A Year In History: 1904

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This Year in History:


Discover what happened in this year with HISTORY’s summaries of major events, anniversaries, famous births and notable deaths.

May 4

U.S. officially acquires Panama Canal, takes over construction

A ceremony on May 4, 1905 marks the official beginning of the U.S. acquisition of the Panama Canal. After the French had failed in completing the canal, this second effort will succeed in bridging the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, dramatically altering world trade as well as the physical and geopolitical landscape of Central America. For […]

June 28

Helen Keller graduates from Radcliffe, first DeafBlind person to earn a B.A.

On June 28, 1904, Helen Keller—deaf and blind since an illness at just 19 months old—graduates cum laude from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Keller becomes the first DeafBlind person to earn a bachelor’s degree. According to an article the next day in The Boston Herald, Keller earned enthusiastic applause at the commencement exercises held […]

September 21

The great Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies in Washington

On September 21, 1904, the Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies on the Colville reservation in northern Washington at the age of 64. White settlers had described him as superhuman and a military genius. But in truth, the Nez Perce Chief Him-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt (“Thunder Rolling Down from the Mountains”) was more of a diplomat than a […]