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1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar, the 1904th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 904th year of the 2nd millennium, the 4th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1900s decade. As of the start of 1904, the Gregorian calendar was 13 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
- 1 Events
- 2 Births
- 3 Deaths
- 4 Nobel Prizes
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
- 7 External links
- January 7 – The distress signal CQD is established, only to be replaced 2 years later by SOS.
- January 12 – Henry Ford sets a new automobile land speed record of 91.37 mph (147.05 km/h).
- January 16 – The first large-scale bodybuilding competition in America takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
- January 18 – The Herero Rebellion in German South-West Africa begins.
- January 23 – The Ålesund Fire destroys most buildings in the town of Ålesund, Norway, leaving about 10,000 people without shelter.
- January 25 – Halford Mackinder presents a paper on "The Geographical Pivot of History" to the Royal Geographical Society of London in which he formulates the Heartland Theory, originating the study of geopolitics.
- February 7 – The Great Baltimore Fire in Baltimore, Maryland, destroys over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.
- February 8–9 – Battle of Port Arthur: A surprise Japanese naval attack on Port Arthur (Lüshun) in Manchuria starts the Russo-Japanese War.
- February 10 – Roger Casement publishes his account of Belgian atrocities in the Congo.
- February 17 – Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly, with a background theme of Japan–United States relations, debuts at La Scala in Milan to no great acclaim. On May 28 a revised version opens in Brescia to huge success.
- February 23 – For $10 million, the United States gains control of the Panama Canal Zone.
- February 28 – Sport Lisboa e Benfica is founded in Portugal.
- March 3 – Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany becomes the first person to make a political recording of a document, using Thomas Edison's cylinder.
- March 4 – Russo-Japanese War: Russian troops in Korea retreat toward Manchuria, followed by 100,000 Japanese troops.
- March 26 – 80,000 demonstrators gather in Hyde Park, London, to protest against the importation of Chinese labourers to South Africa by the British government.
- March 31 – British expedition to Tibet – Battle of Guru: British troops under Colonel Francis Younghusband defeat ill-equipped Tibetan troops.
- April 6 – Joseph F. Smith announces the Second Manifesto in General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ending in fact the practice of plural marriage which had continued to be practiced by many of its leaders in violation of the 1890 Manifesto officially banning the practice.
- April 8
- April 19 – The Great Toronto Fire destroys much of that city's downtown, but there are no fatalities.
- April 27 – The Australian Labor Party becomes the first such party to gain national government, under Chris Watson.
- April 30 – The Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair opens in St. Louis, Missouri (closes December 1).
- May 4
- May 5
- Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics, Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.
- British expedition to Tibet: Hundreds of Tibetans attack the British camp at Changlo and, for a while, hold the advantage before being defeated by superior weapons and losing at least 200 men.
- May 9 – Great Western Railway of England 3700 Class 3440 City of Truro becomes the first railway locomotive to exceed 100 mph (probably).
- May 15– The Russian minelayer Amur lays a minefield about 15 miles (24 km) off Port Arthur and sinks Japan's battleships Hatsuse, 15,000 tons, with 496 crew and Yashima.
- May 21 – The International Federation of Association Football, FIFA, is established.
- May 30 – Alpha Gamma Delta, which becomes an international women's fraternity, is founded by 11 women at Syracuse University.
- June 3 – Foundation of the International Alliance of Women.
- June 10 – Irish author James Joyce meets his future wife Nora Barnacle.
- June 15 – A fire aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York City's East River kills 1,021.
- June 16
- June 28
- June 29 – The 1904 Moscow tornado occurs.
- July 1 – The third Modern Olympic Games opens in St. Louis, Missouri, United States as part of the World's Fair is 1st Summer Olympic Games of the 20th Century.
- August 3 – British expedition to Tibet: The British expedition under Colonel Francis Younghusband takes Lhasa in Tibet.
- August 11 – Battle of Waterberg: Lothar von Trotha defeats the Herero in German South-West Africa and drives them into the Omaheke desert, start of the Herero and Namaqua Genocide.
- August 14 – Ismael Montes becomes President of Bolivia.
- August 17 – Russo-Japanese War: A Japanese infantry charge fails to take Port Arthur.
- August 18 – Chris Watson resigns as Prime Minister of Australia and is succeeded by George Reid.
- August 22 – China's Deng Xiaoping (邓小平）is born in Sichuan Province.
- August 24 – Faroes football club Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag is established.
- September 2 – The rigged dugout canoe Tilikum sails into the River Thames in England after a 3-year voyage from Victoria, British Columbia westabout.
- September 7 – British expedition to Tibet: The Dalai Lama signs the Anglo-Tibetan Treaty with Colonel Francis Younghusband.
- September 25 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Joseph F. Smith issues a Second Manifesto against polygamy.
- September 26 – New Zealand dolphin Pelorus Jack is individually protected by Order in Council under the Sea Fisheries Act.
- October 1 – Phi Delta Epsilon, the international medical fraternity, is founded by Aaron Brown and eight of his friends at Cornell University Medical College.
- October 4 – Swedish football club IFK Göteborg is founded, becoming the 39th IFK-association.
- October 5 – Alpha Kappa Psi, the co-ed Professional Business Fraternity, is founded on the campus of New York University.
- October 9 – German journalist Anna Rüling, in a speech to the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee in Berlin, makes the first known public statement of the socio-legal problems faced by lesbians.
- October 15 – Theta Tau, the Professional Engineering Fraternity, is founded at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
- October 19 – Polytechnic University of the Philippines is founded as Manila Business School through the superintendence of the American C.A. O'Reilley.
- 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.
- October 27 – The first underground line of the New York City Subway opens.
- October 28 – Panama and Uruguay establishes diplomatic links.
- November 8 – U.S. presidential election, 1904: Republican incumbent Theodore Roosevelt defeats Democrat Alton B. Parker.
- November 16 – The settlement at Grytviken on the British South Atlantic island territory of South Georgia is established by Norwegian sea captain Carl Anton Larsen as a whaling station for his Compañía Argentina de Pesca.
- November 16 - English engineer John Ambrose Fleming receives a patent for the thermionic valve (vacuum tube).
- November 24 – The first successful caterpillar track is made (it later revolutionizes construction vehicles and land warfare).
- December 2 – The St. Petersburg Soviet urges a run on the banks: the attempt fails and the executive committee is arrested.
- December 3 – Charles Dillon Perrine discovers Jupiter's largest irregular satellite, Himalia.
- December 4 – The K.U. or Konservativ Ungdom (Young Conservatives) is founded by Carl F. Herman von Rosen in Denmark.
- December 6 – Theodore Roosevelt announced his "Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine, stating that the United States would intervene in the Western Hemisphere should Latin American governments prove incapable or unstable.
- December 10 – The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity is founded at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.
- December 27 – The stage play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up premieres in London.
- 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.
- The Loftus Road and Griffin Park football stadiums open in London.
- Stuyvesant High School is founded in New York City.
- St. Bernard's School is founded in New York City.
- The Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, now Bethune-Cookman University, is founded.
- The subject of alcohol and heart attacks is first investigated.[clarification needed]
- January 1 – Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, Pakistani politician (d. 1982)
- January 5 – Jeane Dixon, American astrologer (d. 1997)
- January 10 – Ray Bolger, American actor, singer and dancer, best known for his role in The Wizard of Oz (d. 1987)
- January 13 – Richard Addinsell, British composer (d. 1977)
- January 14
- January 18 – Cary Grant, English actor (d. 1986)
- January 19 – Leo Soileau, Cajun musician (d. 1980)
- January 21 – Edris Rice-Wray Carson, American medical researcher (d. 1990)
- January 22
- January 26
- January 27 – J. J. Gibson, American psychologist (d. 1979)
- January 28 – Canuplin, Filipino magician and bodabil entertainer (d. 1979)
- January 29 – Arnold Gehlen, German philosopher (d. 1976)
- February 1
- February 2 – Valery Chkalov, Soviet test pilot (d. 1938)
- February 3
- February 4 – MacKinlay Kantor, American writer and historian (d. 1977)
- February 10
- February 11 – Sir Keith Holyoake, 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1983)
- February 16
- February 20 – Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1980)
- February 22 – Ernst Jakob Henne, German motorcycle racer and racecar driver (d. 2005)
- February 23
- February 29 – Jimmy Dorsey, American bandleader (d. 1957)
- March 1
- March 2 – Dr. Seuss, American children's author (The Cat in the Hat) (d. 1991)
- March 4
- March 5 – Mow Pang Tzu, Republic of China air force general (d. 1987)
- March 6 – Hugh Williams, English actor and dramatist (d. 1969)
- March 7 – Reinhard Heydrich, German Nazi official (d. 1942)
- March 14 – Doris Eaton Travis, American actress (d. 2010)
- March 15 – J. Pat O'Malley, English actor (d. 1985)
- March 20
- March 22 – Itche Goldberg, Yiddish author (d. 2006)
- March 23 – Joan Crawford, American actress (d. 1977). Other sources report her year of birth as 1903, 1905, 1906, and 1908.
- March 26
- March 30 – Alexandrina Maria da Costa, Portuguese Roman Catholic mystic, victim soul and blessed (d. 1955)
- April 1 – Nikolai Berzarin, Russian Red Army General (d. 1945)
- April 3 – Sally Rand, American dancer and actress (d. 1979)
- April 6 – Kurt Georg Kiesinger, former Chancellor of West Germany (d. 1988)
- April 8 – John Hicks, English economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1989)
- April 9 – Sharkey Bonano, American jazz musician (d. 1972)
- April 13 – Elwood "Pete" Quesada, American air force general (d. 1993)
- April 14 – John Gielgud, English actor (d. 2000)
- April 15 – Arshile Gorky, Armenian-born painter (d. 1948)
- April 16 – Fifi D'Orsay, Canadian actress (d. 1983)
- April 22 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (d. 1967)
- April 24 – Willem de Kooning, Dutch artist (d. 1997)
- April 26
- April 27
- April 29 – Pedro Vargas, Mexican singer and actor (d. 1989)
- May 4
- May 6
- May 8 – John Snagge, British radio personality (d. 1996)
- May 10 – James Roy Andersen, American general (d. 1945)
- May 11 – Salvador Dalí, Spanish artist (d. 1989)
- May 17
- May 20 – Margery Allingham, British detective fiction writer (d. 1966)
- May 21
- May 22 – Anne de Vries, Dutch writer (d. 1964)
- May 24 – Virginia Moyano, Argentine supercentenarian (d. 2017)
- May 25 – Charles L. Melson, United States Navy admiral (d. 1981)
- May 26 – George Formby, English singer and comedian (d. 1961)
- May 27 – Chūhei Nambu, Japanese athlete (d. 1997)
- May 30 – Doris Packer, American actress (d. 1979)
- June 2
- June 3 – Jan Peerce, American tenor (d. 1984)
- June 6 – Heinrich von Brentano, German politician (d. 1964)
- June 7
- June 8 – Angus McBean, Welsh photographer (d. 1990)
- June 15 – Edith Clark, French aviator and parachutist (d. 1937)
- June 17
- June 18 – Keye Luke, Chinese-born American actor (d. 1991)
- June 20 – Bessie Camm, British supercentenarian
- June 21 – Orian Landreth, American football coach (d. 1996)
- June 22 – William O. Gallery, American admiral (d. 1981)
- June 24
- Phil Harris, American actor (d.