We continue our year-by-year look back at the decade with the year 2004, back when Los Angeles had two football teams, back when Richard Dreyfuss was the biggest movie star in all the land. Simple times.
Sen. John Kerry surprises pundits by winning the Iowa Democratic Caucus. Howard Dean screams. Southern California wins the Rose Bowl to finish first in the Associated Press end-of-season poll, but Louisiana State wins the mythical BCS title. Michael Jackson pleads not guilty to nine felonies. Freddie Mitchell catches a pass against Green Bay. Jack Paar, Captain Kangaroo and Yinka Dare all die. (In separate incidents.) CIA chief Iraq weapons inspector David Kay resigns. Pete Rose admits he bet on baseball in the horribly named book "My Prison Without Bars." President Bush says we should go back to the moon.
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires his entire Cabinet. "Sex And The City" goes off the air; Carrie ends up with Mr. Big. Howard Dean drops out of the Presidential race. Janet Jackson introduces an aghast nation to her saggy right boob. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom issues marriages licenses to gay couples. The Patriots win their second Super Bowl, over the Carolina Panthers, in a game that was a lot closer than any of us remember it being.
Marge Schott and John Henry Williams die, and Spalding Gray's body is found. Terrorist attacks on commuter trains in Spain kill 202 people. Martha Stewart is found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Sen. John Kerry wraps up Democratic nomination for President. Will Leitch runs his final Life As A Loser column. Richard Clarke goes on "60 Minutes" and claims that President Bush ignore his warnings of an imminent terrorist attack, back in 2001.
Pat Tillman is killed in Afghanistan. Google announces it will go public. The Abu Ghraib photos hit. Connecticut beats Georgia Tech to win the NCAA championship. The World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C. Phil Mickelson wins his first major at Augusta and pleases Martha Burk by becoming the first champion with breasts.
"Friends" and "Frasier" go off the air. Terry Nichols is convicted of 161 counts of first-degree murder. Tony Randall dies. Smarty Jones wins the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Randy Johnson becomes the oldest man to throw a perfect game. "Let's Get It Started," by the revamped Black Eyed Peas, becomes the official song of the NBA Playoffs. Nicholas Berg is beheaded.
Ken Jennings begins his reign of terror on "Jeopardy." Ronald Reagan, Ray Charles and Ralph Wiley die. The Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup. The United States turns over power in Iraq to the Iraqi government. The Detroit Pistons end the Los Angeles Lakers' stranglehold on the NBA. Mary Kate Olsen enters rehab for an eating disorder. Bill Clinton's autobiography is released. Smarty Jones loses to Birdstone in the Belmont Stakes. Jack Ryan, the expected Republican contender against young State Senator Barack Obama, quits his Senate race after his actress wife reveals he took her to sex clubs.
The 9/11 Commission Report is released. Greg Maddux becomes the last man to win 300 games. "Entourage" debuts. John Kerry picks John Edwards as his running mate. A clean-shaven Saddam Hussein appears in court, and his brother Barack Hussein Obama electrifies the Democratic National Convention. Construction on Ground Zero begins.
Russia is rocked by terrorist attacks. The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth cause John Kerry considerable trouble. At the Summer Olympics in Athens, Michael Phelps wins some medals, and the USA basketball team struggles to a bronze medal. Two men in Oslo steal the painting "The Scream." Dick Cheney comes out for gay marriage. Vijay Singh wins the PGA Championship. The Statue of Liberty is opened to the public for the first time since September 11. New Jersey governor James McGreevey resigns and reveals he is gay. Rick James and Julia Child die. CBS brings us Thurston Long.
Pedro Martinez calls the Yankees his "daddy." Al Michaels makes a John Kerry "flip-flop" joke during a Patriots-Colts game. Joey Ramone and Russ Meyer die. Major League Baseball announces that the Montreal Expos will move to Washington, D.C. Britney Spears marries Kevin Federline. Bill Clinton has a quadruple bypass. Rape charges against Kobe Bryant are dropped. The American death toll in Iraq reaches 1,000. Chechen insurgents take a school in Beslan hostage, and ultimately 340 people are killed. George Bush and John Kerry debate. "Lost" premieres. Hurricane Ivan hits. Tom Sizemore puts on a wig to play Pete Rose.
Something happens with the Boston Red Sox. Amy Poehler joins Tina Fey on the "Weekend Update" desk. Ashlee Simpson lip-syncs. Christopher Reeve, Rodney Dangerfield and Ken Caminiti die. Jon Stewart requests "Crossfire" to stop hurting America. Mark Cuban's "The Benefactor" is canceled after six episodes. Bill O'Reilly is accused of not understanding what a falafel is.
President Bush is re-elected. Terrell Owens appears with the old lady from "Desperate Housewives" before "Monday Night Football." Old Dirty Bastard dies. Ken Jennings finally loses. "House" debuts. Elizabeth Edwards announces she has breast cancer. The Indiana Pacers have a minor skirmish with Detroit Pistons fans. Colin Powell steps down.
The tsunami in the Indian Ocean kills nearly 140,000 people. President Bush nominates Bernie Kerik to head the Department of Homeland Security, and it doesn't go well. The San Francisco Chronicle reports incriminating testimony from the BALCO trial from Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds. Susan Sontag, Reggie White and Lennie Briscoe die. Tom Brokaw leaves the NBC Nightly News. Karl Malone tells Kobe Bryant's wife that one of his hobbies is "hunting little Mexican girls."