Facebook turns 20: Here's what else was happening in 2004

File: Message posted at an online college community called thefacebook.com, December 21, 2004. (Photo by Juana Arias/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A major milestone happened with Facebook as the social media platform turned 20 years old. 

Meta CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg has run the company since it launched on Feb. 4, 2004.

Facebook was created in his Harvard dorm room with college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The platform offered people a new way to connect online and has morphed into one of the biggest tech firms in the world, with 3 billion monthly users worldwide, Pew Research notes.


File: Mark Zuckerberg (L) and Chris Hughes (R) creators of "Facebook" photographed at Eliot House at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. on May 14, 2004. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)

RELATED: A brief history of Mark Zuckerberg's public apologies

While Facebook’s launch was among the memorable events of 2004, these notable moments from news and pop culture also captured the nation's attention during that year. 

President George Bush wins reelection

President George Bush defeated Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry to win a second term in office as commander-in-chief. Bush’s stance that the invasion of Iraq made the world more secure against terrorism won the political debate. 

Olympics held in Athens

The Olympics occurred in Athens, Greece in August 2004. More than 10,000 athletes from 201 countries participated in 301 sporting and athletic events. 

These were the first games in which record-breaking U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won his first gold medals and set the record for most medals won at the games, winning 8.  

Martha Stewart goes to prison

Martha Stewart was convicted of a felony and sentenced to five months in prison for insider trading charges in March 2004 for lying to federal prosecutors about selling ImClone shares a day before the Food and Drug Administration announced it had declined to review ImClone's application for its cancer drug Erbitux, FOX News reported. 


File: Fane Googins and Mike Krueger visit facebook.com in a BC dorm, January 28, 2005. (Photo by Michael Fein/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl

On Feb 1, 2004, Janet Jackson was involved in controversy when her breast was exposed in a wardrobe malfunction during a performance at the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII, resulting in U.S. broadcasters improving FCC censorship policies.  

Scott Peterson found guilty of murdering wife

Scott Peterson was found guilty of killing his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, 27, who disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002, and their unborn son, Conner. Peterson, now 51, is currently serving a life sentence in California's Mule Creek State Prison for the slayings, FOX 11 Los Angeles reported. 

RELATED: Scott Peterson case taken up by Los Angeles Innocence Project: report

Statue of Liberty reopens to the public 

The Statue of Liberty, one of the most celebrated symbols in the U.S., reopened to the public after the 9/11 attacks (Sept. 11, 2001) in New York City on August 3, 2004, FOX News reported. 

Kanye West releases "The College Dropout" album

Kanye West released his debut album "The College Dropout" and its success led to it winning a Grammy for best rap album. 

Ronald Reagan’s funeral held in D.C.

Former President Ronald Reagan’s funeral was held at the Washington National Cathedral in June 2004. The 40th U.S. president served in office from 1981 to 1989. The former actor turned politician passed away at age 93 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. 

"Mean Girls" debuts in theaters

The teen comedy "Mean Girls" hit theaters on April 30, 2024 and starred Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams. The film became a cult classic among fans years after it debuted. 

Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years

The Boston Red Sox baseball team won their first World Series since 1918 in October 2004, breaking an 86-year championship drought. Boston struggled since 1918 with several near wins for the championship but fell short of their goal until they finally broke through and won a title. 

60th anniversary of D-Day commemorated

In June 2004, the 60th anniversary of D-Day was remembered by world leaders. On June 6, 1944, the largest air, land and sea invasion in military history took place on the Normandy coast of France on June 6, 1944. Historians described The Battle of Normandy as a turning point for the Allied forces in World War II.

D.C. sniper found guilty

Ex-soldier John Muhammad was found guilty in 2004 of one of a series of sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington, D.C. area. 

Muhammad, and his mentor Lee Malvo, shot people in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., during a three-week period in 2002. Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in Virginia in 2009.

Same-sex marriage legalized in Massachusetts

In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.

Barry Bonds passes Willie Mays on all-time home run list

San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds hit his 661st home run to pass his godfather Willie Mays on the Major League Baseball all-time home run list. 

NASA rover lands on Mars

NASA’s Spirit rover, part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, was launched in June 2003 and arrived on Mars early in January 2004. 

Usher releases single "Yeah"

Superstar entertainer Usher released the single "Yeah" with Ludacris and Lil Jon in Jan. 2004. The hit song was later named Billboard’s Song of the Year that same year, and won a Grammy a year later for best rap/song collaboration in 2005.

FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.