2003 events in history

Jan 8 Turkish Airlines Flight 634 crashes near Diyarbakır Airport, Turkey, killing the entire crew and 70 of 75 passengers
Jan 8 US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashes at Charlotte-Douglas Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina, killing all 21 people on board
Jan 11 Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois' death row based on the Jon Burge scandal
Jan 16 The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry
Jan 18 A bushfire kills 4 people and destroys more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia
Jan 21 A 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes the Mexican state of Colima, killing 29 and leaving approximately 10,000 people homeless
Jan 23 Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10
Jan 24 The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation
Jan 25 2003 Invasion of Iraq: A group of people leave London, England, for Baghdad, Iraq, to serve as human shields, intending to prevent the U.S.-led coalition troops from bombing certain locations
Jan 27 The first selections for the National Recording Registry are announced by the Library of Congress
Jan 31 The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia
Feb 1 Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107 disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard
Feb 4 The Bengali Hindus declares the independence of the Republic of Bangabhumi from Bangladesh
Feb 4 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopts a new constitution
Feb 10 France and Belgium break the NATO procedure of silent approval concerning the timing of protective measures for Turkey in case of a possible war with Iraq
Feb 15 Protests against the Iraq war take place in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between 8 million to 30 million people participate, making this the largest peace demonstration in history
Feb 17 The London Congestion Charge scheme begins
Feb 18 Nearly 200 people die in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea
Feb 19 An Ilyushin Il-76 military aircraft crashes near Kerman, Iran, killing 275
Feb 20 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the Station nightclub ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others
Mar 1 The International Criminal Court holds its inaugural session in The Hague
Mar 1 Management of the United States Customs Service and the United States Secret Service move to the United States Department of Homeland Security
Mar 5 In Haifa, 17 Israeli civilians are killed by a Hamas suicide bomb in the Haifa bus 37 massacre
Mar 12 Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade
Mar 13 Human evolution: The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human had been found in Italy
Mar 16 Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American woman involved with the International Solidarity Movement, is killed trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being destroyed by a bulldozer in Rafah
Mar 17 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Mar 20 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries (the UK, Australia and Poland) begin military operations in Iraq
Mar 23 Battle of Nasiriyah, first major conflict during the invasion of Iraq
Mar 24 The Arab League votes 21–1 in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of U.S. and British soldiers from Iraq
Mar 28 In a friendly fire incident, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the United States Idaho Air National Guard's 190th Fighter Squadron attack British tanks participating in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, killing British soldier Matty Hull
Apr 7 U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein's regime falls two days later
Apr 9 2003 invasion of Iraq: Baghdad falls to American forces; Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader Saddam Hussein, pulling down a grand statue of him and tearing it to pieces
Apr 14 U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985
Apr 14 The Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%
Apr 16 The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting ten new member states to the European Union
May 1 2003 invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declares that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended"
May 3 New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses
May 12 The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26 people
May 16 In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 people are injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks
May 21 An earthquake hits northern Algeria, killing more than 2,000 people
May 22 In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years
May 28 Peter Hollingworth becomes the first Governor-General of Australia to resign his office as a result of criticism of his conduct
May 30 Depayin massacre: at least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy are killed by government-sponsored mob in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene, but is arrested soon afterwards
Jun 1 The People's Republic of China begins filling the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam
Jun 2 Europe launches its first voyage to another planet, Mars. The European Space Agency's Mars Express probe launches from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan
Jun 5 A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reaches its peak, as temperatures exceed 50°C (122°F) in the region
Jun 10 The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission
Jun 20 The Wikimedia Foundation is founded in St. Petersburg, Florida
Jun 26 The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional