2004 History, Fun Facts and Trivia

2004 History, Fun Facts and Trivia

Quick Facts from 2004:

  • World-Changing Event: Facebook was founded
  • The Top Song was Yeah! by Usher with Lil Jon & Ludacris
  • Influential Songs include Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan, Roses by Outkast, Invisible by Clay Aiken, 1985 by Bowling For Soup, and Dirt Off Your Shoulder by Jay-Z.
  • The Movies to Watch include The Incredibles, Shaun of the Dead, Napoleon Dynamite, Ray, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mean Girls, and Million Dollar Baby.
  • People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive: Jude Law
  • Notable books include America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by John Stewart and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.
  • Price of Movie DVD in 2004: $19.99
    Oscar Mayer Bacon, 1 pound: $5.39
    Oreo cookies, 1 pound: $2.99
  • The Funny Late Night Host: Jay Leno
  • The Conversation: Should we invest in Google? (Google’s initial public offering raised $1.67 billion)

Top Ten Baby Names of 2004:

Emily, Emma, Madison, Olivia, Hannah, Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Ethan

Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols:

Gisele Bündchen, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eva Longoria, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Teri Hatcher, Uma Thurman, Beyonce, Cameron Diaz, Cate Blanchette, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Mischa Barton, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Sheryl Crow, Renee Zellweger, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson (turned 18 on June 13), Sienna Miller, Rebecca Romijn, Fergie

The Heartthrob(s):

Jude Law, George Clooney, Usher, Johnny Depp, Hugh Laurie, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, David Beckham, Ryan Reynolds

“The Quotes”

“You’re Fired”
– Donald Trump

“That’s Hot”
– Paris Hilton

– Howard Dean

“I Am A Gay American”
– NJ ex-governor Jim McGreevey

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year:

George W. Bush

Miss America:

Ericka Dunlap (Orlando, FL)

Miss USA:

Shandi Finnessey (Missouri)

The Scandals:

Janet Jackson’s right breast was semi-exposed by Justin Timberlake during 2004’s Super Bowl halftime show while they sang his “Rock Your Body.”
Well, most of it was exposed. The American phrase “Wardrobe Malfunction” came into the language. The scene, that was broadcast on worldwide television, showed Janet’s right breast, covered by a pasty of some sort, it was so horrifyingly graphic and sexual that PCM received a warning from Google about displaying a censored picture of the event, even though it was blurred out. If you are truly daring, you may see it here. You can see similar (and often less blurry) versions of the picture from CNN, E-online, VH1, and others via a Google search.

“I am a gay American” – James McGreevey, Democrat Governor of New Jersey, revealed that he was gay and admitted to an extramarital affair with aide Golan Cipel. The arguably criminal aspect of hiring a non-qualified lover to be in charge of NJ’s homeland security was overshadowed by the sex scandal.

During the 2004 US Presidential Campaign, CBS and Dan Rather used what were probably forged documents during a 60 Minutes Wednesday report on George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era service record. The ‘evidence’ report was written with a modern computer, not the IBM Selectric that would have been used in 1972.

Britney Spears married high school friend Jason Alexander (not the Seinfeld star!) for nearly an entire weekend. (55 hours)

Beslan School Massacre

The Beslan School Massacre in Southwestern Russia began on September 1st, 2004. Over 360 hostages, including 186 children, were killed by Islamic insurgents or Russian military personnel during the 4-day siege.

Hip Hop Death:

Old Dirty Bastard (cocaine and painkiller overdose)

Tortoise Death:

Timothy, a female tortoise who died in 2004, was the last survivor of the Crimean War, which ended in 1856.

The Odd:

Police discovered a movie theater in the Paris Catacombs. It had a giant cinema screen, seats, projection equipment, film reels, a fully stocked bar, and a complete restaurant with tables and chairs. Its power source and the identity of those responsible remain unknown.

Pop Culture Facts & History:

Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live on October 24. (To be fair, many artists lip-sync).

In 2004, Eminem dissed Michael Jackson on Just Lose it, in 2007, MJ responded by buying all of Eminem’s Publishing.

Polaroid warned the public not to “shake it like a polaroid picture.” as copying the Outkast song Hey Ya! might damage the photo. Shaking polaroids has been unnecessary since 1972, when the SX-70 eliminated the need for peel-apart film. Few cameras still use the technology.

During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami on December 26, 2004, fishermen said they saw with their own eyes “the reality of generations of legends . . . the remains of ancient temples and hundreds of refrigerator-sized blocks, all briefly exposed before the sea swallowed them up again.”

The cover art for Prince’s 2013 single Breakfast Can Wait was Dave Chappelle dressed as “Purple Rain” era Prince holding a plate of pancakes from 2004.

Dick Van Dyke dropped out of high school during his senior year in 1944 to join the military. He went on to earn his diploma in 2004 at the age of 78.

Survivor: Vanuatu Winner: Chris Daugherty

Ken Jennings won 74 games and 2.5 Million dollars on Jeopardy!

If you try to steal the hood ornament from a Rolls Royce made after 2004, it will instantly retreat into the car’s chassis until the owner rights it. These hood ornaments, called “The Spirit of Ecstasy”, cost roughly US $4000 to replace.

Morgan Spurlock gained 25 pounds in 30 days, eating only McDonald’s food. It took him 14 months to lose the weight.

GIF files were originally not widely used online since they required royalties to be paid until the patent expired in 2003 (2004 worldwide).

Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, was knighted in 2004 and should be addressed as Sir Tim Berners Lee.

More and more, American highways are being signed with a font called Clearview, approved for interim use in 2004 and claimed to be more legible than the traditional Highway Gothic font.

Mehran Karimi Nasseri was a man who lived at Terminal 1 at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, France, for 18 years. His story was the inspiration for the 2004 film The Terminal.

Deadpool described himself as “Ryan Reynolds crossed with a shar-pei” in his 2004 comic book series, leading Reynolds to believe he was destined for the role.

After sweeping the 2004 Oscars, Peter Jackson & Elijah Wood skipped all official celebrations and attended a LOTR fan party.

The house in the suburbs that Monica & Chandler bought in the final season of Friends (2004) was filmed at a soundstage, but the view outside was a stock photo taken from the front step of the McAllister house while filming the movie Home Alone. So… Monica and Chandler bought Kevin McAllister’s house.

At $2 million per 30-second slot, the 2004 finale episode of Friends had the most expensive ad slots for a non-sports program up to that time.

William Hung lost on American Idol but won America’s collective heart with his happy nature. He sang Ricky Martin’s She Bangs.

Despite its name, Jimmy Kimmel Live!  hasn’t aired live since 2004, when censors could not properly censor a swearing rant from actor Thomas Jane.

Samantha Mumba wore a Scott Henshall-designed dress (filled with diamonds) worth between 10 and 13 million dollars at the Spider-Man 2 premiere, possibly the most risque and expensive dress ever.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy in 1877 became a best-seller thanks to Oprah’s Book Club in 2004.

Blind athletes competing in the 2004 Paralympics made the same spontaneous facial expressions as sighted athletes competing in the 2004 Olympics, proving that certain facial expressions are innate to humans and not visually learned.

‘Curse of the Bambino’ – The Red Sox last won a world series in 1918, their streak as a ‘quality team’ ended when they sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the New York Yankees.

Cost of a Superbowl ad in 2004: $2,300,000

The Disaster:

A Tsunami killed nearly a quarter of a million people in Indonesia and the entire South Asian area on December 26, 2004, including Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. An underwater earthquake with a guesstimated Magnitude of 9.2 caused it. It lasted nearly 10 minutes, and some waves were 100 feet tall.

The Habit:

Facebook is just for college students.

Low Carb Diets like ‘Atkins’ and ‘South Beach’

Wearing Lance Armstrong Cancer Awareness ‘Livestrong Bracelets’

Madonna, Paris Hilton, Demi Moore, and Britney Spears wore ‘Kabbalah Strings’

Nobel Prize Winners:

Chemistry – Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, Irwin Rose
Economics – Finn E. Kydland, Edward C. Prescott
Literature – Elfriede Jelinek
Peace – Wangari Maathai
Physics – David J. Gross, H. David Politzer, Frank Wilczek
Physiology or Medicine – Linda B. Buck, Richard Axel

2004 Toys inducted to the National Toy Hall of Fame:

G.I. Joe, Rocking Horse, Scrabble

1st Appearances & 2004’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents:

Bratz, Dancing Dora the Explorer

Best Film Oscar Winner:

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Presented in 2004)

2004 Entries to The National Film Registry:

Ben-Hur (released in 1959)
The Blue Bird (released in 1918)
A Bronx Morning (released in 1931)
Clash of the Wolves (released in 1925)
The Court Jester (released in 1956)
D.O.A. (released in 1950)
Daughters of the Dust (released in 1991)
Duck and Cover (released in 1951)
Empire (released in 1964)
Enter the Dragon (released in 1973)
Eraserhead (released in 1977)
Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (released in 1980)
Going My Way (released in 1944)
Jailhouse Rock (released in 1957)
Kannapolis, N.C. (released in 1941)
Lady Helen’s Escapade (released in 1909)
The Nutty Professor (released in 1963)
OffOn (released in 1968)
Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (released in 1936)
Pups Is Pups (released in 1930)
Schindler’s List (released in 1993)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (released in 1954)
Swing Time (released in 1936)
There It Is (released in 1928)
Unforgiven (released in 1992)

The Big Movies: (according to boxofficemojo)

1. Shrek 2
2. Spider-Man 2
3. The Passion of the Christ
4. Meet the Fockers
5. The Incredibles
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
7. The Day After Tomorrow
8. The Bourne Supremacy
9. National Treasure
10. Polar Express

2004 Most Popular TV Shows:

1. American Idol (Fox)
2. CSI (CBS)
3. Desperate Housewives (ABC)
4. Survivor: Palau (CBS)
5. Survivor: Vanuatu (CBS)
6. CSI: Miami (CBS)
7. Without a Trace (CBS)
8. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
9. Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
10. Monday Night Football (ABC)

2004 Billboard Number One Songs:

December 13, 2003 – February 13, 2004:
Hey Ya! – OutKast

February 14 – February 20:
The Way You Move – OutKast Featuring Sleepy Brown

February 21February 27:
Slow Jamz – Twista featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx

February 28May 21:
Yeah! – Usher featuring Lil’ Jon and Ludacris

May 22July 16:
Burn – Usher

July 17 July 23:
I Believe – Fantasia Barrino

July 24August 6:
Confessions Part II – Usher

August 7August 20:
Slow Motion – Juvenile Featuring Soulja Slim

August 21September 10:
Lean Back – The Terror Squad featuring Fat Joe and Remy Martin

September 11October 29:
Goodies – Ciara Featuring Petey Pablo

October 30December 11:
My Boo – Usher and Alicia Keys

December 11 – December 31:
Drop It Like It’s Hot – Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell


World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox
Superbowl XXXVIII Champions: New England Patriots
NBA Champions: Detroit Pistons
Stanley Cup Champs: Tampa Bay Lightning
U.S. Open Golf Retief Goosen
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Roger Federer/Svetlana Kuznetsova
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Roger Federer/Maria Sharapova
NCAA Football Champions: Southern California
NCAA Basketball Champions: Connecticut
Kentucky Derby: Smarty Jones

Honorable Oympic  Mention:
Michael Phelps