February 2004

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff


  • Iranian Politicians Resign (Feb. 1): About one third of Iran's Parliament steps down to protest move by Guardian Council that barred more than 2,000 reformists from running in parliamentary elections.
  • Hundreds of Muslims Killed During Pilgrimage (Feb. 1): More than 250 pilgrims crushed to death in a stampede during a devil-stoning ceremony in Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims were celebrating the end of hajj.
  • Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens of Kurds (Feb. 1): Several top Kurdish leaders slain in northern Iraq.
  • Sharon Says He May Have Settlers Leave Gaza (Feb. 2): Israeli prime minister indicates he plans to order the evacuation of several settlements in the Gaza Strip.
  • Pakistani Scientist Admits to Selling Weapons Technology (Feb. 4): Abdul Qadeer Khan admits that he had sold designs and technology for nuclear weapons to other countries, including North Korea, Iran, and Libya. (Feb. 5): President Musharraf pardons Khan.
  • Protests Rock Haiti (Feb. 5): Armed rebels take control of Gonaïves. Violent protests against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government overwhelm the Haitian military and police. (Feb. 9): Violence spreads to about a dozen towns. (Feb. 17): Prime Minister Yvon Neptune appeals for international help after rebels attack a police station in central Haiti, killing the police chief. (Feb. 22): Rebels take control of Cap Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city. (Feb. 29): Under U.S. pressure, Aristide resigns and goes into exile.
  • Suicide Bombs Kill Dozens in Iraq (Feb. 10): At least 54 people, mostly civilians lined up applying for jobs, die outside a police station in Iskandariyah. (Feb. 11) Bomber in Baghdad kills nearly 50 people seeking employment with Iraq's new army.
  • Bush Proposes Plan to Curb Sale of Nuclear Equipment (Feb. 11): Seven-point plan to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction prohibits sale of enriched uranium and reprocessed plutonium to any country that does not already have ability to process such material.
  • Halliburton Accused of Overcharging for Gas (Feb. 12): Two ex-employees say the oil services company, which secured no-bid contracts for reconstruction projects in Iraq, “routinely overcharged” the U.S. military. Company, formerly headed by Dick Cheney, is under investigation by several government agencies.
  • Train Explosion Kills Hundreds in Iran (Feb. 18): About 300 people die when a train crashes in the northeast.
  • Hardliners Dominate Elections (Feb. 20): Religious conservatives breeze to victory in Iranian elections, taking a clear majority in parliament.
  • Annan Says Iraqi Elections Possible by Year's End (Feb. 23): UN secretary general reports that Iraqis must begin planning for elections immediately in order for them to be held in late 2004. He also states that Iraq is rife with ethnic tension.
  • Russian President Sacks Prime Minister and Government (Feb. 24): Russian president Vladimir Putin unexpectedly fires his entire cabinet and premier.
  • Former British Minister Says Intelligence Bugged UN (Feb. 26): Clare Short, a former member of Prime Minister Tony Blair's cabinet, claims British intelligence agency used electronic surveillance to spy on UN secretary general Kofi Annan in the weeks preceding the war in Iraq.


  • Bush Releases Budget (Feb. 2): Bush's proposed $2.4 trillion plan would boost military funding by 7.1%, increase domestic security expenditures by 9.7%, and attempt to cut the deficit.
  • Poison Found in Senate Office (Feb. 3): Three office buildings closed when ricin is found in the office of Senate majority leader Bill Frist.
  • Kerry Prevails in Five States (Feb. 3): Sen. John Kerry takes contests in Missouri, Delaware, Arizona, New Mexico, and North Dakota. Sen. Joe Lieberman drops out of the race.
  • Massachusetts Court Supports Gay Marriage (Feb. 4): State's supreme judicial court rules that only full marriage complies with its Nov. 2003 ruling that said barring gays from marrying violates the state constitution.
  • CIA Director Defends Intelligence (Feb. 5): George Tenet denies that CIA was pressured to support a presidential agenda and stands by earlier conclusion that Iraq posed a threat. “When the facts on Iraq are all in, we will be neither completely right nor completely wrong,” he says.
  • Bush Creates Panel to Investigate Intelligence (Feb. 6): President calls for independent commission to study the country's intelligence-gathering operations.
  • Bush Defends Action in Iraq and Economy (Feb. 8): On NBC's Meet the Press, president says that although inspectors have not found banned weapons in Iraq, the war in Iraq was justified because Saddam Hussein had the ability to produce such weapons.
  • Kerry Prevails in the South, Clark Quits (Feb. 10): John Kerry continues his winning streak, sweeping both the Virginia and Tennessee primaries. (Feb. 11): Retired general Wesley Clark drops out of the race.
  • Gay Couples Marry in San Francisco (Feb. 12): More than 85 couples tie the knot after Mayor Gavin Newsom orders the city clerk's office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
  • Dean Drops Out of Race (Feb. 18): Howard Dean quits the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Election Commission Greenlights Advocacy Groups (Feb. 18): Permits groups, called “527 committees,” to spend unlimited sums on political ads.
  • Bush Appoints Second Judge During Congressional Recess (Feb. 20): President gives William Pryor, Jr., a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Nader Announces Candidacy (Feb. 22): Ralph Nader says he will run for president as an independent.
  • Pentagon to Cancel Helicopter Program (Feb. 23): Defense Department announces plan to kill $38 billion Comanche system.
  • Education Secretary Under Fire for Comment (Feb. 23): Rod Paige, secretary of education, compares the National Education Association to a terrorist organization. He later apologizes for the remark.
  • Bush Endorses Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage (Feb. 24): President says marriage between a man and a woman is “the most fundamental institution of civilization.”


  • Researchers Report New Elements (Feb. 1): Scientists create two new chemical elements, named Ununtrium (Element 113) and Ununpentium (Element 115).
  • Scientists Say They Have Cloned Human Embryos (Feb. 12): Scientists in South Korea announce that they have created 30 human embryos by cloning and have removed embryonic stem cells from them.
  • Greenspan Urges Measures to Cut Deficit (Feb. 25): Federal Reserve chairman recommends cutting spending on Social Security and Medicare rather than increasing taxes to rein in deficit.
  • Investigation Reveals Thousands of Priests Abused Children (Feb. 26): Study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice reports 10,667 children were abused by 4,392 priests between 1950 and 2002.

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