September 2004

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Russian Insurgents Take Over School (Sept. 1): Armed Islamic guerrillas, most of them Chechen, take about 1,200 schoolchildren, parents, and teachers hostage in Beslan. (Sept. 3): Standoff ends in tragedy, as about 340 people die as the militants detonate explosives inside the school. (Sept. 17): Guerrilla leader Shamil Basayev claims responsibility for the recent terrorist attacks.
  • Little Progress Reported in Sudan (Sept. 1): UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says government has failed to disarm Arab militias, called the Janjaweed, or stop attacks on civilians in Darfur. (Sept. 9): Secretary of State Colin Powell testifies that rapes and mass killings in Darfur qualify as genocide.
  • South Korea Reports Scientist Produced Uranium (Sept. 2): Tells International Atomic Energy Agency that in 2000, a group of rogue scientists produced small amount of near weapons-grade uranium.
  • UN Passes Resolution on Lebanon (Sept. 2): Security Council votes in favor of American- and French-sponsored resolution encouraging Lebanon to resist Syria's attempts to allow Lebanese president to remain in office after his term expires in November.
  • Several U.S. Troops Killed in Bombing (Sept. 6): Seven marines killed outside Falluja when a car bomb explodes near a convoy of American and Iraqi soldiers. Deadliest attack on American soldiers in months.
  • UN Judges Rule Milosevic Cannot Defend Himself (Sept. 7): Two British judges to defend former Serbian president.
  • Car Bomb Explodes at Embassy in Indonesia (Sept. 7): Suicide bombers attack Australian Embassy in Jakarta, killing nine people and wounding nearly 200.
  • American Death Toll in Iraq Reaches Milestone (Sept. 7): Number of casualties reaches 1,000, as violence between Mahdi Army, led by Moktada al-Sadr, and U.S. and Iraqi troops resumes.
  • Governor Removed From Power in Afghanistan (Sept. 11): President Hamid Karzai dismisses Herat's powerful warlord Ismail Khan.
  • Widespread Fighting Erupts in Iraq (Sept. 12): Nearly 60 people are killed in suicide bombings and attacks by insurgents. (Sept. 14): Suicide bomber kills nearly 50 men applying for jobs in Baghdad.
  • Putin Calls for Drastic Changes in Government (Sept. 13): International community criticizes broad overhaul as a consolidation of power that will roll back democracy.
  • UN Leader Condemns War in Iraq (Sept. 15): UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says the war was illegal and violated the UN charter.
  • Report on Iraq Finds No Illicit Weapons (Sept. 16): Draft report by Charles Duelfer says inspectors found no evidence that Iraq had undertaken weapons production program when the U.S. began the war. Document does say Saddam Hussein had clearly intended to undertake such a program.
  • Atomic Energy Agency Tells Iran to Stop Enriching Uranium (Sept. 18): Passes resolution that requires Iran to cease all uranium-enrichment activities. (Sept. 21): Iran defies resolution, announcing it has begun—and will continue—converting tons of uranium into gas.
  • Chinese President Takes Control of the Military (Sept. 19): At the annual meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, former president Jiang Zemin steps down as China's military chief, thus completing the transfer of power to President Hu.
  • Bush Eases Restrictions on Libya (Sept. 20): Measures include lifting trade embargo, unfreezing assets, and allowing direct flights between the U.S. and Libya.
  • Indonesia Elects New President (Sept. 20): Retired general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono soundly defeats incumbent president Megawati Sukarnoputri.
  • U.S. Hostages Killed in Iraq (Sept. 20): Militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi beheads Eugene Armstrong, an engineer working in Baghdad. (Sept. 21): Group claims it has also beheaded Jack Hensley, also an engineer.
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Addresses U.S. Congress (Sept. 23): Iyad Allawi reports progress in security, stability, and economy in Iraq.
  • Pakistani Militant Killed (Sept. 26): Officials say they have killed Amjad Hussain Farooqi, a terrorist linked to al-Qaeda and believed to have organized two assassination attempts on President Pervez Musharraf.
  • Italian Aid Workers Freed (Sept. 28): Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, both 29, are released three weeks after they were kidnapped in Baghdad by armed men.
  • Cole Bombers Sentenced (Sept. 29): Yemeni judge sentences Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Jamal al-Badawi to death for plotting the 2000 attack on the American destroyer.
  • Car Bombs Kill Dozens in Iraq (Sept. 30): Two bombs explode at the opening of a sewer plant, killing 41 people, including at least 34 children.
  • Israeli Troops Attack Gaza Camp (Sept. 30): Soldiers battle with Palestinian militants in refugee camp. Nearly 30 Palestinians and 3 Israelis die in the fighting, the worst in two years.


  • Democrat Gives Keynote Address at RNC (Sept. 1): Democratic senator Zell Miller delivers keynote address harshly critical of Kerry. (Sept. 2): President Bush accepts the Republican presidential nomination.
  • Navy Seals Charged in Death of Iraqi Prisoner (Sept. 3): Iraqi detainee died of injuries sustained when commandos hit him with the butt of a rifle after he resisted capture in Nov. 2003.
  • Medicare Premiums to Increase (Sept. 3): Government announces 17% increase in 2005 premiums.
  • Bush's Military Records Released (Sept. 7): Additional records found under a Freedom of Information Act request indicate he let his status as a pilot lapse because he failed to appear for a medical exam.
  • Budget Office Predicts Little Movement on Deficit (Sept. 7): Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal budget deficit for current fiscal year will exceed $422 billion, or 3.6% of the country's gross domestic product.
  • CBS Claims Bush Received Special Treatment (Sept. 8): Memos, written by Bush's former squadron commander and revealed on 60 Minutes, suggest president received preferential treatment in joining the National Guard and later when he served in it. (Sept. 20): CBS News and Dan Rather, who reported on the memos, acknowledge that they were not able to prove the documents are authentic.
  • Bush Revises Position on Intelligence Director (Sept. 8): Reversing earlier position, president says he supports giving proposed intelligence czar full authority over the agency's budget.
  • Army Says CIA Hid Dozens of Prisoners in Iraq (Sept. 9): Two generals testify that CIA requested that army hide a large number of detainees from Red Cross inspectors. Earlier report said only eight prisoners were kept off the rosters.
  • House Passes Amendment to Alter Overtime Rules (Sept. 9): Votes, 223–193, for an amendment that blocks rules that bar certain workers from being eligible for overtime pay.
  • Violent Crime Hits Low (Sept. 12): Justice Department reports property and violent crime drop to lowest rate in 30 years.
  • Weapons Ban Expires (Sept. 13): Law banning 19 types of semiautomatic weapons lapses.
  • Intelligence Report Painted Grim Picture of Iraq (Sept. 15): U.S. official says that highly classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared for President Bush and released in July predicted bleak future for Iraq.
  • Bush Proposes Shifting Iraq Funds (Sept. 15): Administration requests that the Senate divert $3.4 billion of the $18.4 billion Iraq reconstruction budget to improving security in the country.
  • Judge Critical of FEC (Sept. 20): Federal judge orders the Federal Election Commission to tighten 15 rules that regulate campaign financing, saying the rules create loopholes in the McCain-Feingold law.
  • Bush Defends War in Iraq (Sept. 21): In his annual address to the UN General Assembly, president says war was justified and Iraq is moving toward stability.
  • Senate Confirms Intelligence Chief (Sept. 22): Votes, 77–17, to make Florida representative Porter Goss director of the CIA.
  • U.S. to Release Enemy Combatant (Sept. 22): Acting on recent Supreme Court decision, Justice Department agrees to release Yaser Hamdi, a U.S. citizen held at Guantánamo Bay for nearly three years. He was captured in Afghanistan and accused of having ties to al-Qaeda.
  • Congress Extends Tax Cuts (Sept. 23): House votes, 339–65, to extend several tax cuts that were to expire at the end of 2005. Cost of cuts totals about $146 billion over 10 years. Senate passes legislation, 92–3.
  • Justice Department Report Critical of FBI (Sept. 27): Inquiry finds that FBI linguists are far behind in translating audio recordings that could be useful in war on terror and that computers have erased some of the recordings.
  • Judge Invalidates Part of Patriot Act (Sept. 29): Federal judge rules that section of law violates constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.
  • DeLay Rebuked by Ethics Committee (Sept. 30): House majority leader chastised for pressuring another representative to vote in favor of the Medicare bill.
  • Bush and Kerry Meet in First Debate (Sept. 30): Two presidential candidates discuss foreign affairs, focusing on the war in Iraq, in first of three debates.


  • Bryant Case Dismissed (Sept. 1): Prosecution drops rape charges against the Los Angeles Lakers basketball star when his accuser says she will no longer cooperate.
  • Jobless Rate Drops (Sept. 3): Unemployment rate declines to 5.4% from 5.5% the previous month, and 144,000 jobs were added to the economy in August.
  • Florida Hit Again by Hurricane (Sept. 4): Enormous, slow-moving Frances pounds state, causing about $40 billion in damage.
  • Clinton Has Heart Procedure (Sept. 7): Former president undergoes quadruple coronary bypass surgery to clear four blocked arteries. Full recovery expected.
  • Space Probe Crashes (Sept. 8): Capsule with samples of the Sun crashes after its parachutes fail to open.
  • Airline Files for Bankruptcy (Sept. 12): US Airways seeks bankruptcy protection for the second time.
  • Advisory Panel Recommends Warning for Antidepressants (Sept. 14): Group advising the FDA urges drug manufacturers to strongly warn parents and doctors that prescribing antidepressants to teenagers and children may increase suicidal behavior.
  • Storms Ravage South (Sept. 15): Ivan hits Alabama and Florida, causing tornadoes and the evacuation of more than 2 million people. Nearly 100 people die in the hurricane: 70 in the Caribbean and 27 in the U.S. (Sept. 26): Jeanne hits Florida, causing five deaths and severe flooding. Florida's fourth hurricane of season.
  • Hundreds Killed in Haiti (Sept. 20): Floods and mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne claim more than 550.
  • Fed Raises Rates (Sept. 21): Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates a quarter of a percentage point, to 1.75%.
  • Expos to Move to Capital (Sept. 29): Major League Baseball announces the Montreal team will relocate to Washington, DC, for the 2005 season.

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