2004 was the 133rd year after the founding of the City of Birmingham.
- March 17: The Birmingham/Jefferson History Museum was founded.
- April 29: Prince's "Musicology" tour came to the BJCC Coliseum.
- May: Birmingham native Nicole Whitehead appeared as Playboy magazine's "Playmate of the Month".
- June 18-20: City Stages returned to Father's Day weekend
- September 23, 24, 25: The 6th annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival was held downtown
- October 20: Bernard Kincaid presented the City Center Master Plan at the Alabama Theatre.
- October 29: The BJCTA Board voted 4-2 to dismiss executive director Mark Stanley.
- December 15: Forever Wild acquired the 462-acre Turkey Creek Tract at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.
- The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources contributed $10,000 to secure the Steven C. Minkin Paleozoic Footprint Site.
- The Marvel slab, damming a section of the Cahaba River, was demolished.
- Cartoonist Frank Cummings began assisting John Marshall to draw the daily "Blondie" newspaper comic.
- Integrated Medical Systems president Gene Robinson founded Instruments of Mercy.
- Wild Sweet Orange began performing as "Old American Dream".
- Matt Pitt began holding services for his "The Basement" ministry.
- Birmingham and its sister city of Hitachi, Japan began exchanging "friendship quilts" each year.
- Ralph and Kathleen Garth founded True Vine Outreach Ministries.
- The Phoenix Club of Birmingham was founded.
- May: Yanni's restaurant closed.
- May 10: Jay Grinney was named president and CEO of HealthSouth.
- May 24: McCormick & Schmick's opened at Brookwood Village.
- May 26: Tuscaloosa's Vinyl Solution record shop closed its doors.
- June 21: SouthTrust Bank's sale to Wachovia Bank was announced.
- November 1: SouthTrust Bank's sale to Wachovia Bank was finalized.
- Naked Art Gallery moved to the house fomerly occupied by Zoe's Forest Park on Clairmont Avenue.
- Frontier Cafeteria (formerly Pioneer Cafeteria) on Parkway East in Roebuck closed.
- Frank Carnaggio sold Carnaggio's to Jerry Mead.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama leased the 101,000-square foot Meadow Brook 300 building for its Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators division.
- Rob Henrikson became President and Chief Operating Officer of MetLife, Inc.
- Brownell Travel merged with Sterling Travel of Atlanta, Georgia.
- Mark's Outdoor Sports was named Fishing Tackle Retailer magazine's "Independent Retailer of the Year".
- Vamp & Tramp bookseller closed their retail store and moved to Hoover.
- The law firm of Presley Burton & Collier was founded.
- John Taylor founded Dayjon, Inc.
- Bob Dickerson founded the A. G. Gaston Conference.
- Richard Cashio founded Total Alloy Steel Service Company (TASSCO).
- Tony and Sharon Tarver opened Emmanuel’s Barbering Salon at 2204 2nd Avenue North.
- February: The Jefferson County Commission placed the Jefferson Metropolitan Health Care Authority in charge of the county's health operations.
- February 20: President George W. Bush used a recess appointment to install Bill Pryor on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
- June 9: Bill Pryor's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
- Doug Jones succeeded Mark Hall as Helena Police Department.
- June 17: The 9th annual Rickwood Classic was played.
- June 21, 22, & 23: The second North America Cup was held at Lakeshore Foundation.
- August 3: The Alabama Slammers hockey team announced the immediate suspension of operations.
- Rena Hudson returned to office as Mayor of Warrior after a 4-year absence.
- Frank Poe resigned from the executive directorship of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
- Doris Powell was appointed to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority.
- Stuart Rachels was promoted to associate professor in the Philosophy department at the University of Alabama.
- Tim Ritchie became CEO of the McWane Science Center.
- Jason Simpson became morning meteorologist for ABC 33/40.
- Ken Ward left his job as a reporter at WVTM-TV.
- Alabama Press Association lifetime achievement: Joel P. Smith
- Alabama AGC Construction Hall of Fame: Miller Gorrie
- Alabama Community College Conference Hall of Fame: Donald Green
- Alabama Lawyers' Hall of Fame: Albert Farrah, Frank Johnson, Annie Price, Arthur Shores
- Alabama Press Association Best Opinion Columnist: Joey Kennedy
- Miss Alabama: Dierdre Downs (Miss America 2005)/Shannon Camper (runner-up)
- Miss Shelby County: Katie Boyd
- Al Sutton earned his doctorate in ministry at Virginia Union School in Richmond, Virginia
- Irvin Penfield retired from the provostship of Birmingham-Southern College.
- Deputy Chief Robert Walker, Sr retired from the Birmingham Police Department.
- January 11: Harry Mabry, news director
- January 29: Dick Hawley, sportscaster
- February 6: Humphry Osmond, psychiatrist and coiner of the word "psychedelic"
- March 25: A. C. Keily, photographer
- March 25: Max Sokol, retailer
- March 31: Aquil Abdur-Rasheed, music store owner
- May 13: Helen Saxon, dance instructor
- May 27: John C. Fletcher Jr, biomedical ethicist
- June 26: Marie Ingalls, socialite, philanthropist, civic leader
- July 2: Birmingham Black Barons pitcher Elijah Gilliam
- July 28: Saleh "Sol" Bajalieh, restaurateur
- August 20: Birmingham Black Barons catcher Willie Patterson
- September 5: John "Red" Cochran, NFL player, coach and scout
- September 6: Hugh Agricola, former rector of the Episcopal Church of the Advent
- November 2: Emmet O'Neal II, chairman of O'Neal Industries
- November 8: Jack Farr, educator
- November 18: Bobby Frank Cherry, church bomber
- December 29: Freddie Rogers, first mayor of Roosevelt City
- "Reading Room" mural at 1915 4th Avenue North
- "Zillij Moroccan fountain" on 5th Avenue North at One Federal Place
- Summer: Patton Creek Shopping Center
- Shelby Hall at the University of Alabama
- Ensley Library closed for renovations
- The Phoenix Building was renovated as the Phoenix Lofts
- Birmingham-Southern College vacated the Simpson Building
- November: Park Place (Hope VI project), phase I
In 2004, NASA probes Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars. Terrorists executed simultaneous attacks, with bombs in 4 rush-hour trains in Madrid, killing 191 people. Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq was revealed on the television show 60 Minutes II. The series finale of Friends aired on NBC. SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight. The 2004 Summer Olympics were held in Athens, Greece. Hurricane Ivan struck Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category 3 storm, killing 25. A massive 9.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Indian Ocean, causing tsunami that struck numerous countries and killing at least 186,000. Taipei 101, at the time tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened.
Notable films in 2004 included Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Spider-Man 2, The Incredibles, and The Passion of the Christ. The Academy Award for Best Picture went to Million Dollar Baby, as did Best Director (Clint Eastwood) and Best Actress (Hilary Swank). Best Actor went to Jamie Foxx for Ray.
Notable pop music hits in 2004 included "Hey Ya!" by OutKast, "Yeah!" by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, "Burn" by Usher, "Goodies" by Ciara featuring Petey Pablo, and "My Boo" by Usher & Alicia Keys. The Grammy Award for Album of the Year went to Outkast, who also won two other awards. Record of the Year was won by Coldplay for "Clocks". Song of the Year went to Luther Vandross by "Dance with My Father". Evanescence won Best New Artist. The big winner, however, was Beyoncé Knowles, who won 5 Awards.
Notable deaths in 2004 included television host Jack Paar, actor & writer Peter Ustinov, journalist Alistair Cooke, entrepreneur Estée Lauder, actor Tony Randall, former president Ronald Reagan, musician Ray Charles, actor Marlon Brando, composer Jerry Goldsmith, actress Fay Wray, chef Julia Child, singer Laura Branigan, comedian Rodney Dangerfield, actor Christopher Reeve, football player Reggie White, actor Jerry Orbach, and musician Artie Shaw.
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