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<< 1903 CE | 1901-1910 CE | 1905 CE >>

§Of World Interest

January 7 - The distress signal CQD is established, only to be replaced 2 years later by SOS.

May 21 - The International Federation of Association Football, FIFA, is established.

December 3 - Charles Dillon Perrine discovers Jupiter's largest irregular satellite, Himalia.



February 8 - A Japanese surprise attack on Port Arthur (Lushun) starts the Russo-Japanese War.

August 17 - Russo-Japanese War: A Japanese infantry charge fails to take Port Arthur.


The Japanese army occupied strategically important parts of Korea in the early days of the Russo-Japanese War (February, 1904). The Japanese stayed on the peninsula against the wishes of the Korean government.

March 4 - Russo-Japanese War: Russian troops in Korea retreat toward Manchuria, followed by 100,000 Japanese troops.

§North Sea

October 21 - Russo-Japanese War - Dogger Bank incident: The Russian Baltic Fleet fires on British trawlers it mistakes for Japanese torpedo boats in the North Sea.


March 31 - British expedition to Tibet - Battle of Guru: British troops under Colonel Francis Younghusband defeat ill-equipped Tibetan troops.

August 3 - British expedition to Tibet: The British expedition under Colonel Francis Younghusband takes Lhasa in Tibet.

September 7 - British expedition to Tibet: The Dalai Lama signs the Anglo-Tibetan Treaty with Colonel Francis Younghusband.

§Central America


May 4 - U.S. Army engineers begin work on The Panama Canal.


April 8 - The Entente Cordiale is signed between the UK and France.


February 10 - Roger Casement publishes his account of Belgian atrocities in the Congo.


March 3 - Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a political recording of a document, using Thomas Edison's cylinder.

§Great Britain

December 27 - The stage play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up premieres in London. Peter Pan was an immediate success with both adults and children. Daphne du Maurier later wrote about her father Gerald's performance as the male lead, 'When Hook first paced his quarterdeck in the year of 1904, children were carried screaming from the stalls.'

"Only one critic, Max Beerbohm, noticed the all-too-complete conflation of the adult with the child: 'Mr. Barrie has never grown up. He is still a child absolutely.' On the surface, Peter Pan is a play for children: like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it demands a suspension of adult skepticism and linear thinking, and plays upon the archetypal fears of being lost and orphaned. But if Oz is benign and forward-looking-full of the optimism of a new continent -- Peter Pan is haunted and haunting: if, for Dorothy and the Darling children, there is no place like home, then for Peter there is no home."


February 28 - Sport Lisboa e Benfica is founded in Portugal.

§North America


April 19 - The Great Toronto Fire destroys much of that city's downtown, but there are no fatalities.

§United States

January 16 - The first large-scale bodybuilding competition in America takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

February 7 - The Great Baltimore Fire in Baltimore, Maryland destroys over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

February 23 - For $10 million, the United States gains control of the Panama Canal Zone.

April 8 - Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan is renamed Times Square after The New York Times.

April 30 - The Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair opens in St. Louis, Missouri (closes December 1).

May 5 - Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics, Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.

June 15 - A fire aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York City's East River kills 1,021 of the 1,342 people on board. Thirty minutes into the voyage (10am) she caught fire and burned to the water line in New York's East River. The fire hose broke. The life jackets were worthless and rotten. The people who jumped into the water sank. Desperate mothers placed life jackets on their children and tossed them into the water, only to watch in horror as their children sank instead of floating. Most of those on board were women and children who, like most Americans of the time, could not swim; even victims who did not don the worthless life preservers found that their heavy wool clothing weighed them down in the water The lifeboats were chained into place and could not be dropped. The captain headed to North Brother Island unable to land close by because of the flammable contents on shore. This was New York City's worst loss-of-life disaster until the September 11, 2001 attacks. Reports indicate that Van Schaick deserted the Slocum as soon as it settled, jumping into a nearby tug, along with several crew. Some say his jacket was hardly rumpled, but other reports stated that he was seriously injured. He was hospitalized at Lebanon Hospital. The captain was given 10 years in prison but was pardoned by President Taft in 1912 CE after 3.5 years.

July 1 - The third Modern Olympic Games opens in St. Louis, Missouri, United States as part of the World's Fair.

July 23 - In St. Louis, Missouri, the ice cream cone is invented during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

October 27 - The first underground line of the New York City Subway opens.

December 30 - The East Boston Tunnel opens.

December 31 - In New York City, the first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square.

§U.S. Industry

January 12 - Henry Ford sets a new automobile land speed record of 91.37 mph.

The game, Monopoly began life as The Landlord's Game. Elizabeth Magie devised the game to point out the social pitfalls of unequal wealth among people. But instead, players greedily collected huge piles of money and property, delighting in opponents' financial troubles

§U.S. Politics

November 8 - U.S. presidential election, 1904: Republican incumbent Theodore Roosevelt defeats Democrat Alton B. Parker.

§U.S. Religion

A second Mormon Manifesto was issued, during the Reed-Smoot Congressional hearings, against plural marriages largely dues to the fact that the original manifesto was ambiguous and church leaders continued to sanction polygamy.


June 29 - The 1904 Moscow tornado occurs.

July 21 - The Trans-Siberian railway is completed.

December 2 - The St. Petersburg Soviet urges a run on the banks: the attempt fails and the executive committee is arrested.



December 4 - The K.U. or Konservativ Ungdom (Young Conservatives) is founded by Carl F. Herman von Rosen in Denmark .


June 16 - Eugen Schauman assassinates Nikolai Bobrikov, Governor-General of Finland.

§South America


August 14 - Ismael Montes becomes President of Bolivia.

§Southeast Asia


Sisowath became king of Cambodia. He ruled until 1927. He dredged the Mekong and Sap rivers to facilitate marine navigation to Phnom Penh along the rivers.

§South Pacific


April 27 - The Australian Labor Party becomes the first such party to gain national government, under Chris Watson.

August 18 - Chris Watson resigns as Prime Minister of Australia and is succeeded by George Reid.


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