August 2004

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Christian Churches Targeted in Iraq (Aug. 1): Four churches attacked in coordinated car bombings in Baghdad and Mosul. About a dozen people killed.
  • Secessionist Tension Rises in Georgia (Aug. 3): Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili threatens to sink foreign ships that enter Georgia's water without permission. (Aug. 4): Violence flares in South Ossetia, another region seeking independence.
  • British Arrest Senior al-Qaeda Member (Aug. 3): Authorities detain Abu Issa al-Hindi, who authorities believe surveyed potential targets in New York in 2000 and 2001. Several other terror suspects also arrested. (Aug. 17): Eight of the men are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and other terrorism-related charges.
  • Violence Flares in Najaf and Baghdad (Aug. 5): Shiite cleric al-Sadr orders an uprising against American and allied troops. His Mahdi Army sets up a base at the Imam Ali Shrine. Violence kills hundreds of Iraqis. (Aug. 26): Al-Sadr agrees to deal brokered by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to end the siege of Najaf and Kufa. (Aug. 27): Mahdi Army withdraws from Imam Ali Shrine.
  • Iraqi Leader Asserts Control (Aug. 8): Prime Minister Allawi reinstates death penalty for a wide range of crimes.
  • Iraqi Magistrate Issues Warrant for Chalabi (Aug. 8): Ahmad Chalabi, Iraqi exile leader, wanted on counterfeiting charges.
  • Dozens Killed at UN Camp in Burundi (Aug. 13) More than 150 people, mostly women and children, massacred by rebel group, the National Liberation Forces.
  • Officials Killed in Afghanistan (Aug. 14): Two defense ministry officials and 19 others die in factional fighting in Herat province.
  • Delegates Elect Iraqi Congress (Aug. 16): More than 1,000 delegates select 100-member committee to oversee elections. Assembly will also has veto power over decrees enacted by interim government.
  • Venezuelan President Survives Recall (Aug. 16): Venezuela votes, 58% to 42%, to keep Hugo Chávez in office.
  • Sharon Suffers Setback (Aug. 18): His Likud party votes against his plan to form a coalition with the opposition Labor party. Prime minister needs broader support to follow through with his plan to unilaterally withdraw Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip.
  • Arafat Admits Errors (Aug. 18): In an unusual televised address, Palestinian leader acknowledges he has made mistakes in addressing the breakdown of law and order in Gaza.
  • Russia Rocked by Terrorism (Aug. 25): Two passenger planes go down within minutes of each other, killing 90 people. (Aug. 29): Russian officials confirm they found traces of explosives on the planes and declare the crashes acts of terrorism. (Aug. 31): Woman suicide bomber detonates a bomb outside a Moscow subway station, killing 9 others and wounding more than 50.
  • Bomb Explodes in Kabul (Aug. 29): At least seven people die in attack on American company that provides security for President Hamid Karzai.
  • Chechen General Wins Election (Aug. 30): Alu Alkhanov, choice of the Kremlin, takes presidency in a landslide.
  • Nepalese Hostages Killed in Iraq (Aug. 31): A dozen laborers are executed by Iraqi insurgents.
  • Two Buses Blow Up in Israel (Aug. 31): In the worst violence in months, 16 people are killed in twin blasts in Beersheba. Militant group Hamas takes responsibility.


  • Administration Raises Terror Alert (Aug. 1): Intelligence indicates financial institutions in New York City; Washington, DC; and Newark, New Jersey, are vulnerable. (Aug. 2): Officials say much of the intelligence that prompted the terror alert was years old.
  • Bush Calls for National Intelligence Director (Aug. 2): Supports overall recommendation of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but indicates power and influence of the intelligence official would be limited.
  • Missourians Approve Gay Marriage Ban (Aug. 3): Voters favor amendment to state constitution to bar same-sex marriage. First state to put question on ballot.
  • Statue of Liberty Reopens (Aug. 3): National monument opens to the public for the first time since the September 11th attacks. Because of security concerns, tourists not allowed to climb to the crown.
  • Bush and Kerry Campaign in Iowa (Aug. 4): Both presidential contenders speak in Davenport, Iowa. Three banks robbed as attention and area's resources focused on campaign events.
  • Bush Administration Expands Role of Border Patrol (Aug. 10): New system will allow border agents to deport illegal aliens without a hearing before an immigration judge.
  • Bush Nominates Intelligence Chief (Aug. 10): Selects Florida representative Porter Goss as director of the CIA. Senate must confirm the nomination.
  • New Jersey Governor to Resign (Aug. 12): Democrat James McGreevey announces that he had an affair with another man and plans to resign in November. (Aug. 13): Golan Cipel, McGreevey's former homeland security adviser, comes forward and says he was the man with whom the governor had the relationship.
  • California Annuls Gay Marriages (Aug. 12): State supreme court voids about 4,000 gay marriages performed in February and March.
  • Bush Announces Plans to Redeploy Troops (Aug. 16): Pentagon will withdraw between 60,000 and 70,000 troops from Europe and Asia over the next 10 years.
  • Study Finds Charter Schools Lag Behind Public Schools (Aug. 17): New York Times reports that survey conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress finds test scores of charter-school students were lower than those of comparable students in public schools.
  • Kerry Campaign Files Complaint Against Advocacy Group (Aug. 20): Tells Federal Election Commission that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, group that sponsored commercials that questioned Sen. John Kerry's military record, coordinated its efforts with the Bush campaign, a violation of election laws.
  • Republican Senator Recommends Dismantling CIA (Aug. 22): Pat Roberts's plan also calls for the creation of three new spy agencies—the National Clandestine Service, Office of National Assessments, and Office of Technical Support—and the office of national intelligence director, which will have budgetary control over entire intelligence budget.
  • Bush Calls for End to Independent Ads (Aug. 23): Says political ads paid for by third-party groups, called 527s, should be banned. (Aug. 25): National counsel for Bush resigns after he admits that he advised the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a 527 group critical of John Kerry.
  • Cheney Defends Gay Marriage (Aug. 24): Vice president parts with Bush administration, saying people should be free to enter into “any kind of relationship.”
  • Officers Faulted in Reports on Prison Abuse (Aug. 24): Panel, led by former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, investigating the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq says that failures reached as high as the Pentagon. Panel also states that interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib violated military rules. (Aug. 25): Army investigation, headed by Maj. Gen. George Fay, rejects earlier claim that the abuse was isolated to a few military police guards, stating that military intelligence soldiers and officers were culpable.
  • Judge Says Abortion Ban Unconstitutional (Aug. 26): Federal judge rules law prohibiting dilation and extraction is unconstitutional because it does not contain an exemption for women whose health could be in danger without the procedure.
  • Poor and Uninsured Increased in 2003 (Aug. 26): Census Bureau reports that poverty rate increased to 12.5% in 2003, up from 12.1% in 2002. Rate of uninsured rose to nearly 16% in 2003, from 14.2% in 2000.
  • Bush Expands Power of CIA Director (Aug. 27): Move in response to recommendations of panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
  • Thousands of Bush Foes Gather in New York (Aug. 29): About a half-million people march in midtown Manhattan on the eve of the Republican National Convention.
  • Republican Convention Opens in New York (Aug. 30): Delegates meet to nominate President Bush. Speakers include Rudolph Giuliani, who recalls Bush's leadership after Sept. 11 attacks. (Aug. 31): More than 1,100 protesters are arrested at several Manhattan locations. (Aug. 31): Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laura Bush portray the president as a compassionate conservative.
  • Bush Skeptical U.S. Will Win War on Terror (Aug. 30): In a shift, president says he doubts the U.S. will ever be completely victorious. “I don't think you can win it,” he says. “But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror are less acceptable in parts of the world.”


  • Hundreds Die in Store Fire (Aug. 1): More than 400 people die in inferno near Asunción, Paraguay.
  • Job Growth Slows (Aug. 6): Labor Department reports increase of only 32,000 jobs in July, far fewer than predicted. Unemployment rate drops to 5.5% from 5.6%.
  • Federal Reserve Raises Rate (Aug. 10): Fed chairman Alan Greenspan raises key rate to 1.5% from 1.25%.
  • Florida Pounded by Storms (Aug. 12): Tropical storm Bonnie pounds the Florida Panhandle. (Aug. 13): At least 13 people die as Hurricane Charley tears into the state's west coast, with winds of 145 miles an hour.
  • Summer Olympics Open in Athens (Aug. 13): The XXVII games open amid heightened security and sluggish ticket sales. (Aug. 29): Games close after more than 10,000 athletes from about 200 countries competed.
  • Google Goes Public (Aug. 18): Number of shares offered to public in auction is reduced, with demand lower than expected. Price of shares is $85, lower than the $108–$135 range initially targeted.
  • Munch Paintings Stolen (Aug. 22): The Scream and Madonna taken from Oslo's crowded Munch Museum.
  • Bush Administration Changes Position on Global Warming (Aug. 25): Report to Congress says scientific evidence suggests climate change is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

Sources +
See also: