[Liberals live] in what we call the "reality-based community." [They] believe that solutions emerge from...judicious study of discernible reality....That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

--Republican political strategist Karl Rove, laying out
the Republican Party's fundamentally postmodern,
choose-your-own-truth approach to governance.

In the year AD 2004...

  • An earthquake off the coast of Indonesia precipitates the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. One of the worst natural disasters in history slams nations around the Indian Ocean, killing an estimated 200,000 people.
  • Around 40 Chechen terrorists invade a school in Beslan, Russia and take about 1,500 people hostage (mostly children). After a dramatic three-day standoff, Russian troops move in and liberate the school, but at a terrible cost of 335 people killed (including 32 hostage-takers).
  • Terrorists execute four simultaneous bombings on the commuter rail system in Madrid, Spain, killing 191. The attacks are widely viewed as punishment for Spain's participation in the Iraq War, and three days later, Spaniards elect a new Socialist Government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq.
  • Massachusetts becomes the first US State to legalize gay marriage, in a State Supreme Court decision. The decision angers and galvanizes conservatives who rally to help incumbent US President George W. Bush narrowly defeat John Kerry in the 2004 US Presidential Election and pass anti-gay marriage ordinances and constitutional amendments in 11 states.
  • The European Union admits 10 new member states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Malta, and Cyprus.
  • In an ominous sign of global climate change, the first hurricane ever recorded in the South Atlantic Ocean strikes Brazil, causing $350 million in damage. There exists no international hurricane-naming agreement for the South Atlantic, but the Brazillian meteorological agency names it Hurricane Catarina.
  • Taipei 101 is completed in Taipei, Taiwan, at the time the tallest building in the world.
  • Construction begins in Dubai on the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world.

These people were born in 2004...

These people died in 2004...

Several notable films appeared in 2004, including:

These television shows began airing in 2004:

2003 - 2004 - 2005

21st century

How they were made

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