1904 History Events: What Happened in 1904

On the international stage, 1904 marked the start of the Russo-Japanese war, which would last over a year and end with a Japanese victory. President Theodore Roosevelt, who was elected to his second term on November 8, 1904, brokered the peace accord. Roosevelt was also in charge of the $10 million purchase of the Panama Canal Zone by the United States.

On September 7th, the Treaty of Lhasa put a stop to the British military campaign. On April 8th, the United Kingdom and France signed the Entente Cordiale, putting an end to over a thousand years of sporadic conflict. On a brighter side, the third modern Olympic Games began on July 1st as part of the World Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. These were the inaugural Summer Olympics of the twentieth century, and on May 21st, the Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA) was created, just days after Boston Adventurers pitcher Cy Young threw the first perfect game in contemporary baseball history.

Madison Square Garden in New York City hosted America’s first large-scale bodybuilding competition. Longacre Square was renamed Times Square in honour of The New York Times, and on December 31st, the city’s first subterranean railway line opened, and the city’s inaugural New Year’s Eve celebrations were held.

In the arts, Puccini’s revamped Madama Butterfly premiered in Brescia in May to critical acclaim after a lukewarm reception in Milan a few months before. The first caterpillar track was made, signalling a shift in land warfare, while astronomer Charles Dillon Perrine discovered Himalia, Jupiter’s sixth biggest moon. Dr. Seuss, Chinese statesman Deng Xiaoping, Spanish artist Salvador Dal, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer are among the notable people born in 1904.

Continue reading to find out more about what happened in 1904.


(February 29, 1904)
Jimmy Dorsey was born, and his orchestra was one of the most prominent big bands in the United States during the swing era.


(April 14, 1904)
John Gielgud, an English actor, producer, and director, was born. He is widely regarded as one of the best stage and film actors of his generation, notably as a Shakespearean actor.

(April 22, 1904)
J. Robert Oppenheimer, an American theoretical physicist and scientific administrator who directed the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico during the development of the atomic bomb, was born.

(June 28, 1904)
The SS Norge runs aground in the North Atlantic, 430 kilometres (270 miles) northwest of Ireland, on Hasselwood Rock. During the sinking, more than 635 individuals are killed.

(July 21, 1904)
Frenchman Louis Rigolly became the first person to breach the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land. He drove a 15-liter Gobron-Brillié at Ostend, Belgium.


(August 22, 1904)
Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese communist leader who abandoned many conventional communist teachings in order to incorporate parts of the free business system into the Chinese economy, was born.

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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1903 History Events: What Happened in 1903

1905 History Events: What Happened in 1905