hours, but certain parts of the Northeast were in the dark for more than a day. Businesses, hospitals, commuter trains, airports, cellar telephone services were some of the sectors affected by the outage. The problem was poor line maintenance by FirstEnergy, a power company in Ohio.

On October 7, 2003, movie star and former Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger became the governor of California. Schwarzenegger was part of the 135 people on the ballot, and after 11 weeks of campaigning, he replaced Gray Davis as the governor of the most populous state in the USA with the fifth largest economy in the world. Born in Thal in Austria on July 30, 1947, Schwarzenegger became a USA citizen in 1983. He beat his closest rival with over 1 million votes.

After the USA invaded Iraq in March 2003, the USA military captured Saddam Hussein 12 days before Christmas. Libya under the leadership of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi agreed to shut down its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Discover how the world looked like in 2003

Oscar

Oscar Winners

All Academy Awards Prize winners of the 76th edition of the Oscar ceremony


Best picture

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Country: United States of America

Best director

Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Country: United States of America

Best actor

Sean Penn

Mystic River

Mystic River

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Country: United States of America

Best actress

Charlize Theron

Monster

Monster

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen

Country: United States of America

Best supporting actor

Tim Robbins

Mystic River

Mystic River

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Emmy Rossum

Country: United States of America

Best supporting actress

Renée Zellweger

Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

Starring: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Eileen Atkins

Country: United States of America

Books

Which were the most popular books released in 2003 ?
Unlimited books on any devices, try your first month free

The King of Torts by John Grisham

The King of Torts

By:

The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm.

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Benjamin Franklin

By:

In this authoritative and engrossing full-scale biography, Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs, shows how the most fascinating of America's founders helped define our national character.Benjamin

A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

A Short History Of Nearly Everything

By:

One of the world’s most beloved writers and bestselling author of One Summer takes his ultimate journey—into the most intriguing and intractable questions that science seeks to answer.In

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code

By:

PREMIUM MASS MARKET EDITION #1 Worldwide Bestseller—More Than 80 Million Copies Sold As millions of readers around the globe have already discovered, The Da Vinci Code is a reading experience unlike any other.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

The Devil Wears Prada

By:

A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses and the basis for the major motion picture starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep.

Nobel Prize

Nobel Prizes

All Nobel Prize winners of 2003


Peace Prize

  • Shirin Ebadi

Literature

  • J. M. Coetzee

Physics

  • Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov
  • Vitaly Ginzburg
  • Anthony James Leggett

Economic Sciences

  • Robert F. Engle
  • Clive Granger

Chemistry

  • Peter Agre
  • Roderick MacKinnon

Physiology or Medicine

  • Paul Lauterbur
  • Peter Mansfield

Movies

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 Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom

Country: United States of America

Oldboy

Oldboy

Directed by: Chan-wook Park

Starring: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Country: United States of America

Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.

Directed by: Rajkumar Hirani

Starring: Sunil Dutt, Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Gracy Singh

Memories of Murder

Memories of Murder

Directed by: Joon-ho Bong

Starring: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song

Dogville

Dogville

Directed by: Lars von Trier

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson

Country: United States of America

Popular names

Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 2003 in the USA ?

world population

World Population

Demographic statistics of the year 2003


Population statistics

  • Total population: 6.4 billion (6,381,185,114 to be precise!)
  • Urban population: 3.1 billion, that is 48.0% of the total population of 2003 lives in cities
  • Yearly change: +79.4 million, corresponding to a percentage increase of +1.26%
  • Average density: 43.0 persons per km2
history

Historical Events

Which were the important events of 2003?


Events

  • 01 Jan The first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar
  • 02 Jan The first 49 of a promised 1,264 West African peacekeepers arrive at Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, to help supervise the cease-fire between the government of President Laurent Gbagbo and the main rebel group, the Patriotic Movement of the Ivory Coast. Rebellion against the Gbagbo government began September 19, 2002. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to send peacekeepers on September 29. The EECOWAS peacekeepers will join 2,500 French forces. Rebel groups occupy the
  • 03 Jan The 108th United States Congress is sworn in, including incoming freshmen Senators Saxby Chambliss (Republican-Georgia), Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina), John Sununu (Republican-New Hampshire), Lamar Alexander (Republican-Tennessee), Elizabeth Dole (Republican-North Carolina), Norm Coleman (Republican-Minnesota), and Mark Pryor (Democrat-Arkansas).
  • 04 Jan U.S. plan to invade Iraq: Turkey's Milliyet newspaper published a picture showing tanks at an airstrip that it said was the disused Bamerni air base inside Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. If this report is true, this may be the first evidence of a NATO military presence in Iraq.
  • 05 Jan Police arrest seven suspects in connection with Wood Green ricin plot.
  • 07 Jan US Congress convenes, with Republican Senate majority (51-48-1 independent)
  • 08 Jan US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashes at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing all 21 people aboard.
  • 09 Jan UN Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohammed El Baradei give a report to the United Nations Security Council. They say that progress on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is ampquotinching forwardampquot but that a more ampquotpro-activeampquot stance is required from the Iraqi government.
  • 10 Jan Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois' death row based on the Jon Burge scandal.
  • 11 Jan A U.S. court ordered the controversial organization Clonaid, which claims that it produced a human clone, to reveal the identity and whereabouts of the alleged cloned baby.
  • 12 Jan North Korea threatens that the US will vanish in a ampquotsea of fireampquot if it continues to challenge North Korea.
  • 13 Jan War on Terrorism: Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into ricin found in London. This brings the total of those arrested to eleven.
  • 14 Jan War on Terrorism: Three more suspects have been arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation into ricin found in London, although it now appears as though the raid was initially carried out as the pursuance of an investigation into immigration issues. A Special Branch police officer, Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. This brings the total of those arrested to fourteen.
  • 15 Jan The Supreme Court of the United States allows the extension of copyright terms in the U.S.
  • 16 Jan The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
  • 17 Jan Tom Ridge is unanimously recommended by a United States Senate subcommittee to be confirmed by the full Senate as head of the new United States Department of Homeland Security which is scheduled to begin operation on January 24. (RealAudio stream)
  • 18 Jan A bushfire kills 4 people and destroys more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia.
  • 19 Jan The Golden Globe awards are held in Beverley Hills. Martin Scorsese wins Best Director for ''Gangs of New York''. ''Chicago'' wins three awards.
  • 20 Jan Finsbury Park mosque in Finsbury Park, London, England, often associated with Islamic extremism, was raided by British police in an investigation related to the hunt for the poison ricin. Seven men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested, and a replica firearm, tear gas and a stun gun were reported as having been found on the premises.
  • 21 Jan A 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes the Mexican state of Colima, killing 29 and leaving approximately 10,000 people homeless.
  • 22 Jan The RIAA, a music industry lobbying group, announces that Hilary Rosen will step down as head of the organization at the end of 2003. Rosen achieved notoriety on the Internet for her prolific efforts to halt the spread of copyrighted MP3 recordings on peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as Napster and Kazaa. Reports indicate that the members of the RIAA are unhappy with Rosen's nearly total failure to achieve this goal.
  • 23 Jan Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10.
  • 24 Jan The new United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation.
  • 25 Jan 2003 Invasion of Iraq: A group of people left London, England, for Baghdad, Iraq, to serve as human shields to prevent the U.S.-led coalition troops from bombing certain locations.
  • 27 Jan The first selections for the National Recording Registry are announced by the Library of Congress.
  • 28 Jan An election in the state of Oregon to pass a temporary three-year income tax failed with 54% of the votes voting against and 44% voting for. This forced the first layoffs in the Oregon State Police since its creation in 1931, and other actions including cutbacks in many of the local school districts.
  • 29 Jan At the conclusion of the ''STS-107'' mission, the Space Shuttle ''Columbia'' disintegrates during reentry over Texas, killing all 7 astronauts on board.
  • 30 Jan The leaders of Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and the Spain release a statement, The Letter of the Eight, demonstrating support for the United States' plans to invade Iraq.
  • 31 Jan The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 01 Feb Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
  • 02 Feb The term of Czech Republic President Václav Havel ends without an elected successor to fill the position.
  • 03 Feb Record producer Phil Spector was arrested in relation to an investigation into the fatal shooting of a 40-year-old woman in Los Angeles. Press reports identify the woman as the actress Lana Clarkson.
  • 04 Feb The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.
  • 05 Feb U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the United Nations Security Council on Iraq, giving evidence of Iraq's efforts to conceal weapons of mass destruction from inspectors.
  • 06 Feb In the United Kingdom, seven more arrests have been made under the Terrorism Act 2000 in raids in the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester.
  • 07 Feb The Center for Public Interest, a United States nonprofit watchdog group, obtained a leaked draft version of John Ashcroft's proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, also known as ampquotthe Patriot Act IIampquot. If enacted, the legislation would grant the United States government unprecedented secret internal surveillance powers and sharply curtail judicial review of such surveillance,
  • 08 Feb Sections of a 'dodgy dossier' issued by the UK government, which purported to present the latest British intelligence about Iraq, and which had been cited by Tony Blair and Colin Powell as evidence for the need for war, were criticized as plagiarisms. They had been copied without permission from a number of sources including ''Jane's Intelligence Review'' and a 12-year-old doctoral thesis of a Californian student that had been published in the US journal ''Middle East Review of International
  • 09 Feb The Indian Government begins it largest ever vaccination program. It aims to inoculate children against polio within six days. (BBC)
  • 10 Feb France and Belgium break the NATO procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq.
  • 11 Feb The 2002 nominees for the Academy Award (''Oscar'') were announced to the public.
  • 12 Feb The British government deploys troops around Heathrow airport after reports that al-Qaeda agents may have smuggled surface-to-air missiles into Britain.
  • 13 Feb A small airplane crashes in southern Colombia. FARC guerillas kill one American and a Colombian army sergeant, and take three Americans hostage. FARC claims they are CIA agents; the US government claims they are defense contractors.
  • 14 Feb Four ex-Symbionese Liberation Army members were sentenced to prison for the 1975 murder of Myrna Opsahl during a bank robbery in Carmichael, California.
  • 15 Feb Protests against the Iraq war take place in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between 8 million to 30 million people participate, making this the largest peace demonstration in history.
  • 16 Feb A missile larger than allowed by UN sanction rules has been found in Iraq (BBC)
  • 17 Feb The London Congestion Charge scheme begins.
  • 18 Feb Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.
  • 19 Feb 2003 Iran Ilyushin Il-76 crash: A military plane carrying 302 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards crashed in the mountains of southeastern Iran killing all on board. The government did not go into the possible cause of the crash. The plane was en route from Zahedan, on the Pakistan border, to Kerman, about 500 miles southeast of Tehran.
  • 20 Feb During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.
  • 21 Feb Michael Jordan makes NBA history when he scores 43 points for the Washington Wizards versus the New Jersey Nets, becoming the first player over 40 years old to score 40 or more points in a game, and leading the Wizards to an 89–86 win.
  • 22 Feb Jesica Santillan, who was made critically ill after receiving donor organs of the wrong blood type in a medical accident during a heart-lung transplant, is taken off life support after being declared brain dead after a second heart-lung transplant operation.
  • 23 Feb The 45th Grammy Awards ceremony is held in New York City, dominated by newcomer Norah Jones receiving eight awards including Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.
  • 24 Feb Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles sells a 1943-D copper Lincoln cent graded MS-64 by PCGS for US$212,750, a record for any small cent.
  • 25 Feb US plan to invade Iraq: The United States, Britain and Spain present to the UN Security Council a much-anticipated second resolution stating that Iraq ampquothas failed to take the final opportunityampquot to disarm, but does not include deadlines or an explicit threat of military force. Meanwhile, France, Germany, and Russia offer a counter-proposal calling for peaceful disarmament through further inspections. Sometime reporter Jeff Gannon, actual name James Guckert, signs in at the White
  • 26 Feb An American businessman is admitted to the Vietnam France Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam with the first identified case of SARS. WHO doctor Carlo Urbani reports the unusual highly contagious disease to WHO.
  • 27 Feb Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavšić is sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison.
  • 28 Feb Canada's prime minister Jean Chrétien indicates that he believes that regime change is a dangerous goal for an invasion of Iraq, and that disarmament only should be the goal of international pressure.
  • 01 Mar The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the United States Customs Service, and the United States Secret Service move to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
  • 02 Mar Four North Korean fighter jets intercept a United States reconnaissance plane over international waters in the Sea of Japan
  • 03 Mar Under intense American pressure, Turkey indicates that its Parliament will consider a second vote on whether to allow U.S. troops to use Turkish bases for a military attack on Iraq.
  • 04 Mar Reports of a new security vulnerability in sendmail have been circulating, together with proof-of-concept exploit code. This raises fears of an imminent new Internet worm problem, unless existing vulnerable implementations are patched in time.
  • 05 Mar The Supreme Court of the United States, by a 5-4 margin, upholds California's "three strikes and you're out" law.
  • 06 Mar Britain: Abdullah el-Faisal is jailed for nine years for urging Islamists to kill non-believers, Americans, Hindus and Jews.
  • 07 Mar ''Pravda'' reports that Georgia intends to seek UN Security Council approval to use military force against Abkhazia.
  • 08 Mar An oil refinery and an oil pipeline are attacked in the northeastern Indian province of Assam. The United Liberation Front of Asom separatist group claims responsibility and according to regional newspapers threatens more such attacks.
  • 09 Mar ''ArabNews'' reports that Saddam Hussein demanded that the UN Security Council lift the ampquotembargo against Iraqampquot, denounce the United States and the United Kingdom as ampquotliarsampquot, strip Israel of weapons of mass destruction and force Israel to withdraw from ampquotPalestine and occupied Arab landampquot.
  • 10 Mar Iraq disarmament crisis: The White House press secretary, paraphrasing the President, stated ''ampquotIf the United Nations fails to act, that means the United Nations will not be the international body that disarms Saddam Hussein. Another international body will disarm Saddam Hussein.ampquot''
  • 11 Mar After 20 years of delay, the Brazilian government fulfilled its legal commitment to demarcate the lands of the Awá tribe.
  • 12 Mar Zoran ?in?ic, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade.
  • 13 Mar Human evolution: The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human have been found in Italy.
  • 14 Mar Osiel Cárdenas, suspected leader of a Mexican drug cartel, is arrested in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.
  • 15 Mar The World Health Organization issues warnings about an atypical pneumonia of unknown cause, dubbed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). It was first found in Asia and appears to have originated in Hong Kong. There are fears that unless measures are taken to control SARS, it may become epidemic.
  • 16 Mar The leaders of the United States, Britain, Portugal, and Spain meet at a summit in the Azores Islands. U.S. President Bush calls March 17 the "moment of truth", meaning that the "coalition of the willing" will make its final effort to extract a resolution from the U.N. Security Council, giving Iraq an ultimatum to disarm immediately or be disarmed by force.
  • 17 Mar U.S. President George W. Bush gives an ultimatum: Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his sons must either leave Iraq, or face military action at a time of the U.S.'s choosing.
  • 18 Mar FBI agents raid the corporate headquarters of HealthSouth Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama on suspicion of massive corporate fraud led by the company's top executives.
  • 19 Mar US President George Bush's 48-hour mandate for President Saddam Hussein and his sons to exit from Iraq expires. The first American cruise missiles and stealth bombers strike targets in Baghdad.
  • 20 Mar 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries begin military operations in Iraq.
  • 21 Mar An Illinois court ordered the tobacco company Philip Morris to pay for misleading consumers with the word ampquotlight.ampquot The company appeals.
  • 22 Mar The United States and the United Kingdom begin their "shock and awe" campaign, with a massive air strike on military targets in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • 23 Mar In Nasiriyah, Iraq, 11 soldiers of the 507th Maintenance Company as well as 18 U.S. Marines are killed during the first major conflict of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 654 Iraqi combatants are also killed.
  • 24 Mar The Arab League votes 21-1 in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of U.S. and British soldiers from Iraq.
  • 25 Mar SARS: Ontario declares a public health emergency. Anyone who was at Scarborough Grace Hospital in the past 10 days is to be isolated at home.
  • 26 Mar UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says that American and allied troops in Iraq must be used to provide humanitarian aid to Iraqis whilst the security situation is so unstable (BBC)
  • 27 Mar Richard Perle resigned as chairman of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, but agreed to remain a board member.
  • 28 Mar In a friendly fire incident, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the United States Idaho Air National Guard's 190th Fighter Squadron attack British tanks participating in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, killing British soldier Matty Hull.
  • 29 Mar Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: Dr. Carlo Urbani, a WHO expert on communicable diseases and the physician who first identified the outbreak, dies of the disease in Thailand. He had been infected in Vietnam.
  • 30 Mar Meigs Field Airport in Chicago, Illinois is demolished overnight.
  • 31 Mar In Japan, farm minister Tadamori Oshima resigns.
  • 01 Apr In Japan, The Postal Services Agency becomes Japan Post, a public corporation.
  • 02 Apr Iraqi military forces light oil wells on fire while retreating in the face of overwhelming US military might. This was considered an act of environmental terrorism.
  • 03 Apr Dr. Julie Gerberding, a director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, states her concern that SARS threatens to become a global pandemic.
  • 04 Apr Video footage of Saddam Hussein is shown on Iraqi television, and mentions the shooting down of an Apache helicopter, reducing speculation on the possible death of Saddam Hussein.
  • 05 Apr The Senate of Belgium approves a change in the nation's war crimes law so that it will no longer apply to citizens of nations with sufficient human rights laws. The House of Representatives had already approved the change. The law had been used in the past to charge such people as George H. W. Bush, Colin Powell and Ariel Sharon with war crimes, and had interfered with Belgium's international relations.
  • 06 Apr British forces step up their presence in the southern Iraq city of Basra. According to embedded journalists, the citizens of Basra braved gunfire to dance in the streets and cheer for the British troops. UPI's Chief International Correspondent Martin Walker claimed that he had witnessed at least one Basra citizen kiss a British tank.
  • 07 Apr U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein's regime falls two days later.
  • 08 Apr U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei reiterates a statement he made on March 31, to which the United States has yet to respond, that only the UN IAEA has a mandate to search out and destroy any nuclear weapons or parts of a nuclear weapons program found in Iraq.
  • 09 Apr 2003 invasion of Iraq: Baghdad falls to American forces;Saddam Hussein statue topples as Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader, pulling down the statue and tearing it to pieces.
  • 10 Apr United States Green Berets and Kurdish fighters enter the city of Kirkuk in Iraq with little resistance. Turkey and U.S., in separate statements, say they will not allow the Kurds to occupy the city.
  • 11 Apr The northern Iraqi city of Mosul falls to coalition forces as the Iraqi army's fifth Corps offers a letter of surrender. The only remaining major city left to fall is Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, where some expect the remaining regime loyalists to make their final stand.
  • 12 Apr Looting and lawlessness plague Baghdad. Hospitals looted, humanitarian aid hindered by unsafe conditions.
  • 13 Apr Ari Fleischer, press secretary to U.S. President George W. Bush, gives credit to The Pentagon for the apparent victory in the 2003 Iraq war.
  • 14 Apr U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985.
  • 15 Apr Abu Abbas captured by United States forces in Iraq.
  • 16 Apr A Bush administration official announces that the United States, People's Republic of China, and North Korea will meet in Beijing from April 23 to April 24 to discuss North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons program. The United States had refused bilateral discussions with North Korea since October 2002, insisting on multinational talks. The United States will be represented by Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly.
  • 17 Apr 2003 invasion of Iraq
  • 18 Apr Iraqi Police arrest Saddam Hussein's former finance minister, Hikmat Mizban Ibrahim al-Azzawi in Baghdad, and turn him over to U.S. Marines.
  • 19 Apr Nigeria holds a presidential election.
  • 20 Apr A bench clearing brawl happens in a baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the St. Louis Cardinals. Tino Martinez was hit by a 1–0 pitch from Miguel Batista, and took first base. He was then forced out at second base during the next batter's at-bat. When heading back to the dugout, Martinez charged Batista from behind. Batista turned and threw the ball at him, and players from both teams joined the altercation. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the game, 1–0, and the MLB suspends
  • 21 Apr Boston Marathon: Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot wins in 2:10:11, Svetlana Zakharova in 2:25:20 (legally blind American Marla Runyan finishes fifth), Ernst Van Dyk and Christina Ripp win the wheelchair races in 1:28:32 and 1:54:57 respectively.
  • 22 Apr The International Criminal Court elects its first prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo.
  • 23 Apr US President George W. Bush signs legislation authorizing changes to the design of the 5-cent coin through 2005, to commemorate the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • 24 Apr 2003 Iraq war: Iraqi former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz surrenders himself to U.S. forces
  • 25 Apr United States Army secretary Thomas E. White resigns amidst tensions with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over the direction future Army weapons development programs should take, and controversy surrounding White's previous employer, Enron. The Pentagon declines to provide specifics on the circumstances of his resignation.
  • 26 Apr Unknown assailants fire incendiary devices on an ammunition dump in suburban Baghdad, triggering hours of explosions. American sources put the casualties at six dead and four wounded Iraqi sources state 25 wounded. U.S Army 3rd Infantry Division the 11th Engineer Battalion Charlie Co. ASP(Ammo Security Point)89 tons of confiscated munitions exploded after an enemy attack.
  • 27 Apr Argentinians go to the polls to elect a president for the first time since the December 2001 economic collapse provoked street riots that unseated four presidents in two weeks. Carlos Menem beats fellow Peronist Néstor Kirchner in the first round of voting, but the closeness of the vote necessitates a runoff vote scheduled for May 18. Other candidates included former economy minister Ricardo López Murphy, former caretaker president Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, and lawmaker Elisa Carrio.
  • 28 Apr At Falluja, 50nbspkm from Baghdad, American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne opened fire on a group of protesters, killing between six and 17 and leaving others injured. The incident occurred during a demonstration outside a local school were American forces were stationed. The day before two soldiers were wounded in Ramadi when a hand grenade was thrown from a crowd. Different variasions of the incident exist. two days later on April 30, 2003, another shooting incident occurred in which three
  • 29 Apr The United States announces the withdrawal of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, and the redeployment of some at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.
  • 30 Apr The World Health Organization holds a meeting in Toronto regarding SARS.
  • 01 May 2003 invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the ''Mission Accomplished'' speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declares that ''major combat operations in Iraq have ended''.
  • 02 May The Monkeyman superhero hoax begins in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.
  • 03 May The Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation in New Hampshire, USA, crumbles after heavy rain.
  • 04 May Top Thrill Dragster opens in Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio as the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster.
  • 05 May Boeing unveils a drawing of a proposed ''airplane of the future'' and launches a public contest to name the aircraft.
  • 06 May Buckingham Palace announces that Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex are expecting their first child. The child, due to be born on May 6, 2003. He or she will be the seventh grandchild of Queen ElizabethnbspII and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
  • 07 May Nearly 40,000 manuscripts and 700 artifacts belonging to the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad are recovered by U.S. Customs agents working with museum experts in Iraq. Some looters had returned items after promises of rewards and amnesty, and many items previously reported missing had actually been hidden in secret storage vaults at the museum prior to the outbreak of war.
  • 08 May 30 German passengers and the driver of a tourist bus are killed by a train collision at a railroad crossing near Siofok, Hungary. 12 people are injured. Most of the passengers came from Lower Saxony or Schleswig-Holstein.
  • 09 May As many as 129 are feared dead after a door opens on a plane flying from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The victims were sucked from the plane, which returned to Kinshasa after the incident. Although the airline to which the plane belongs to is unknown, the plane involved in the tragedy has a logo of Ukrainian Cargo Airlines.
  • 10 May The first confirmed SARS case is reported in Finland. A man who had been visiting Toronto is now being treated at Turku University Hospital.
  • 11 May Benvenuto Cellini's ''Saliera'' is stolen from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
  • 12 May The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26 people.
  • 13 May The Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the Treasury Department of the United States releases a new 20 dollar note, aimed at defeating the technological advances of counterfeiters. The note is expected to begin circulating in the fall of 2003 which is five years since the last $20 note was released in 1998. New designs for the $50 and $100 notes will follow in 2004 and 2005. The most distinctive change in the new currency design is in color. It is the first U.S. currency since 1905 to
  • 14 May DARPA's Information Processing Technology Office solicits bids for the LifeLog project, an extremely ambitious effort to create a massive searchable computer database, ampquotan ontology-based (sub)system that captures, stores, and makes accessible the flow of one person's experience in and interactions with the worldnbsp... The objectivenbsp... is to be able to trace the 'threads' of an individual's life in terms of events, states, and relationshipsampquot.,
  • 15 May The date predicted by Pana-Wave Laboratory, a Japanese cult, on which a close encounter with an unknown planet would result in the extinction of most of humankind.
  • 16 May In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 people are injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.
  • 17 May Pen Hadow becomes the first person to walk alone, without any outside help, from Canada to the North Pole.
  • 18 May ''The Guardian'' reporter Andrew Meldrum, the last foreign journalist in Zimbabwe, is forcibly deported after covering the country for the last 23 years.
  • 19 May White House spokesman Ari Fleischer announces he will resign from his job in the summer, citing his desire to see his new wife more and to work in the private sector as reasons for his decision.
  • 20 May Christine Todd-Whitman announces that on June 27 she will resign her position as Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency{{Cite document
  • 21 May An explosion occurs inside the Yale University's Sterling Law School Building in New Haven, Connecticut, damaging two rooms. Investigators from the Joint Terrorism Task Force respond. No injuries reported. Authorities strongly believe the explosion was caused by a pipe bomb.
  • 22 May 2003 occupation of Iraq: Senators grill Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on the status of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.
  • 23 May Dewey, the first deer cloned by scientists at Texas A&M University, is born.
  • 24 May Police in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, release information on a new suspect in the Baton Rouge Serial Killer case.
  • 25 May After docking in Miami at 05:00, the ''SS Norway'' (old ''SS France'') is severely damaged by a boiler explosion at 06:30, that kills 7, and injures 17 crew members. A few weeks later it is announced by NCL that she will never sail again as a commercial ocean liner.
  • 26 May A Ukrainian YAk-42 plane crashes in northeast Turkey, near the city of Trabzon, killing all aboard. The plane carried 12 crew-members and 62 Spanish soldiers returning from a six-month peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.
  • 27 May Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon states that the ampquotoccupationampquot of Palestinian territories is ampquota terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestiniansampquot and ampquotcan't continue endlessly.ampquot Sharon's phraseology prompts shock from many in Israel, leading to a clarification that by ampquotoccupation,ampquot Sharon meant control of millions of Palestinian lives rather than actual physical occupation of land.
  • 28 May Peter Hollingworth becomes the first Governor-General of Australia to resign his office as a result of criticism of his conduct.
  • 29 May Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: NASA officials release experimental findings proving that the insulation known to have hit the leading edge of ''Columbia''ampnowikiamp'amp/nowikiamps left wing could have created a gap in between protective heat panels.
  • 30 May Disney releases the animated Disney-Pixar feature film Finding Nemo to theaters in the USA. American theater ticket sales: US$340 million. Worldwide theater ticket sales: US$850 million.
  • 31 May Eric Rudolph, suspected in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in 1996, is captured in Murphy, North Carolina.
  • 01 Jun The Railroad Museum of the Niagara Frontier opens.
  • 02 Jun Europe launches its first voyage to another planet, Mars. The European Space Agency's Mars Express probe launches from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.
  • 03 Jun A British Parliamentary committee announces it will hold an inquiry into the government's decision to go to war with Iraq.
  • 04 Jun Martha Stewart and her broker are indicted for using privileged investment information and then obstructing a federal investigation. Stewart also resigns as chairperson and chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living.
  • 05 Jun A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reaches its peak, as temperatures exceed 50?C (122?F) in the region.
  • 06 Jun NASA investigators cracked a reinforced carbon fiber wing by shooting it with a piece of insulation, providing more evidence that falling insulation may have caused the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
  • 07 Jun Foreign affairs minister of Finland, Erkki Tuomioja, says that NATO could be a good option for the Scandinavian country. Finland has been previously very conservative about military alliances and known for its neutrality. (In Finnish) A more balanced view is given in an interview in Helsingin Sanomat's English edition of June 10.
  • 08 Jun After several days of violence and confusion in Mauritania, Pro-Israeli President Maaouiya Ould Taya appears to have defeated the uprising against him.
  • 09 Jun Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition is routed in the Italian local elections.
  • 10 Jun The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission.
  • 11 Jun Three 160,000 year old human skulls unearthed in Ethiopia bridge an important gap in the human fossil record and lend support to the ampquotout of Africaampquot single origin theory of human evolution.
  • 12 Jun Attorney General of Massachusetts Thomas Reilly formally accuses college student Luke Thompson of creating a fake airline, Mainline Airways, and selling bogus tickets.
  • 13 Jun The Iraqi oil pipeline near Baiji catches fire, following two explosions
  • 14 Jun Czech citizens vote ampquotyesampquot to joining the European Union by 77% with 55% turnout.
  • 15 Jun The German Green Party backs Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's ''Agenda 2010'' with more than 90% of all votes at an extraordinary party convention.
  • 16 Jun The Church of All Saints, Yekaterinburg is consecrated to commemorate the spot where the Ipatiev House used to stand.
  • 17 Jun United States troops shoot dead two former Iraqi soldiers who were protesting that they had not been paid since their country was occupied.
  • 18 Jun Two months after becoming Finland's first female prime minister, Anneli Jäätteenmäki resigns amid accusations she lied about the leak of sensitive political information about Iraq discussions with George W. Bush during the election campaign.
  • 19 Jun The widely syndicated comic strip Garfield celebrates its 25th anniversary.
  • 20 Jun The WikiMedia Foundation is founded in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • 22 Jun The largest hailstone ever recorded falls in Aurora, Nebraska.
  • 23 Jun The Supreme Court of the United States upholds affirmative action in university admissions.
  • 24 Jun Six members of the British Royal Military Police are killed, in an attack in Majar al-Kabir, a village near the town of Amarah in Iraq. Eight others are wounded in two separate ambushes.
  • 26 Jun The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
  • 27 Jun The United States National "Do Not Call Registry" is formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolling almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.
  • 28 Jun In St. Charles, Illinois, the Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA show is held, over four days. Mecum Collector Car Auctioneers conducts the auction of over 300 Corvettes. Roger Judski pays US$640,000 for a 1967 L88 red coupe with only 12 miles on it. This is a world record for any production Corvette.
  • 29 Jun Thirteen are killed in a porch collapse in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 30 Jun Rosario Marin's term as Treasurer of the US ends.
  • 01 Jul Over 500,000 people protested against efforts to pass anti-sedition legislation in Hong Kong.
  • 02 Jul Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, insults German MP Martin Schulz by calling him a ''kapo'' during a session of the European Parliament.
  • 03 Jul The World Meteorological Organisation publishes a report stating that recent extreme weather conditions around the world may mark changes in global climate caused by global warming. (News.independent.co.uk)
  • 04 Jul A Shia Muslim mosque in Quetta, Pakistan, is stormed by armed attackers, killing at least 32 worshippers and wounding 52. (The Guardian)
  • 05 Jul Second Chechen War: At least 16 people are killed and 40 injured by two female suicide bombers in an attack at Krylya, a popular music festival, at the Tushino airfield near Moscow. The Russian authorities blame an on-going terrorism campaign by Chechen rebels; the Chechen government denies any connection to the attacks. (BBC)
  • 06 Jul The 70-metre Eupatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message (Cosmic Call 2) to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri (HD 75732), HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris (HD 95128). The messages will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049 respectively.
  • 07 Jul MSNBC fires conservative talk show host Michael Savage for making several anti-gay remarks towards a prank caller posing as a homosexual. Savage, who was angered by aggressive personal attacks made by ampquotEast Coast Bobampquot, the prank caller, stated that the caller ampquotshould only get AIDS and dieampquot. Gay rights group GLAAD applauds the decision to fire Savage.
  • 08 Jul A worker at a Lockheed Martin aircraft parts factory in Meridian, Mississippi, shoots 13 co-workers, killing five, before committing suicide. Investigators are unsure of the motive. (Washington Post)
  • 09 Jul The ferry MV Nasrin-1 capsizes and sinks near Chandpore in Bangladesh. The whereabouts of most of the approximately 700 passengers is unknown.
  • 10 Jul A Neoplan bus, owned by Kowloon Motor Bus, collides with a truck, falls off a bridge on Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong, and plunges into the underlying valley, killing 21 people. This is the deadliest traffic accident to date in Hong Kong.
  • 11 Jul Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-born Canadian journalist, dies of injuries received from a beating while in Iranian custody. She had been arrested on June 23 while taking photographs outside an Iranian prison. Her death sparks a furor between Canada and Iran over the disposition of her body and the punishment of her killers, and among international free speech groups concerned with freedom of the press in Iran.
  • 12 Jul The intelligence service of the United States says that the CIA's head, George Tenet, accepted George W. Bush's speech in January, which included wrong information of Iraq's plans to buy uranium from Africa.
  • 13 Jul A national governing council meets for the first time in Baghdad, as US troops launch a new assault on anti-coalition elements.
  • 14 Jul Washington Post columnist Robert Novak publishes the name of Valerie Plame, blowing her cover as a US Central Intelligence Agency operative. The Central Intelligence Agency leak scandal begins.
  • 15 Jul AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation is established on the same day.
  • 16 Jul Seán Ó Muireagáin, a Northern Irish journalist, arrested by Israel and held for five days without legal representation in a case of mistaken identity, is released and leaves Israel. The affair causes considerable embarrassment to the Israeli and British secret services, the former having arrested Ó Mureagáin on the advice of the latter, who claimed incorrectly that he was a Real IRA man with the same name. In the confused aftermath, the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman suggests that Ó
  • 17 Jul Same-sex marriage in Canada: the federal government releases its draft bill to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples while protecting the rights of clergy not to perform marriages that run counter to their religious beliefs. The government will seek a reference from the Supreme Court of Canada to ensure the bill is constitutional.
  • 18 Jul U.S. Basketball: Eagle County, Colorado District Attorney Mark Hurlbert announces that Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has been charged with one count of felony sexual assault, stemming from a June 30 incident at a gated resort involving a 19-year-old woman.
  • 19 Jul The US Iraqi Governing Council announces that it has failed to select a new Iraqi President.
  • 20 Jul France: Sixteen people are injured after two bombs explode outside a tax office in Nice.
  • 21 Jul Eleven support towers on Kinzua Bridge collapse after being hit by an F-1 tornado.
  • 22 Jul Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attack a compound in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay, along with Mustapha Hussein, Qusay's 14-year old son, and a bodyguard.
  • 23 Jul ''Die Zeit'', a German newspaper, publishes an opinion poll which claims that almost one in three Germans under the age of 30 believe the United States government ampquotcould have ordered the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon itselfampquot. 1000 people took part in the survey.
  • 24 Jul The United States' provisional authority in Iraq releases photos of what are presumably the dead bodies of Uday and Qusay Hussein in an attempt to show the Iraqi people proof that the two were actually killed in a U.S. military operation.
  • 25 Jul United States swimmer Michael Phelps breaks world records in the butterfly and individual medley at the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona to become the first man ever to break two world records for swimming on a single day. (BBC)
  • 26 Jul The electorate of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma approves a new constitution redesignating the tribe quotCherokee Nationquot without quotof Oklahomaquot and specifically disenfranchising the Cherokee Freedmen.
  • 27 Jul Comedian Bob Hope dies in his sleep
  • 28 Jul The United Nations Security Council appoints Harri Holkeri to head the temporary civilian administration UNMIK in Kosovo.
  • 30 Jul In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.
  • 01 Aug North Korea agrees to multilateral talks in its nuclear standoff with Japan, South Korea, Russia, The United States, and the People's Republic of China.
  • 02 Aug The ''Daily Telegraph'' in the United Kingdom claims attempts by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) to destroy allegedly important documents about its treatment of BBC source Dr. David Kelly in the weeks before his suicide were foiled by a security guard, who found the documents scheduled for destruction and called the police. The MoD insists the documents were not that important but will now be preserved and supplied to the Hutton Inquiry into the Kelly case.
  • 03 Aug At least 52 people have died in a series of explosions in northern Pakistan (BBC).
  • 04 Aug Construction workers of Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, People's Republic of China accidentally dig out five Japanese mustard gas bombs from the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Two of the bombs are damaged, and the gas poisons 43 (one died 19 days later). Japan a week later accepts responsibility and sends doctors and compensation to China.
  • 05 Aug A car bomb explodes in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.
  • 06 Aug 2003 California recall: Arnold Schwarzenegger announces he will run for Governor of California in the recall election of Gray Davis.
  • 07 Aug 2003 California recall: Republican Darrell Issa, the person behind the effort of recall election of Gray Davis, quickly and without warning dropped out of the gubernatorial race.
  • 08 Aug Hezbollah, a militant Lebanese group backed by Syria and Iran, fires artillery toward Israeli border posts, drawing return fire. It was the first such exchange in eight months. AP story
  • 09 Aug A historic heat wave continues to afflict Europe and is expected to continue for another week. Spain and Portugal are particularly hard hit forest fires in Portugal are declared a national disaster, with damages estimated at . Other fires are reported on Majorca and in the Canary Islands. Temperatures of 49 °C are recorded in Andalusia. Scotland records its highest temperature in history, 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) at Greycrook, near Newtown St. Boswells, Borders, the previous record had stood since
  • 10 Aug The highest temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom : 38.5 ?C (101.3 ?F) in Kent. It is the first time the United Kingdom has recorded a temperature over 100 ?F (38 ?C).
  • 11 Aug NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.
  • 12 Aug War on Terrorism: An exclusive BBC report says a joint United States, Russia and United Kingdom ampquotstingampquot halted a plot to shoot down Air Force One using an Igla surface to air missile. According to the BBC, the plot, initially unearthed by the Russians, led President Vladimir Putin to request that an FBI agent go to St. Petersburg, where the agent posed as an Islamic extremist and met the British arms dealer supplying the missile. The missile was shipped from St. Peterburg to
  • 13 Aug Ivan Jovović and Bogdan Bukomirić, both 16 years old, from Goraždevac near Peć die after two attackers fired AK-47s on a group of children from Goraždevac who were bathing in the river Bistrica. Four children were injured in the attack, two of which are in critical condition. UNMIK and KFOR claimed that they transferred one of them, Marko Bogićević, to Belgrade, but he is actually in a German military hospital at Prizren, against his parents' wishes. An Italian KFOR patrol refused to lend fuel
  • 14 Aug US intelligence officer Captain William Ponce contacts fellow officers in Iraq, informing them that a colonel has indicated prisoners need to be "broken", to gather information to prevent further attacks on American soldiers.
  • 15 Aug Oil price increases since 2003: Global oil production begins a 4-year plateau (and subsequent decline) in the face of rising demand, causing new price increases.
  • 16 Aug Major blackout: Power is now restored in New York City, Toronto, and most of Ottawa. Authorities warn of possible future disruptions and advise conservation as work continues to restore power to the entire grid. Theories as to the cause of the event, meanwhile, are becoming more substantial and coherent
  • 17 Aug Major blackout: investigators now believe the blackout began in Ohio. FirstEnergy Corporation, which services people in the state, released a statement Saturday that three of its transmission lines tripped off at Unit 5 of their Eastlake Plant hours before the blackout, and may have been its cause.
  • 18 Aug War on Terrorism: Arab television airs an audio tape allegedly from al Qaeda official Abdel Rahman al-Najdi saying Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Omar are alive. The tape advocates Muslims to commit terroristic acts and fight the Coalition forces in Iraq.
  • 19 Aug A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq kills the agency's top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 other employees.
  • 20 Aug War on Terrorism – Canal Hotel: US officials comment terror group linked to al Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, is emerging as a top suspect in the U.N. headquarters bombing in Baghdad. ampquotIt's part of a global war against terrorism that was officially declared on us on September 11. It's quite clear we do have terrorists inside Iraq now.ampquot
  • 21 Aug Occupation of Iraq: General Ali Hassan al-Majid (Chemical Ali) is reportedly captured in Iraq. He had previously been reported dead. August 21082003133538.asp
  • 22 Aug Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.
  • 23 Aug In an unprecedented move, the British government submit thousands of official documents (many of which would not normally be seen by the public for 30 years) to the Hutton Inquiry, and publication on the Internet.
  • 24 Aug Hurricane Ignacio approaches the coast of Baja California. Harbours and airports close and low-lying areas are evacuated.
  • 25 Aug The Tli Cho land claims agreement is signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko).
  • 26 Aug The Columbia Accident Investigation Board releases its final reports on Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
  • 27 Aug Bank robber Brian Douglas Wells is killed when a time bomb around his neck explodes, allegedly in an act of betrayal by his co-conspirators.
  • 28 Aug In the USA, Brian Douglas Wells wears a time bomb explosive fastened to his neck, and dies. The event stands out as the most bizarre event in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • 29 Aug Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia Muslim leader in Iraq, is assassinated in a terrorist bombing, along with nearly 100 worshippers as they leave a mosque in Najaf.
  • 30 Aug Software patents: After protests, the European Parliament has postponed its decision about legality of patents on software in the European Union from September 1 to September 22.
  • 31 Aug Tens of thousands of people turn out in Baghdad for the funeral procession of the murdered Shia Muslim leader Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim.
  • 01 Sep Dutch dispensaries are to become the first in the world to offer cannabis as a prescription drug. (BBC)
  • 02 Sep Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden says that his organization is working on ampquot''serious projects''ampquot, and that his priority is to use biological weapons against the United States. Al Qaeda may already have such weapons, and be seeking means to transport and launch them.
  • 03 Sep The Hubble Space Telescope starts Hubble Ultra Deep Field.
  • 04 Sep Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh is stabbed in a Stockholm department store and dies the next day.
  • 05 Sep Hong Kong's leader Tung Chee-hwa announces that he will indefinitely postpone plans for an extremely unpopular security bill which sparked massive public protests and would have granted the government broad powers to prosecute vaguely defined threats to national security.
  • 06 Sep Johns Hopkins researchers retract all results of a frequently cited study which claimed that extensive and permanent brain damage occurred after just a single dose of Ecstasy. Due to a labelling mistake on the experimental drug vials, all but one of the animals involved in the study were not actually given Ecstasy at all, but were instead given the drug d-methamphetamine.
  • 07 Sep Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declares that Hamas leaders are ampquotmarked for deathampquot and will not have a moment's rest, after Israel failed in an attempt to kill the top-ranking members of Hamas with a 550-pound bomb dropped on a Gaza City apartment.
  • 08 Sep ''Occupation of Iraq'': Declaring Iraq to be the ampquotcentral frontampquot in the war against terrorism, President Bush asks Congress for to help pay for the reconstruction of Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
  • 09 Sep Governor Frank O'Bannon of Indiana lapses into a coma following an operation after the governor suffered a stroke in a Chicago hotel room. Lieutenant Governor Joe Kernan becomes acting governor.
  • 10 Sep The Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh is stabbed while shopping for clothes at a mall without bodyguards.
  • 11 Sep Actor John Ritter is stricken by a previously undiagnosed heart problem during the taping of the TV sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, dying in hospital at age 54.
  • 12 Sep The United Nations lifts sanctions against Libya after that country agreed to accept responsibility and recompense the families of victims in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
  • 13 Sep Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon dies after suffering a stroke on September 8 in Chicago, Illinois. Joe Kernan, the Lieutenant Governor, is sworn in as Indiana's 48th Governor.
  • 14 Sep Top American commander in Iraq Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez authorizes a wide range of new interrogation procedures, including deliberate humiliation, exploiting fear of dogs, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, and stress positions.
  • 15 Sep China formally acknowledges that it has transferred guard duties along the China – North Korea border from the police to the army. The government does not formally report the number of troops deployed, however independent media estimate place it at 150,000.
  • 16 Sep WNBA Finals: The Detroit Shock defeat the Los Angeles Sparks, 83–78 in Game three, to win the series two games to one, and the WNBA's world championship.
  • 17 Sep NASA says that capsules similar to those used in the Apollo program are among the options considered as replacements to the Space Shuttle.
  • 18 Sep International Atomic Energy Agency: Iranian officials give signals that they do not intend to comply with a resolution passed by the United Nations's nuclear watchdog giving Tehran until the end of next month to come clean on its atomic programme. Parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karrubi, a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami, said the IAEA resolution was ampquotpoliticalampquot and that ampquotthe Iranian people will not accept giving in to the logic of force.ampquot
  • 19 Sep Peace: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan rings the Japanese Peace Bell, marking International Day of Peace at United Nations Headquarters in New York, cautioning that for some, the direst threat to peace was terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, while for others it was poverty, disease, deprivation, and civil war.
  • 20 Sep Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel says that the United Nations resolution on Yasser Arafat (passed 133–4 with 15 abstentions) ampquotis meaningless. It is only a declaration and not legally binding.ampquot Yasser Arafat states it is of the ampquotutmost importanceampquot as a sign of international support for the Palestinians. Israel states Palestinians should focus their energy on fighting terrorism. Israel also insists that a new government being formed by incoming Palestinian Prime
  • 21 Sep Galileo mission is terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter's atmosphere, where it is crushed by the pressure at the lower altitudes.
  • 22 Sep David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon.
  • 23 Sep California recall: An 11-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturns the earlier ruling of a three-judge panel and reinstates October 7 as the date of the California gubernatorial recall election. The American Civil Liberties Union, whose suit was responsible for the original decision, will not appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • 24 Sep Swedish police arrests a new suspect in the murder of Anna Lindh. Per-Olof Svensson is no longer a suspect and has been released.
  • 25 Sep Terrorism: FBI probes Hamas-linked 'criminal enterprises' associated with the radical Islamic group Hamas that has taken responsibility for a string of bombings in Israel. Hamas also declares the organization would not participate with other Palestinian groups in a proposed cease-fire nor join the next Palestinian government. Sheik Ahmed Yassin states ampquotthe enemy is continuing his aggression, killing, and settlement activities.ampquot
  • 26 Sep Medicine: An experimental treatment given to a British man has halted the progress of brain damage caused by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
  • 27 Sep Smart 1 satellite is launched.
  • 28 Sep Nuclear Weapons: Iran remains defiant about nuclear program. Iran states it will not give up its nuclear program (including uranium enrichment). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have given Iran until October 31 to prove it has no secret nuclear arms program and told it to halt enrichment activities. Iran states international pressure will not deter its nuclear plans.
  • 29 Sep Abdalla Yones, who was convicted of murder for killing his daughter, Heshu Yones, for dating a Christian, is sentenced to life in prison after becoming the first person in Britain to admit an ampquothonour killingampquot.
  • 30 Sep Air France and KLM are completing their merger.
  • 01 Oct South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun reiterates offer to the United States to consider a request for South Korean participation in Multi-National Force – Iraq in exchange for ampquotpositiveampquot movement to resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
  • 02 Oct North Korea claims to ampquothave already processedampquot 8,000 fuel rods from its Yongbyon nuclear reactor north of Pyongyang and is using the plutonium extracted during the process to make atomic bombs to boost its nuclear capabilities for nuclear deterrent force. Citing a ampquothostile policyampquot by the United States, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon states this is a means to safeguard the country's territory.
  • 03 Oct Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy is attacked by one of the show's tigers, canceling the show until 2009, when they rejoined the tiger that mauled Roy just six years earlier.
  • 04 Oct Israeli-Palestinian conflict: A Palestinian suicide bomber blows herself up in a crowded beach restaurant in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa, killing at least 19 people and wounding about two dozen, at least six seriously. Hours later Israeli helicopter gunships retaliate by attacking targets in Gaza City and Central Gaza.
  • 05 Oct Maher Arar is reported to have been freed from a Syrian jail. The Canadian engineer was deported to Syria by the United States as he changed planes in New York, over a year ago. He will arrive in Montreal the following afternoon.
  • 06 Oct 2004 U.S. Democratic Primaries: Senator Bob Graham announces on ''Larry King Live'' that he is ending his 2004 presidential campaign.
  • 07 Oct Voters recall California Governor Gray Davis from office and elect actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to succeed him.
  • 08 Oct Nobel Prize: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded jointly to Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon for discoveries concerning aquaporins and ion channels in cell membranes.
  • 09 Oct The Mission: Space attraction opens in Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida. The attraction cost US$150 million to build.
  • 10 Oct Nobel Prize: Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights lawyer, is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 11 Oct Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israeli troops pull back in Gaza. Israel will continue to demolish tunnels. The Israeli army states it discovers three tunnels in the camp, but no weapons have been found. A Palestinian teenager is shot dead and up to 10 homes were demolished and water and electricity facilities were hit. Palestinian militants were seeking to smuggle from Egypt shoulder-fired missiles that could be used against tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets.
  • 12 Oct China launches Shenzhou 5, their first manned space mission.
  • 13 Oct 2003 occupation of Iraq: New draft resolution being circulated at UN aims at getting international aid. The resolution sets a deadline for initial steps, if only for a transitional step, toward restoring Iraqi sovereignty, giving the Iraqi Governing Council until December 15 to develop a timetable for writing a constitution and holding elections. The Bush administration proposes that the United Nations recognize the Iraqi Governing Council as a unit that ''ampquotwill embody the
  • 14 Oct Religion: RTÉ's ''Prime Time'' current affairs programme reports that Cahal Daly, Bishop of Down and Conor, refused to accept allegations passed on to him by students of improper sexual conduct by Monsignor Micheal Ledwith, then head of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland's major seminary. According to the programme Daly became aggressive, telling students ampquotgo back and say your prayersampquot. The TV programme confirms that Daly, and his predecessor, Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich, were
  • 15 Oct The 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash kills 11 after one of its ferries slams into a pier.
  • 16 Oct Occupation of Iraq: The UN Security Council unanimously approves a new US resolution on Iraq. Russia, Germany and France back the resolution but will not provide troops or money. A survey indicates poor morale amongst the US troops serving in Iraq.
  • 17 Oct Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada is ousted from office, ending the bolivian gas conflict, and flees to the United States.
  • 18 Oct Bolivian Gas War: President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, is forced to resign and leave Bolivia.
  • 19 Oct Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II.
  • 20 Oct Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien indicates that during an informal meeting between him and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president indicated that he was tentatively in favour of signing the Kyoto Protocol. Russia's signature is absolutely necessary for the protocol to acquire the force of law.
  • 21 Oct Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in documenting its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.
  • 22 Oct India: India launches a peace initiative to normalise relations with Pakistan. Formal talks are conditional on Islamabad ending Kashmiri cross-border terrorism initiatives.
  • 23 Oct Luis A. Ferré, the third Democratically Elected Governor of Puerto Rico, dies at age 99.
  • 24 Oct The Concorde makes its last commercial flight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic travel to a close, at least for the time being.
  • 25 Oct The Cedar Fire begins in San Diego County, burning 280,000 acres (1,100 square km), 2,232 homes and killing 14.
  • 26 Oct The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, kills 15 people, consumes 250,000 acres (1,000 km?), and destroys 2,200 homes around San Diego.
  • 27 Oct Occupation of Iraq: More than 40 people are killed and over 200 are injured in a wave of coordinated bomb attacks on the Red Cross compound and several local police stations in Baghdad. George W. Bush states that the bombings are a sign of desperation by the insurgents.
  • 28 Oct Economics: The United States Federal Reserve leaves its key interest rate unchanged at today's meeting, saying that rates will be kept low for a considerable period.
  • 29 Oct Medicine: The US FDA approves Risperdal Consta (Risperidone long-acting injection) for the treatment of schizophrenia. Although already approved in several other countries, it is the first long-acting, atypical antipsychotic medication to be approved by the FDA.
  • 30 Oct A plastic toy gun, used as part of a Halloween costume, sparks a two-hour-long terrorism scare at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
  • 31 Oct A bankruptcy court approves MCI's reorganization plans, essentially clearing the telecommunications company to exit bankruptcy.
  • 01 Nov Israeli-Palestinian conflict: In Israel, a hard-hitting UN report says that Israel will effectively annex large areas of Palestinian territory as a result of the permits it intends to issue to Palestinians near the wall being built. The Israeli West Bank barrier has been built inside the internationally recognised Green Line about 18,000 acres (73nbspkmampsupamp2amp/supamp) and cuts off the rest of the West Bank. It has been declared a ampquotclosed military zoneampquot.
  • 02 Nov Occupation of Iraq: In the heaviest single loss for the coalition troops since cessation of the military campaign in Iraq two US Chinook helicopters are fired on by two surface-to-air missiles and one crashes near Fallujah and on its way to Baghdad airport; 16 soldiers are killed and 20 wounded. A blast damages an oil pipeline near Kirkuk, north of Baghdad.
  • 03 Nov Occupation of Iraq: US Congress allocates of the funds dedicated for rebuilding. U.S. President Bush had been strongly opposed to this provision.
  • 04 Nov The U.S. National Cancer Institute is funding human clinical studies to test experimental reovirus-based cancer treatments, after initial studies show promising results against a number of different types of tumor which contain the Ras oncogene.
  • 05 Nov Gary Ridgway, the quotGreen River Killerquot, confesses to murdering 48 women.
  • 06 Nov Weather is an unseasonably warm 18 degrees c in London Heathrow Airport
  • 07 Nov Occupation of Iraq:
  • 08 Nov In Pakistan, ''United Press International'' reports a letter sent to members of the opposition in Pakistan on a military letterhead causes panic in President Pervez Musharraf's government because it says he ampquothas been imposed on this nation.ampquot The letter reportedly states that ampquot''We want to assure the nation that this army belongs to you and to Pakistannbsp... Pervez Musharraf and his clique has been imposed on this nation''ampquot.
  • 09 Nov Guatemalan election: Large numbers of voters turn out for the general election, despite fears of violence. In the presidential race, former Guatemala City mayor Óscar Berger receives 34% of the vote, and center-left candidate Álvaro Colom gets 26% former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt comes in third in with 19%. A run-off vote between Berger and Colom is to take place on December 28.
  • 10 Nov The World Trade Organization declares United States tariffs on steel imports inconsistent with free trade, opening the way for the European Union to impose punitive tariffs on goods of US origin.
  • 11 Nov The US Senate backs legislation imposing sanctions on Syria the bill allows the president to adjust sanctions as a function of Syria's co-operativeness.
  • 12 Nov Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems.
  • 13 Nov ''SCO v. IBM:'' SCO Group files subpoenas for Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds.
  • 14 Nov Astronomers Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz discover 90377 Sedna, a Trans-Neptunian object.
  • 15 Nov The first day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings, in which two car bombs, targeting two synagogues, explode, killing 25 people and wounding about 300. Additional bombings follow on November 20.
  • 16 Nov The Serbian presidential election fails as only 38% of the registered electorate show up to vote. About 18% of registered voters cast a vote for Tomislav Nikolic, 14% for Dragoljub Micunovic, 4% for Velimir Ilic, and 3% for other candidates. With a turnout of less than 50%, the poll is declared invalid.
  • 17 Nov Lord Black of Crossharbour is pushed to resign as chief executive of his media empire, which may be sold.
  • 18 Nov The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that the state may not ''deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.''
  • 19 Nov The Canada-U.S. Power System Outage Task Force releases an interim report, citing a loss of situational awareness in FirstEnergy Corporation's control room as the primary cause and ampquotimmatureampquot monitoring software used at the Midwest Independent System Operator as a secondary cause.
  • 20 Nov After the November 15 bombings, a second day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings occurs in Istanbul, Turkey, destroying the Turkish head office of HSBC Bank AS and the British consulate.
  • 21 Nov President George W. Bush arrives back in the United States after his controversial State Visit to the UK.
  • 22 Nov The Georgian Rose Revolution ends in overwhelming victory president Eduard Shevardnadze resigns following weeks of mass protests over fraudulent elections.
  • 23 Nov Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigns following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections.
  • 24 Nov The use of hand-held cell phones while driving is made illegal in the United Kingdom.
  • 25 Nov Annualized Q3 growth rate in the US gross domestic product exceeds 8%, the highest rate of growth since the Reagan administration.
  • 26 Nov Concorde makes its final flight, over Bristol, England.
  • 27 Nov Scientists warn that a devastating influenza epidemic is not only inevitable but may be imminent.
  • 28 Nov The November 28 issue of the journal ''Science'' reports that the United States is not sufficiently prepared to respond to an influenza pandemic.
  • 29 Nov In Norfolk, Virginia, the USS ''Cole'' leaves port on the destroyer's first overseas deployment since it was bombed in 2000 in Yemen's port at Aden.
  • 30 Nov Syria hands over 22 suspects to Turkey on Sunday in connection with four deadly suicide bombings in Istanbul, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
  • 01 Dec Occupation of Iraq:: The firefight in which more than 50 Iraqis are reported killed is now thought to have been an attempted currency heist. One GI is killed Monday in fighting west of Baghdad.
  • 02 Dec Venezuelan opposition leaders claim to have gathered enough petition signatures to force a referendum to recall President Hugo Chávez; in response, the government alleges the four-day signature drive was tainted by "massive fraud".
  • 03 Dec Deng Pufang, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the Plaza de Mayo Grandmothers and others are announced as the winners of the UN human rights prizes, which are awarded every 5 years.
  • 04 Dec Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller is injured in a helicopter crash outside Warsaw.
  • 05 Dec Suicide bombers blow up a morning rush-hour commuter train in Russia's Northern Caucasus, on the border with Chechnya; at least 40 people are killed.
  • 06 Dec Australian Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett stands aside after allegedly assaulting Liberal Jeannie Ferris on the floor of Parliament.
  • 07 Dec The Conservative Party of Canada is officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
  • 08 Dec The Aso Rock Declaration is issued at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, outlining the Commonwealth's priority objectives.
  • 09 Dec A blast in the center of Moscow kills six people and wounds several more.
  • 10 Dec Western leaders are criticised at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva.
  • 11 Dec Spamming: Virginia indicts two men (one arrested) on felony charges for violating state laws on bulk e-mail solicitations.
  • 12 Dec A plot by militants linked to Al Qaeda to blow up the United Kingdom embassy in Yemen is foiled.
  • 13 Dec Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).
  • 14 Dec President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
  • 15 Dec Wesley Clark concludes his first day of closed-door testimony against Slobodan Milošević at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
  • 16 Dec President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law establishes the United States' first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission to enforce its provisions.
  • 17 Dec The Soham murder trial ends at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
  • 18 Dec The Soham Murder Trial ends at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
  • 19 Dec Italian dairy company Parmalat declared a 3.96 billion euro hole in its accounts when the amount held by Cayman Islands-based unit, Bonlat Financing Corporation, was declared false by Bank of America.
  • 20 Dec Libya admits to building a nuclear bomb.
  • 21 Dec "The American Soldier" is named as TIME magazine's "Person of the Year". The periodical's editors chose the anonymous soldier to represent the 1.4 million men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces.
  • 22 Dec An earthquake shakes up California, killing two people.
  • 23 Dec PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion, Guoqiao, Kai County, Chongqing, China, killing at least 234.
  • 24 Dec A BSE (mad cow disease) outbreak in Washington State is announced. Several countries including Brazil, Australia and Taiwan ban the import of beef from the United States of America.
  • 25 Dec Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf survives a suicide bomber attack on his motorcade, the second attempt to assassinate him in two weeks.
  • 26 Dec A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-e Bam.
  • 27 Dec The estimate of the number of dead in the Bam earthquake increases to 40,000, according to the provincial governor. Iran has refused earthquake aid from Israel.
  • 28 Dec Serbian parliamentary election, 2003: Serbia holds a parliamentary election. The Serbian Radical Party wins 81 seats in the 250-seat parliament.
  • 29 Dec The last known speaker of Akkala Sami dies, rendering the language extinct.
  • 30 Dec The European Union is investigating a series of parcel bombs targeting the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and Europol headquarters at The Hague. Investigators state that it is too early to draw any connections between these bombs and the letter bomb sent two days ago to the Bologna home of Romano Prodi, the head of the European Commission.
  • 31 Dec In Taiwan, President Chen Shui-bian signs a law that allows referendums to be held. The People's Republic of China condemns this.