1904 is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar).
1901 1902 1903 - 1904(MCMIV) - 1905 1906 1907
1870s 1880s 1890s - 1900s - 1910s 1920s 1930s
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 7 - The distress signal CQD is established only to be replaced two years later by SOS.
- February 7 - The Great Baltimore Fire in Baltimore, Maryland destroys over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.
- February 8 - Japanese surprise attack on Port Arthur (Lushun) starts Russo-Japanese War
- February 10 – Roger Casement publishes his account of Belgian atrocities in Congo
- February 23 - For $10 million the United States gains control of the Panama Canal Zone.
- 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 8 – The first tunnel beneath the Hudson River completed
- March 21 – Battle of Chumik Shenko – British under general Francis Younghusband defeat ill-equipped Tibetan troops.
- April 8 - Entente Cordiale signed between the UK and France.
- April 8 - Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan is renamed Times Square after The New York Times.
- April 8, April 9, and April 10 - Aleister Crowley receives The Book of the Law in Cairo, Egypt.
- April 18 – Hurricane in Goliad, Texas kills 114.
- April 27 - The Australian Labor Party becomes the first such party to gain national government, under Chris Watson.
- April 30 - Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair opens in Saint Louis, Missouri (closes December 1)
- May 4 - First Rolls-Royce manufactured
- May 5 - Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cy Young of the Boston Americans threw the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.
- May 18 - in Paris, 12 nations sign the International Agreement for the Suppression of the White Slave Trade
- June 15 - A fire aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York City's East River kills 1000.
- June 16 - Eugen Schauman assassinates Nikolai Bobrikov, Governor-General of Finland.
- June 16 - Leopold Bloom walks through Dublin (First Bloomsday).
- July 21 - Trans-Siberian railway completed
- July 23 - In St. Louis, Missouri, Charles E. Menches invents the ice cream cone during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
- August 3 - A British expedition under colonel Francis Younghusband takes Lhasa in Tibet
- August 17 – Japanese infantry charge fails to take Port Arthur.
- August 18 - Chris Watson resigns as Prime Minister of Australia and is succeeded by George Reid.
- September 7 - Fire spreads over downtown Baltimore in USA - 1500 buildings destroyed, no known fatalities.
- September 7 - Dalai Lama signs the Anglo-Tibetan Treaty with colonel Francis Younghusband
- October 21 - Russian Baltic Fleet fires on British trawlers it mistakes for Japanese torpedo boats in the North Sea, in what would be known as the Dogger Bank incident.
- October 27 - The first underground line of the New York City Subway opens (IRT); the system is now the largest in the United States, and one of the largest in the world.
- November 4 - In Florence, Italy, the Arno River floods.
- November 8 - Theodore Roosevelt defeats Alton B. Parker in the U.S. presidential election
- November 24 - The first successful caterpillar track is made (it would later revolutionize construction vehicles and land warfare).
- December 2 - St. Petersburg Soviet urges run on the banks. Attempt fails and the executive committee is arrested
- December 27 - The stage play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up premiered in London
- Ismael Montes becomes president of Bolivia.
- Herero Wars begin.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Joseph F. Smith issues a "Second Manifesto" against polygamy.
- 1904-1905 Welsh Revival- Christian revival breaks out in Wales.
- January 1 - Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, Pakistani politician (d. 1982)
- January 3 - Jeane Dixon, American astrologer (d. 1997)
- January 10 - Ray Bolger, American actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1987)
- January 14 - Cecil Beaton, English photographer (d. 1980)
- January 18 - Cary Grant, English actor (d. 1986)
- January 22 - George Balanchine, Russian-born choreographer (d. 1983)
- January 22 - Arkady Gaidar, Russian children's writer (d. 1941)
- January 26 - Ancel Keys, American scientist (d, 2004)
- January 26 - Seán MacBride, Irish statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1988)
- January 29 - Arnold Gehlen, German philosopher (d. 1976)
- January 29 - Luigi Nono, Italian composer (d. 1990)
- February 1 - S. J. Perelman, American humorist and author (d. 1979)
- February 3 - Luigi Dallapiccola, Italian composer (d. 1975)
- February 3 - Pretty Boy Floyd, American gangster (d. 1934)
- February 4 - MacKinlay Kantor, American writer and historian (d. 1977)
- February 11 - Sir Keith Holyoake, Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1983)
- February 16 - George F. Kennan, American diplomat (d. 2005)
- February 20 - Aleksei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1980)
- February 29 - Jimmy Dorsey, American bandleader (d. 1957)
- March 1 - Glenn Miller, American bandleader (d. 1944)
- March 2 - Dr. Seuss, American author (d. 1991)
- March 4 - George Gamow, Ukrainian-born physicist (d. 1968)
- March 6 - Joseph Schmidt, Austrian tenor (d. 1942)
- March 7 - Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi official (d. 1942)
- March 20 - B. F. Skinner, American behavioral psychologist (d. 1990)
- March 26 - Joseph Campbell, American author on mythology (d. 1987)
- March 26 - Xenophon Zolotas, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 2004)
- April 3 - Sally Rand, American dancer and actress (d. 1979)
- April 7 - Ralph Bunche, American diplomat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1971)
- April 8 - John Hicks, English economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1989)
- April 9 - Sharkey Bonano, American jazz musician (d. 1972)
- April 14 - Sir John Gielgud, English actor (d. 2000)
- April 16 - Fifi D'Orsay, Canadian actress (d. 1983)
- April 22 - Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist (d. 1967)
- April 24 - Willem de Kooning, Dutch artist (d. 1997)
- April 26 - Jimmy McGrory, Scottish footballer (d. 1982)
- April 27 - Cecil Day-Lewis, English poet (d. 1972)
- May 6 - Moshe Feldenkrais, Ukrainian-born engineer (d. 1984)
- May 6 - Harry Martinson, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1978)
- May 11 - Salvador Dalí, Spanish artist (d. 1989)
- May 17 - Jean Gabin, French actor (d. 1976)
- May 21 - Fats Waller, American pianist and comedian (d. 1943)
- May 21 - Robert Montgomery, American actor and director (d. 1981)
- May 27 - Chuhei Nambu, Japanese athlete (d. 1997)
- June 2 - Frantisek Planicka, Czech footballer (d. 1996)
- June 2 - Johnny Weissmuller, American swimmer and actor (d. 1984)
- June 3 - Jan Peerce, American tenor (d. 1984)
- July 5 - Ernst Mayr, German-born biologist and author (d. 2005)
- July 12 - Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)
- July 17 - Tsarevich Alexei of Russia (d. 1918)
- July 28 - Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1990)
- July 31 - Brett Halliday, American writer (d. 1977)
- August 4 - Witold Gombrowicz, Polish novelist and dramatist (d. 1969)
- August 7 - Ralph Bunche, American diplomat, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1971)
- August 16 - Wendell Meredith Stanley, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
- August 17 - Leopold Nowak, Austrian musicologist (d. 1991)
- August 21 - Count Basie, American musician and bandleader (d. 1984)
- August 22 - Deng Xiaoping, de facto Chinese leader (d. 1997)
- August 23 - Thelma Morgan, Viscountess Furness, American socialite twin (d. 1970)
- August 23 - Gloria Morgan-Vanderbilt, American socialite twin (d. 1965)
- August 28 - Secondo Campini, Italian jet pioneer (d. 1980)
- September 9 - Feroze Khan, Pakistani field hockey player (d. 2005)
- September 22 - Joseph Valachi, gangster (d. 1971)
- September 29 - Greer Garson, English actress (d. 1996)
- October 3 - Charles J. Pedersen, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1989)
- October 23 - Harvey Penick, American golfer (d. 1995)
- October 25 - Vladimir Peter Tytla, American animator (d. 1968)
- November 2 - Louis Eugène Félix Néel, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2000)
- November 11 - J. H. C. Whitehead, British mathematician (d. 1960)
- November 12 - Jacques Tourneur, French director (d. 1977)
- November 14 - Dick Powell, American actor and singer (d. 1963)
- November 14 - Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1988)
- November 25 - Lillian Copeland, American athlete (d. 1964)
- November 30 - Clyfford Still, American painter (d. 1980)
- December 18 - George Stevens, American film director (d. 1975)
- December 25 - Gerhard Herzberg, German-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1999)
- December 26 - Alejo Carpentier, Cuban writer (d. 1980)
- December 30 - Dmitri Borisovich Kabalevsky, Russian composer (d. 1987)
- Gustave Biéler, Swiss-born hero of World War II (executed) (d. 1944)
- Bernard Castro, Italian inventor (d. 1991)
- J. J. Gibson, American psychologist (d. 1979)
- January 2 - James Longstreet, American Confederate general (b. 1821)
- January 20 - Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev, Russian chemist (b. 1834)
- March 5 - John Lowther du Plat Taylor, British founder of the Army Post Office Corps (b. 1829)
- May 1 - Antonin Dvorak, Czech composer (b. 1841)
- May 19 - Auguste Molinier, French historian (b. 1851)
- June 4 - George Frederick Phillips, Canadian-born military hero (b. 1862)
- July 3 - Theodor Herzl, Austrian founder of Zionism (b. 1860)
- July 5 - Abai Kunanbaiuli, Kazakh poet (b. 1845)
- July 14 - Anton Chekhov, Russian writer (b. 1860)
- July 14 - Paul Kruger, South African resistance leader (b. 1825)
- July 22 - Wilson Barrett, English actor (b. 1846)
- August 6 - Eduard Hanslick, Austrian music critic (b. 1825)
- August 22 - Kate Chopin, American author (b. 1851)
- August 25 - Henri Fantin-Latour, French painter (b. 1836)
- August 29 - Murad V, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1840)
- September 26 - John F. Stairs, Canadian businessman and statesman (b. 1848)
- October 4 - Frédéric Bartholdi, Alsatian sculptor (b. 1834)
- Physics - The Lord Rayleigh
- Chemistry - Sir William Ramsay
- Medicine - Ivan Petrovich Pavlov
- Literature - Frédéric Mistral, José Echegaray Y Eizaguirre
- Peace - Institut De Droit International
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