Historical Events for Year 2003
Events 1 - 143 of 143
Jan 13th - Rock musician Pete Townshend of The Who was arrested in London on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. He was later cleared.
Jan 16th - The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
Jan 18th - A bushfire kills 4 people and destroys more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia.
Jan 22nd - Last successful contact with the spacecraft Pioneer 10, one of the most distant man-made objects.
Jan 23rd - Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10
Jan 24th - The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation.
Jan 30th - Belgium legally recognizes same-sex marriage.
Jan 31st - The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia.
Feb 1st - Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
Feb 2nd - Jennifer Lopez starts a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'All I Have'
Feb 2nd - Russian pop girl duo Tatu start a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'All The Things She Said'
Feb 4th - The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution.
Feb 10th - 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.
Feb 15th - An estimated eleven million people around the world take to the streets to protest against the looming war with Iraq
Feb 16th - Michael Waltrip wins motor racing's Daytona 500 after rain stops the race for a second time at lap 109
Feb 17th - The London Congestion Charge scheme begins.
Feb 18th - Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) makes perihelion, seen by SOHO.
Feb 18th - Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.
Feb 20th - During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.
Recording Artist Jennifer Lopez Feb 27th - Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavsic is sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison
Feb 27th - Rowan Williams is enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican church.
Mar 1st - Management of the United States Customs Service and the United States Secret Service move to the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Mar 2nd - The first International Symposium on Taiwan Sign Language Linguistics is held at Chung Cheng University.
Mar 5th - In Haifa, 17 Israeli civilians are killed by a Hamas suicide bomb in the Haifa bus 37 massacre.
Mar 11th - The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague.
Mar 12th - Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade.
Mar 12th - Elizabeth Smart, was found after having been missing for 9 months.
Mar 13th - Human evolution: The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human have been found in Italy.
Mar 14th - Start of weekend of protests against war in Iraq that are attended by millions
Mar 15th - Hu Jintao takes over presidency for the People's Republic of China.
Mar 16th - The largest coordinated worldwide vigil takes place, as part of the global protests against Iraq war.
Mar 17th - British Cabinet Minister Robin Cook, resigns over government plans for the war with Iraq.
Mar 18th - 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.
Mar 18th - British Sign Language is recognised as an official British language.
Mar 19th - Invasion of Iraq by American and British led coalition begins without United Nations support and in defiance of world opinion
Mar 23rd - 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.
Mar 24th - 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.
Mar 28th - 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.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein Apr 7th - U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein's regime falls two days later.
Apr 9th - Baghdad falls to U.S. forces resulting in widespread looting
Apr 14th - The Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%.
Apr 14th - U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the Achille Lauro in 1985.
Apr 16th - The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.
Apr 23rd - Beijing closes all schools for two weeks because of the SARS virus.
May 1st - 2003 invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, U.S. President George W. Bush declares that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" on board the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California.
May 3rd - New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses.
May 10th - The May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence takes place.
May 12th - The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26.
May 12th - Fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers bring the Texas Legislature to a standstill by going into hiding in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan.
May 16th - In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 people are injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.
May 21st - An earthquake hits northern Algeria killing more than 2,000 people.
May 22nd - In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.
May 23rd - The euro exceeds its initial trading value as it hits $1.18 for the first time since its introduction in 1999.
43rd US President George W. Bush May 25th - Néstor Kirchner becomes President of Argentina after defeating Carlos Menem. He is the first elected President since the economic crisis.
May 26th - Only three days after a previous record, Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours 56 minutes. The tourism ministry of Nepal confirms this record in July that year.
May 28th - Peter Hollingworth becomes the first Governor-General of Australia to resign his office as a result of criticism of his conduct.
Jun 1st - The People's Republic of China begins filling the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam.
Jun 2nd - 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.
Jun 5th - A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reaches its peak, as temperatures exceed 50°C (122°F) in the region.
Jun 10th - The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission.
Jun 18th - Google launches AdSense, a program that enables website publishers to serve ads targeted to the specific content of their individual web pages, many of which like HistoryOrb.com go on to start their own publishing businesses
Jun 26th - The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.
Jun 27th - The United States National Do Not Call Registry, formed to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission, enrolls almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.
Jul 2nd - Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy, insults German MP Martin Schulz by calling him a "kapo" during a session of the European Parliament.
Jul 5th - SARS is declared to be contained by the WHO.
Jul 6th - The 70-meter Eupatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message Cosmic Call 2 to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri, HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris that will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044, 2044 and 2049 respectively.
Jul 7th - The United Communist Party of Armenia is formed.
Jul 8th - Sudan Airways Flight 39, with 116 people on board, crashes in Sudan; the only survivor is a two-year-old boy who subsequently dies as a result of his injuries.
Jul 10th - 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.
Jul 15th - AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation is established on the same day.
Jul 20th - France: Sixteen people are injured after two bombs explode outside a tax office in Nice.
Jul 22nd - 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.
Jul 30th - In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.
Aug 5th - A car bomb explodes in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta outside the Marriott Hotel killing 12 and injuring 150.
Aug 10th - The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK - 38.5°C (101.3°F) in Kent . It is the first time the UK has recorded a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aug 11th - Jemaah Islamiyah leader Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand.
Aug 11th - A heat wave in Paris results in temperatures rising to 112°F (44° C), leaving about 144 people dead.
Aug 11th - NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.
Aug 14th - Widescale power blackout in the northeast United States and Canada.
Aug 16th - U.S. Representative from South Dakota Bill Janklow hits and kills a motorcyclist with his car at a rural intersection near Trent, South Dakota; he will eventually be convicted of manslaughter and will resign from Congress.
Aug 19th - A Hamas planned suicide attack on a bus in Jerusalem kills 23 Israelis, 7 of them children in the Jerusalem bus 2 massacre.
Aug 19th - A car-bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Iraq kills the agency's top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 other employees.
Aug 22nd - 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.
Aug 25th - The Tli Cho land claims agreement is signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko).
Aug 26th - The Columbia Accident Investigation Board releases its final reports on Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
Aug 27th - Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.
Aug 28th - An electricity blackout cuts off power to around 500,000 people living in south east England and brings 60% of London's underground rail network to a halt.
Aug 29th - 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.
Sep 11th - Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh dies after being assaulted and fatally wounded on September 10.
Sep 11th - The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety enters into effect.
Sep 12th - In Fallujah, US forces mistakenly shoot and kill eight Iraqi police officers.
Sep 12th - 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.
Sep 14th - In a referendum Sweden rejects adopting the euro.
Sep 14th - Estonia approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
Sep 18th - The United Kingdom's Local Government Act 2003, repealing controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, receives Royal Assent.
Sep 20th - Maldives civil unrest: the death of prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem sparks a day of rioting in Malé.
Sep 20th - A referendum is held in Latvia to decide the country's accession to the European Union.
Sep 21st - Galileo mission terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter's atmosphere, where it is crushed by the pressure at the lower altitudes.
Sep 22nd - David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon.
Sep 25th - A magnitude-8.0 earthquake strikes just offshore of Hokkaidō, Japan.
Sep 27th - Actress Halle Berry announces her separation from second husband, R&B singer Eric Benet
Sep 27th - Smart 1 satellite is launched.
Sep 29th - Hurricane Juan makes landfall in Nova Scotia.
Oct 3rd - Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy is attacked by one of the shows tigers, canceling the show for good.
Oct 4th - Maxim restaurant suicide bombing in Haifa, Israel: 21 Israelis, Jews and Arabs, are killed, and 51 others wounded.
Actor/Body Builder/Politician Arnold Schwarzenegger Oct 7th - Gray Davis is recalled as Governor of California, three years before the official end of his office term. Film star Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor.
Oct 15th - China launches Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission.
Oct 15th - The Staten Island Ferry boat Andrew J. Barberi collides with a pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, killing 11 people and injuring 43.
Oct 17th - The pinnacle was fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 50 meters (165 feet) and become the World's tallest highrise.
Oct 17th - Eunuchs in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh float the political party Jiti Jitayi Politics.
Oct 18th - Bolivian Gas War: President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, is forced to resign and leave Bolivia.
Oct 19th - Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II.
Oct 21st - Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.
Oct 24th - Concorde makes its last commercial flight.
Oct 26th - The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, kills 15 people, consumes 250,000 acres (1,000 km²), and destroys 2,200 homes around San Diego.
Oct 31st - A bankruptcy court approves MCI's reorganization plans, essentially clearing the telecommunications company to exit bankruptcy.
Oct 31st - Mahathir bin Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, marking an end to Mahathir's 22 years in power.
Nov 1st - Panajot Pano is selected as the Golden Player of Albania by the Football Association of Albania as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee
Nov 4th - The most powerful solar flare as observed by satellite instrumentation is recorded.
Nov 4th - Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy becomes the first person indicted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He was eventually acquitted.
Catholic Missionary Mother Teresa Nov 9th - A suicide-terrorist attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, kills 17 people.
Nov 12th - With 501 km/h (311 mph) Shanghai Transrapid sets up a new world record for commercial railway systems.
Nov 12th - Iraq war: In Nasiriya, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 Iraq war are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.
Nov 15th - The first day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings takes place, to be followed by additional bombings on November 20.
Nov 18th - The congress of the Communist Party of Indian Union (Marxist-Leninist) decides to merge the party into Kanu Sanyal's CPI(ML).
Nov 18th - In the United Kingdom, the Local Government Act 2003, repealing controversial anti-gay amendment Section 28, becomes effective.
Nov 20th - 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.
Nov 22nd - In Tbilisi, Georgia, opponents of President Eduard Shevardnadze seize the parliament building and demand the president's resignation.
Nov 23rd - Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigns following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections.
Nov 26th - Concorde makes its last ever flight over Bristol, England.
Dec 7th - The Conservative Party of Canada is officially recognized after the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
Dec 9th - A blast in the center of Moscow kills six people and wounds several more.
Dec 13th - Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).
Dec 14th - President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf narrowly escapes an assassination attempt.
Dec 14th - President George W. Bush announces the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Dec 17th - 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.
Dec 17th - SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight.
Dec 22nd - A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits near San Simeon, California.
Dec 23rd - PetroChina Chuandongbei natural gas field explosion, Guoqiao, Kai, Chongqing, China, killing at least 234.
Dec 24th - The Spanish police thwart an attempt by ETA to detonate 50 kg of explosives at 3:55 p.m. inside Madrid's busy Chamartín Station.
Dec 25th - The ill-fated Beagle 2 probe which was released from the Mars Express Spacecraft on December 19, disappears shortly before its scheduled landing.
Dec 26th - A magnitude 6.6 earthquake devastates southeast Iranian city of Bam, killing tens of thousands and destroying the citadel of Arg-é Bam.
Dec 30th - U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself and his office from the Plame affair.