2003 news roundup 

Oh the humanity!

Oh the humanity!
Gosh, what an exciting and eventful year it's been! What with the war, monkey pox, mutant Chinese human-rabbit embryos and David Lee Roth's tragic self-inflicted kung fu injury, it may seem impossible to remember everything, let alone make sense of it all.
But don't worry, newshounds. You'll find all the important events of 2003 listed right here. Happy reading and happy new year! Jan. 1: The country is lurching toward war with Iraq, North Korea is building the bomb and Osama bin Laden is still nowhere to be found. Though the U.S. airline industry is in the toilet, they post a perfect safety record - zero deaths - for 2002. Jan. 11: The Associated Press reports, "Police appear to have recovered about 500 original Beatles tapes that were stolen in the 1970s, including some never-released tracks, during raids on members of a piracy racket in England and the Netherlands." Jan. 13: Rocker Pete Townshend is arrested in London for possessing child pornography. Townshend claims he was only doing research for his autobiography. Jan. 15: In response to a U.S. offer of aid in exchange for scuttling its nuclear weapons program, the North Korean Foreign Ministry declares, "The U.S. loudmouthed supply of energy and food aid are like a painted cake pie in the sky." Jan. 19: The AP reports that Kentucky Mountain Bible College has taken steps to change the 666 prefix that is part of their assigned telephone number. Says Carlene Light, an office worker at the school, "No one wants to be part of the mark of the beast." Jan. 26: "Piano Man" Billy Joel plows his Mercedes into a tree along a highway in Long Island. Jan. 27: The National Recording Registry opens in Washington, D.C. The initial 50 recordings include the crash of the Hindenburg, Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First?" routine, Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech and Aretha Franklin singing "Respect." Yoko Ono is not featured in the Registry's top 50. Feb. 1: The space shuttle Columbia breaks apart re-entering the earth's atmosphere. All seven aboard are killed, including Col. Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut. Feb. 3: Famed rock 'n' roll producer Phil Spector is arrested in connection with the murder of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson. After posting $1 million bail, Spector is freed. His lawyer, former O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro, declines comment. Feb. 10: Iranian police launch a massive crackdown on Valentine's Day decorations and cards being sold in shops in Tehran. Feb. 14: Dolly, the cloned sheep, is euthanized at age 6, approximately half the lifespan expected of her breed. Feb. 18: Yoko Ono turns 70. Country singer Johnny PayCheck dies from hard livin' at age 64. Feb. 20: Fire engulfs a nightclub in Rhode Island during a performance by '80s rock band Great White. The blaze is caused by the group's pyrotechnics and nearly 100 die, including guitarist Ty Longly. Feb. 28: Oprah Winfrey becomes the first black woman to be included on Forbes Magazine's list of billionaires, with her net worth calculated at $1 billion. Bill Gates, list leader for the past nine consecutive years, sees his net worth fall 23 percent to $40.7 billion. March 3: The Rolling Stones schedule two concerts in China. Front row seats will cost $750, about what the average Chinese person earns in a year. March 12: Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic is killed by a sniper's bullets as he enters government headquarters in Belgrade. He is remembered both as an anti-corruption reformist and as a man with lots of consonants in his last name. March 13: The Chinese government says it will not allow the Rolling Stones to play "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Woman," "Let's Spend the Night Together" or "Beast of Burden" when the group performs in Beijing next month. March 17: President Bush delivers a televised speech telling Saddam Hussein that he and his sons, Uday and Qusay, have 48 hours to get out of town or face a showdown. March 19: George W. gets his war on. Cruise missiles and bombs are used to attack the Iraqi leadership in southern Baghdad. March 23: U.S. and British forces roll on toward a smoldering Baghdad following attacks designed to "shock and awe." Chaka Khan turns 50. March 26: A lawyer for two Texas men arrested in their bedroom argues that the state's sodomy laws are outdated and discriminatory. A large crowd gathers outside the court in hopes of getting a seat for the oral arguments. April 1: The Pentagon says it has asked Fox News to remove Geraldo Rivera from Iraq after he outlined military movements in the dirt for TV viewers. Michael Jackson tops an annual list of America's most foolish individuals. The No. 2 spot goes to Mike Tyson, who recently tattooed his face; Martha Stewart places third. Other "winners" include Winona Ryder, Robert Blake, Gary Condit and Trent Lott. Geraldo is said to be a favorite for the No. 1 spot next year. April 4: The Rolling Stones cancel their first-ever tour of China due to the mysterious and deadly respiratory illness known as SARS that is sweeping Asia. April 5: Calvin Klein, 60, announces that he has a drug problem. Two weeks earlier he had left his seat during a Knicks game and approached Latrell Sprewell as the player was about to throw an in-bound pass. Klein was escorted by guards back to his seat; Sprewell later said he couldn't understand Klein's mumbling. April 9: Baghdad falls, as symbolized by the image seen all over the world of a huge statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled by Iraqi and American forces. April 10: Rapper Snoop Dogg's motorcade is sprayed with bullets by three men in a passing vehicle. Snoop is unhurt, but a bodyguard is injured when a bullet grazes his back. April 15: American troops secure a palace belonging to Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday. Inside are found large quantities of fine wine, Cuban cigars, heroin and a stash of pornography that Army Capt. Ed Ballanco calls "the biggest collection of naked women I'd ever seen." April 24: After walking away virtually unscathed from a horrific multiflip crash at the track, 63-year-old "Super" Mario Andretti says, "It's almost a message that tells me, 'Mario, you've been getting away with some shit for a long, long time.'" April 30: Willie Nelson turns 70. May 1: The Carnegie Science Center announces that Mr. Rogers has an asteroid named in his honor. Formerly known as No. 26858, the hunk of floating space rock is now called "Misterrogers." May 3: The Godfather of Soul, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Soul Brother No. 1 - James Brown - turns 70. May 12: Former Republican education secretary, drug policy director and Book of Virtues author Bill Bennett says he is giving up the high-stakes gambling that is estimated to have cost him more than $8 million over the last decade. May 20: Michael Jackson, in town for a legal deposition regarding song rights, does some shopping at the Circle Centre Mall. After being kissed by Jackson, Stephanie Marley, 39, tells The Star, "He smelled really, really good." May 21: Jacko cancels his court-ordered deposition and leaves Indianapolis after becoming ill. His attorney tells The Star, "[Michael] doesn't like lawsuits. He doesn't eat and he doesn't take care of himself because he's so worried." May 25: Officials and volunteers in Beijing hand out thousands of "spit bags" and tissue packets as part of a campaign to prevent the spread of SARS. It is common for people in China to spit in the street and blow their noses without tissues. The plastic-lined spit bags have slogans written on them such as, "Pay attention to hygiene - starting with me." May 29: Bob Hope, the only civilian named an honorary U.S. Armed Forces veteran, turns 100. May 31: Eric Rudolph, suspected of the 1996 Olympics bombing and the bombing of two abortion clinics and a gay nightclub, is captured as he rummages through a garbage bin behind a grocery store in Murphy, N.C. Twenty-one-year-old rookie cop Jeff Postell arrested Rudolph, one of the FBI's 10 most wanted. June 2: Singer Barry Manilow explains that he recently awoke in the middle of the night and, in a disoriented state, proceeded to walk into a wall. He was unconscious for four hours and suffered a broken nose. Said Manilow, "I may have to have my nose fixed, and with this nose it's going to require major surgery." June 4: A federal judge in San Francisco sentenced 58-year-old Ed Rosenthal, known as the "Guru of Ganja," to one day in prison and a $1,300 fine for growing marijuana intended for medical use. The case represents the conflict between federal pot laws and the nine states that allow medical use of marijuana. Under federal law, Rosenthal could have received a 60-year sentence. June 5: Top New York Times editors Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd resign over the scandal involving reporter Jayson Blair's journalistic fraud. Blair is expected to profit handsomely from book and movie deals. June 10: Michael Jackson returns to Indianapolis to complete his court-ordered deposition. The plaintiff's attorney Norman Reed described Jackson's mood during several hours of questioning as "jovial." June 20: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention investigates dozens of possible cases of monkey pox in the Midwest and New Jersey. The disease is thought to have been transmitted to humans by exotic pets such as prairie dogs and Gambian giant pouched rats. June 26: By a 6-3 vote the Supreme Court rules in favor of two gay men in Texas who challenged that state's sodomy law. The ruling overturns similar laws in 12 other states. Strom Thurmond, the longest-serving U.S. senator and former segregationist, dies at age 100. July 4: Barry White dies at age 58. Geraldo Rivera turns 60. July 7: The Associated Press reports that N!xau, the bushman who starred in the 1980 film The Gods Must Be Crazy, has died. He had returned to his life as a herdsman and farmer in a remote region of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia where he lived in a brick house built by his earnings as an actor. He was thought to be 59 when he died; N!xau himself did not know the exact year of his birth. July 10: In a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) badgers Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld regarding the exact cost of military operations in Iraq. Rumsfeld or his aides telephone financial officers at the Pentagon during a break, then return to report that the war's monthly cost has reached $3.9 billion, nearly double the official estimate released three months ago. July 22: Acting on a tip from an Iraqi informant, U.S. troops stage a massive attack on a luxurious villa in Mosul, killing Saddam Hussein's sons, Uday and Qusay. July 25: During a rancorous congressional meeting over a $50 billion pension bill, Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) tells Forney Stark (D-Calif.) to "shut up." Stark replies, "You little wimp. Come on. Come on over here and make me. I dare you. You little fruitcake." July 26: Mick Jagger turns 60. July 27: Beloved entertainer Bob Hope dies at age 100. July 28: The Pentagon's planned futures market for acts of terrorism, in which investors bet on the likelihood of events like attacks and assassinations, is denounced by two Democratic senators. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon calls the program "ridiculous" and "grotesque," while Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota calls it "unbelievably stupid." July 30: Pioneer rock producer Sam Phillips dies at age 80 in Memphis, Tenn. Aug. 1: The AP reports that retired Adm. John Poindexter, who was responsible for managing the recently scrapped futures market on Middle East violence, will resign from the Pentagon. Aug. 6: Arnold Schwarzenegger announces on The Tonight Show that he will run for governor of California if the proposed recall election is approved; Gary Coleman, star of the '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, also declares himself a candidate. Aug. 11: Liberian President Charles Taylor resigns and leaves for Nigeria. Aug. 13: Chinese scientists announce that they have used cloning techniques to create embryos containing DNA from both humans and rabbits. They hope that these hybrid embryos may be a source of embryonic stem cells for research and future medical use. Aug. 14: Much of the northeastern United States, including New York City, loses electrical power. It is the biggest blackout in American history. Aug. 16: Idi Amin, the former 1970s dictator of Uganda known for his brutality and even occasional cannibalism, dies in Saudi Arabia; he was thought to be 80. A spokesman for Uganda's current president, Yoweri Museveni, called Amin's death "good." Aug. 24: Neo-Nazis hold a white supremacist rally at the Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis, drawing approximately 25 supporters. Five blocks away, at the City Market, more than 800 people gather to sing, dance and celebrate diversity. Aug. 27: Newly-hired Pacers President Larry Bird gives coach Isiah Thomas the heave ho. Sept. 1: More than 7 inches of rain soaks Central Indiana, causing extensive flooding. It is the rainiest day ever recorded for Indianapolis. Sept. 3: Rick Carlisle becomes the Pacers' new head coach. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pelted with an egg before giving a speech at California State University; unfazed, the actor quips, "This guy owes me bacon, now." Sept. 7: President Bush says he will ask Congress for an additional $87 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Dalai Lama and Muhammad Ali dedicate a new interdenominational temple just southeast of Bloomington. Acerbic rocker Warren Zevon dies of lung cancer at age 56. Sept. 8: Gov. Frank O'Bannon suffers a massive stroke while in Chicago. Sept. 9: Charles McKinley, 25, has himself shipped from New York to Dallas in an airline cargo crate, startling his parents and the deliveryman when he breaks out of the box. Shortly afterwards McKinley is arrested on bad-check and traffic offenses. Sept. 12: Johnny Cash - The Man in Black - dies at age 71. Sept. 13: Indiana's 47th governor, Frank O'Bannon, dies at age 73. Sept. 18: Packing 100-mph winds, Hurricane Isabel pounds the East Coast, causing billions of dollars of damage and claiming dozens of lives. Sept. 24: The Indianapolis Star reports that former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth accidentally hit himself in the face with a staff while performing a kung fu maneuver on stage at a recent Philadelphia concert. The injury required 21 stitches and Roth's next seven tour dates were canceled. Sept. 24: The Indianapolis Star reports that former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth accidentally hit himself in the face with a staff while performing a kung fu maneuver on stage at a recent Philadelphia concert. The injury required 21 stitches and Roth's next seven tour dates were canceled. Oct. 3: A 600-pound white tiger attacks magician Roy Horn of "Siegfried & Roy" during a performance at the Las Vegas Mirage hotel-casino. Horn is taken to a city hospital and listed in critical condition. Oct. 4: In other tiger-related news, police remove a 400-pound Bengal tiger from the Harlem housing project apartment of Antoine Yates, 37. Earlier in the week Yates had sought treatment at a local hospital for what he claimed were bite wounds from a pit bull, then fled when doctors questioned his story. Yates was arrested at a Philadelphia hospital. Police also found a 3-foot alligator in his apartment. Oct. 7: California Gov. Gray Davis is voted out of office; actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is voted in. Oct. 10: Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh admits on the air that he is "addicted to prescription pain medication." Oct. 16: China launches its first manned spacecraft, the Shenzou 5 ("Divine Vessel"). Orbiting the Earth 14 times, Yang Liwei spends 21 and a half hours in space as China's first "taikonaut." Oct. 20: Kirk Jones, a 40-year-old man from Canton, Mich., becomes the only person known to have gone over Niagara Falls without safety gear and survive. Oct. 27: The Price is Right TV announcer Rod Roddy dies at age 66. His enthusiastic signature line - "Come on down!" - will live on in the minds of millions. Oct. 30: The House of Representatives is briefly shut down due to a suspected security breach in a nearby congressional office building. A gun spotted during an X-ray screening of a bag turns out to be a plastic revolver, part of a Halloween costume to be used by a congressional aide. U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terence Gaither says, "I don't think anybody was trying to trick anybody ... it was just an unusual set of Halloween circumstances that unfolded on us." Oct. 31: Kamato Hongo, a Japanese woman believed to be the world's oldest person, dies at the age of 116. Nov. 3: Congress approves the bill designating $87.5 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ever-feisty Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) calls the bill "a monument to failure." Nov. 5: Bart Peterson wins reelection as mayor of Indy. Nov. 11: Porn mogul and former candidate for governor of California Larry Flynt tells the AP that he bought nude pictures of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, but he will not publish them. Nov. 13: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is kicked off the bench over his refusal to remove a 2.5 ton granite Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse. After holding the title of "world's oldest person" for only 13 days, Mitoyo Kawate, a 114-year-old Japanese woman, dies in Tokyo. Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio, who will turn 114 in two days, is now officially recognized as the oldest living person. Nov. 14: Postal workers in Milwaukee discover a 4-foot alligator chewing its way out of an Express Mail box. Surprisingly, mailing alligators is legal, but they must be no longer than 20 inches. Nov. 18: The Massachusetts Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriages must be recognized by the state. Nov. 20: Two days after police raided his Neverland Ranch in connection with a child molestation case, Michael Jackson surrenders to the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office. Jacko is booked then released on $3 million bail. Nov. 24: Singer Glen Campbell, 67, is arrested in Phoenix on charges of "extreme drunken driving," hit and run, and suspicion of assaulting an officer. Police Sgt. Randy Force says he heard Campbell singing "Rhinestone Cowboy" in the jail before he was released on $2,000 bail. Nov. 27: Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush makes a surprise visit to U.S. troops at Baghdad Airport in Iraq on Turkey Day. Dec. 1: A law is passed in England banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Similar laws are in effect throughout most of Europe. Dec. 6: Funk forefather George Clinton, 63, is arrested for possession of cocaine while allegedly smoking crack in his car at a Tallahassee, Fla., gas station parking lot. Dec. 7: The Chicago Tribune reports that scientists at the University of Illinois have manipulated rat stem cells into forming a copy of a human jaw joint made of bone and cartilage. Dec. 8: Ozzy Osbourne crashes an all-terrain "quad bike" on his Buckinghamshire property, breaking his collarbone, a vertebra in his neck and six ribs. Dec. 9: Los Angeles child welfare workers release a document reporting that the family accusing Michael Jackson of child molestation stated in an investigation earlier this year that no sex abuse had ever taken place at the Neverland Ranch. Al Gore endorses Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nominee. Dec. 12: TV icon and animal activist Bob Barker turns 80. Mick Jagger is knighted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. Dec. 14: Saddam Hussein is captured by U.S. forces near Tikrit. The disheveled, haggard tyrant is found hiding in a dirt hole not far from a luxurious palace he once owned. Dec. 15: The family of the late former segregationist Strom Thurmond acknowledges the claim by 78-year-old retired schoolteacher Essie Mae Washington-Williams that she is Thurmond's illegitimate biracial daughter. Dec. 25: Santa delivers toys to good boys and girls all over the world. A large bag of coal is delivered to several residents of Washington, D.C. Dec. 31: War in Iraq lurches on, North Korea may or may not be building the bomb and Osama bin Laden is still nowhere to be found. In a dangerous, wacky world, a new year begins.

Tags: ,

Readers also liked…

Around the Web


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

This Week's Flyers

About The Author

Harry Cheese

Today's Best Bets | All of today's events

Around the Web

All contents copyright © 2016 NUVO Inc.
3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Website powered by Foundation