US invasion Iraq 2003

What Happened in 2003?

What can we say about 2003? Plenty, actually – and if you were around at the time, it’s likely to have been a pretty memorable year. If not, we’re here to jog your memories a little!

It was a highly divisive year in many ways, with the Iraq War taking full shape and the world continuing to suffer from global warming. However, it was a great year for the global economy, which appeared to be bouncing back from recession.

That’s not all, of course – so let’s take a look at some of the biggest events of 2003 month by month, and look back on a few people we said hello and goodbye to this year.

In this year

North Korea nuclear


North Korea made a controversial decision early on in 2003, with the reclusive state deciding to remove itself from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on January 10th. The nation would continue to test weapons across the years to come, with suspicions over the territory’s intentions remaining high.

colin powell


In one of the most memorable moments of the War on Terror, Colin Powell, then-US Secretary of State, went before the United Nations to argue the case for invading Iraq. In the years that followed, it emerged that Powell was in fact misled by Bush’s administration. To this day, the conflict remains one of the most controversial decisions made by US government forces.

US invasion Iraq 2003


By March 20th, the US and its allied forces officially invaded Iraq, leading to the Iraq War. To this day, while it resulted in the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, it remains one of the most controversial conflict-led decisions in international history. The war would lead to many people questioning the leadership of President Bush and then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Human Genome Project


In landmark science news, the Human Genome Project announced on April 14th that it had officially sequenced 99% of our genome with a staggering 99.99% accuracy – meaning our internal code was officially mapped out for all to see! It’s helped to influence various studies since.

Dewey deer


May saw further leaps and bounds in science take place, with the world’s first cloned deer, Dewey, born at Texas A&M University on May 23rd – followed by Prometea, the first-ever cloned horse, being born on May 28th. It was certainly a sign of things to come!

facts poland


Poland made a momentous decision to join the European Union as of June 8th, 2003. The event arose thanks to a referendum held across the nation. Of course, it wouldn’t be the most controversial EU referendum taking place over the next 20 years…

Tesla Interior


The motoring world changed forever on July 1st, 2003, as Tesla – now owned by Elon Musk – was officially founded by Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard from their base in San Carlos, CA. This was no flash-in-the-pan venture – who hasn’t heard of Tesla these days?



Social media was officially born on August 1st, 2003 – with the release of Myspace, teenagers and young people found a new way to start sharing their likes, dislikes, and “top friends.” It’s hard to believe Facebook would launch shortly after and usurp Myspace’s crown – but for those who used the platform in its infancy, it was a game changer.

Italy blackout


Italy experienced a monumental power blackout on September 28th, 2003, as the peninsula was plunged into complete darkness for 12 hours. It’s thought the outage affected all 57 million plus citizens at the time.

Shenzhou 5


China officially sent people to space for the first time on October 16th, 2003, with the Shenzhou 5 being their landmark human-controlled spaceflight.

Concorde jet


The traveling and aerospace world bid a fond farewell to the iconic Concorde jet on November 26th, 2003, as the supersonic passenger vehicle landed for the last time in Bristol Filton Airport – setting off from Heathrow.

Kola Peninsula, Russia


Some sad news to end the year – as the final known user of the language Akkala Sámi died on December 29th, 2003. The language is now considered extinct.

2003 was the year of the…

chinese year of the goat


That is, at least, if you follow the Chinese Zodiac. People born in 2003, 2015, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, and 1931 are all considered goats. They’re super creative people and have incredible fashion sense. They’re also extremely considerate and supportive, though they can feel insecure. The next goat year takes place in 2025.

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