What Happened in 2003 inc. Pop Culture, Prices and Major News Events (2023)

Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project is completed during April. Scientists from around the world successfully finished sequencing about 99% of the human genome. They identified over 20,000 individual genes and base pairs that create the basic DNA composition of humans. The project began in 1990 and it was a collaborative global effort led by the National Institutes of Health. Following its completion, scientists hoped that the research would help in understanding how to predict and cure certain diseases in the future.

United States - Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster takes place on February 1st. NASA’s STS-107 mission carried seven crew members (Rick Husband, William McCool, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon) into space where they conducted scientific experiments for 16 days. The Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry, tragically killing all on board. The disaster was likely caused by damage taken to the left wing during the launch when a piece of foam hit the wing. Following the catastrophe, NASA’s space shuttle program was suspended for 2 years while they investigated the disaster and tried improve the program.

United Kingdom -- Ronaldo's Manchester United Debut

The Portuguese soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo made his Premier League debut for Manchester United during August at the age of 18. Ronaldo played with Manchester United until 2009 when he left the Premier League to join La Liga as a forward for Real Madrid and was paid a record-breaking 94 million Euros. Considered by many to be one of the best soccer players of all time, he has won over 20 trophies and he holds dozens of records including having scored the most goals in all UEFA competitions and becoming the first player to score 100 goals in the UEFA Champions League.

World - Final Concorde Flight

The final Concorde flight took place during November. The Concorde was a supersonic, high-end passenger jet that flew at twice the speed of sound. The first Concorde flight took place in 1969 and regular flights began in 1976. Round-trip tickets cost thousands of dollars and the service was mainly used by wealthy patrons. After a tragic Concorde crash in 2000 and the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, demand for the service decreased and they shuttered the service due to low passenger numbers.

Space - Oldest Exoplanet Found

1. NASA confirms the discovery of one of the oldest known exoplanets, PSR B1620-26 b.

2. The planet, nicknamed “Methuselah,” was thought to be about 12.7 billion years old and is about 12,400 light years from Earth.

3. It was initially found in 1993 but its status was not officially confirmed until 10 years later with the help of the Hubble telescope.

4. Astronomers noted that it was the first planet to be confirmed with a circumbinary orbit (orbiting a pulsar and a white dwarf star) and the first in a globular cluster.

5. They also determined that the exoplanet has a mass of about 2.6 times that of Jupiter and it takes about 100 years to complete its orbit.

ESA Launches SMART-1

The European Space Agency (ESA) launches the SMART-1 (Small Missions Advanced Research in Technology-1) spacecraft during September . The unmanned satellite was launched from a site in Kourou, French Guiana. This was the ESA’s first mission to the Moon and the space probe orbited the Moon for about three years. It conducted several experiments that measured chemical elements and minerals visible on the lunar surface and solar activity. It was purposefully crashed into the Moon’s surface after 2,890 orbits.

China -- Shenzhou 5

China launched Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission during October of 2003. The Shenzhou 5 mission carried China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei, who had been a pilot. The flight lasted just over 21 hours and landed successfully in inner Mongolia. Accomplishing this feat made China the third nation, after the Soviet Union (Russia) and the United States, to launch its own manned space flight.

Department of Homeland Security

The new United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation

U.S. invasion of Iraq plan

United States plans for an invasion of Iraq due to an imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction

shock and awe campaign

The United States and the United Kingdom start with their shock and awe campaign with a massive air strikes on military targets in Baghdad before the invasion of Iraq by Land Forces.

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, is captured in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.

U.S. 393 tornadoes

A major severe weather outbreak spawned more tornadoes than any week in U.S. history. 393 tornadoes were reported in 19 states

Algeria Earthquake

Earthquake in Boumerdès region of northern Algeria - 2,200 killed

France Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong wins his fifth Tour De France

Do Not Call List

Do Not Call List starts providing consumers on June 27th with an opportunity to limit telemarketing calls.

Sky marshals

Armed undercover "sky marshals" are used on Aircraft to prevent terrorist attacks following 9/11

Freedom Fries

Americans rename "French Fries" to "Freedom Fries" in protest to France's stand on Iraq

(Video) 2003 Year In Review: Facts, Headlines & Pop Culture History


Toyota overtakes Chrysler to get the number three slot in US Car Sales

John Muhammad

Ex-soldier John Muhammad is found guilty of the Washington sniper shootings

Cost of Living 2003

How Much things cost in 2003

Average Cost of new house $246,300.00

Average Median Income $45,016.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.83

Popular Culture 2003

The ABC's 20/20 airs the controversial Granada Television documentary Living with Michael Jackson

Keiko the Orca made famous by the "Free Willy" movies, dies

The Recording Industry Association of America (or RIAA) files copyright lawsuits against Internet users for trading songs online

Apple launches Itunes which becomes a major success selling 10 million songs within 4 months of launch

A white tiger attacks Roy Horn of the duo "Siegfried & Roy" leaving him partially paralyzed

Michael Jackson is booked on suspicion of multiple counts of child molestation ( later acquitted )

JK Rowling's fifth Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is released

Popular Films

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Finding Nemo

The Matrix Reloaded

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Bruce Almighty

The Last Samurai

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Matrix Revolutions

X2: X-Men United

Bad Boys II

Lost in Translation

Popular Musicians

Amanda Perez

Elton John


Christina Aguilera


David Gray

(Video) Former Chinese President Hu Jintao removed from Communist Party congress | USA TODAY #Shorts

Limp Bizkit



Sheryl Crow

Hilary Duff

Norah Jones



Shania Twain


Avril Lavigne

50 Cent

Clay Aiken

Kylie Minogue


Kelly Clarkson



Justin Timberlake

Fleetwood Mac



P. Diddy

100 years of Harley-Davidson

10's of thousands of Harley Owners gather in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to celebrate 100 years of Harley-Davidson Motor Cycles.

Volkswagen Beetle

The last old-style Volkswagen Beetle rolls off its production line in Puebla, Puebla, Mexico

Italy countrywide blackout

Italy suffers a near countrywide blackout when electricity supplies fail

UK highest temperature ever recorded

The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK - 38.5°C (101.3°F) at Brogdale near Faversham in Kent

(Video) Chumlee Pleads Guilty, Goodbye Pawn Stars

Iraq car bomb attack

A car bomb attack in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq has left nearly 100 dead including a leading Shia Muslim politician Ayatollah Hakim.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Voters recall Governor Gray Davis from office and elect Arnold Schwarzenegger to succeed him.

India car bombs

Two large car bombs are exploded in busy area's of Bombay killing 50 and injuring nearly 150.

Iraq Abu Abbas

The wanted terrorist Abu Abbas is captured in Baghdad

Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch

Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch is amongst those captured US Troops free her 9 days later

Iran earthquake

A massive earthquake devastates southeastern Iran. Over 40,000 killed

France heat wave

In France a 104 degree heat wave kills approximately 5,000

Sudan Dafur Rebels

Dafur Rebels begin attacking Sudanese government targets, bringing a swift military and police campaign to Darfur causing millions to flee their homes.

President George W. Bush

President George W. Bush on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln announces major combat in Iraq is over on May 1

US Interest Rates

US Interest Rates at 45 year record low of 1% and core inflation rate of 37 year record low 1.3%

Justice Roy Moore

Justice Roy Moore, is suspended when he refused to take down the Ten Commandments from an Alabama state justice building.

Hurricane Isabel

Hurricane Isabel claims 40 lives and leaves six million people without power

Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol in danger of failing following International Climate Conference in Moscow

Iraq Terrorists bomb

Terrorists bomb the United Nations Baghdad Headquarters

Turkey Terrorists

Terrorists from Al-Qaeda drive two trucks packed with explosives and bombs into the Bet Israel and Neve Shalom synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey killing 27

Turkey Suicide bomb attacks

Suicide bomb attacks on British interests in the Turkish city of Istanbul kill 27 and injure 400

What Happened in 2003 inc. Pop Culture, Prices and Major News Events (1)

(Video) 2005 Year In Review: Facts, Headlines & Pop Culture History

Technology 2003

The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas upon reentry, killing all seven astronauts onboard.

The highly infectious disease SARS ( Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ) spreads from China, Singapore and Vietnam, Worldwide nearly 9,000 People are effected in 15 countries and over 800 die from the effects.

Human Genome Project successfully completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to 99.99% accuracy.

Secretary of State Colin Powell urges the U.N. Security Council to move against Iraq due to possession of weapons of mass destruction

In the biggest blackout in the history of the north America some 50 million people in the northeastern states of US and southern Canada lose power.

The birth of Prometea, the first cloned horse by Italian scientists.

The space probe Galileo makes a fiery dive into Jupitors atmosphere it was launched in 1989 and is one of the most successful NASA Projects.

Concorde makes its last commercial flight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic travel to a close, at least for the time being

Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected Governor of California

Libya agrees to give Up Chemical Weapons

Saddam Hussein is captured by U.S. forces

Concerns continue to grow over possible Asian bird flu outbreak also known as avian influenza.

Major World Political Leaders 2003

Australia Prime Minister John Howard

Brazil President Fernando Henrique Cardoso Till 1 January

Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva From 1 January

Canada Prime Minister Jean Chrétien till December 12,

Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin from December 12,

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin Till March 23

China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Hu Jintao From This Day In History March 23rd

France President Jacques Chirac

Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Mexico President Vicente Fox

Russia / Soviet Union General Secretary of the CPSU Vladimir Putin

South Africa State President Thabo Mbeki

United States President George W. Bush

United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair

(Video) Blackout: The Power Outage That Left 50 Million W/o Electricity | Retro Report | The New York Times


What pop culture events happened in 2003? ›

Beyonce's first solo album, Dangerously in Love, topped the Billboard charts while 50 Cent's single “In Da Club” was Billboard Song of the Year. Norah Jones won six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Come Away With Me.

What was happening in 2003 in the US? ›

February 1 – STS-107: Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas upon re-entry, killing all seven astronauts on board. February 3 – John W. Snow is sworn in as the new Secretary of Treasury, succeeding Paul O'Neill. February 4 – Four-year-old Sofia Juarez disappears in Kennewick, Washington.

What happened in May 2003? ›

The Labour Party under the leadership of Rhodri Morgan win a landslide victory in the Welsh Assembly elections. President Bush safely lands in an S-3B Viking jet on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln returning from operations in Iraq while 100 miles off the coast of San Diego, California.

What economic events happened in 2003? ›

Jan 1: One Euro is worth US $1.03 in the world's foreign exchange markets. Jan 7: President Bush proposes new tax cuts to stimulate the slumping U.S. economy. Jan 8: President Bush signs law to extend unemployment benefits to about 2.5 million workers without jobs.

What media was created in 2003? ›

2003. The LinkedIn social/professional networking site, the Technorati blog search engine, the Skype peer-to-peer Internet telephone network, and the Furl social bookmarking site are launched during 2003.

What event happened in March of 2003? ›

In March 2003, U.S. forces invaded Iraq vowing to destroy Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and end the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein.

What was the number 1 hit in 2003? ›

In da Club

What happened in October 2003? ›

World Series: Baseball: The Florida Marlins defeat the New York Yankees, four games to two, to win the 2003 World Series. Occupation of Iraq: A US Blackhawk helicopter is brought down near Tikrit by Iraqi militants. The Daily Star Lebanon reports that the US is effectively plundering Iraq following the occupation.

What was happening July 2003? ›

SARS Outbreak

The SARS virus, known technically as SARS-CoV (coronavirus). First appearing in China in 2002, the disease spread to 29 countries before it was stopped.

What happened in November 2003? ›

Two U.S. Helicopters Collide in Iraq (Nov. 15) At least 17 soldiers killed when one copter swerves to avoid hostile fire from the ground. British Bank and Consulate Bombed (Nov. 20) At least 26 people killed and 400 wounded when two trucks blow up in Istanbul, Turkey.

What happened on May 21st 2003? ›

A destructive earthquake of magnitude Mw = 6.8 hit the region of Boumerdes and Algiers (Algeria) on May 21, 2003. This is among the strongest seismic events of the mediterranean region and the most important event in the capital Algiers since 1716.

What happened on June 3rd 2003? ›

A British Parliamentary committee announces it will hold an inquiry into the government's decision to go to war with Iraq. Israel frees about 100 Palestinian prisoners before the Mideast peace summit with President of the United States George W. Bush in a sign of goodwill.

What happened in August 2003? ›

What Happened? August 14 and 15, 2003 - The northeastern U.S. and southern Canada suffered the worst power blackout in history. Areas affected extended from New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey west to Michigan, and from Ohio north to Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. Approximately 50 million customers were impacted.

What was popular in 2003 for kids? ›

2003 Top 10 Kid/Family Films
1.Finding NemoDisney/Pixar
2.ElfNew Line
3.Spy Kids 3D: Game OverDimension
4.Freaky FridayBuena Vista
6 more rows

Who was the most popular person in 2003? ›

Kardashian-West's Hollywood coming out, here are some of the celebrities that were most popular in 2003.
  • Oprah Winfrey. ...
  • Uma Thurman. ...
  • Eminem. ...
  • Rebecca Romijn. ...
  • Elisha Cuthbert. ...
  • Mandy Moore. ...
  • Tiger Woods. ...
  • Ben Affleck.
Mar 11, 2016

Who was the most popular celebrity in 2003? ›

Ian McKellen

What technology came out in 2003? ›

WordPress was first released on May 27, 2003. The game Second Life was released on June 23, 2003. Microsoft introduced Windows Mobile 2003 on June 23, 2003. The Safari Internet browser was released on June 30, 2003.

What was popular in July 2003? ›

Domestic Box Office For July 2003
RankReleaseRelease Date
1Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlJul 9
2Terminator 3: Rise of the MachinesJul 2
3Bad Boys IIJul 18
4Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & BlondeJul 2
38 more rows

What happened in March 2003? ›

In March 2003, U.S. forces invaded Iraq vowing to destroy Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and end the dictatorial rule of Saddam Hussein.

Who was the first baby of 2003? ›

ALBANY - Not even an hour old and already a celebrity, nurses at Phoebe record their first birth of the year, 7- pound 7-ounce Zachary Nathaniel Robinson.

How old are 2003 babies? ›

Click on the snippet below and see what it's like to use it while typing. Someone born before Jan 16th is 20 years old. Someone born after Jan 16th is 19 years old.

How many were born in 2003? ›

In 2003 a total of 4,089,950 births were registered in the United States, 68,224 more than in 2002 (an increase of 2 percent). The 2003 total is the highest number reported since 1963 (4,098,020).

What was the number one movie in 2003? ›

Finding Nemo

Who is the number 1 celebrity? ›

Below is the top 10 for each year since the list's inception.
1Jennifer LopezMusician / Actress
2Oprah WinfreyTelevision personality
3Justin BieberMusician
5 more rows

Who was the biggest star of the 2000s? ›

Bruce Willis

Did laptops exist in 2003? ›

2003 was when Toshiba released the Toshiba Portege M100, that's the first laptop top feature a slim DVD-ROM drive.

Were there any important influential inventions that came out in the 2000s? ›

The iPod, the Apple portable music digital player. Braille Glove. Nano-tex - nanotechnology wearable fabrics. Birth control patch.


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