|Centuries:||20th century – 21st century – 22nd century|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s – 2000s – 2010s 2020s 2030s|
|Years:||2000 2001 2002 – 2003 – 2004 2005 2006|
|Ab urbe condita||2756|
|British Regnal year||51 Eliz. 2 – 52 Eliz. 2|
|Chinese calendar||壬午年 (Water Horse)
4699 or 4639
— to —
癸未年 (Water Goat)
4700 or 4640
|- Vikram Samvat||2059–2060|
|- Shaka Samvat||1925–1926|
|- Kali Yuga||5104–5105|
|Japanese calendar||Heisei 15
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 13 days|
|Minguo calendar||ROC 92
|Thai solar calendar||2546|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2003.|
2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (dominical letter E), the 2003rd year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 3rd year of the 3rd millennium, the 3rd year of the 21st century, and the 4th year of the 2000s decade.
2003 was designated the:
- January 1 – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is elected President of Brazil. He is the first left-wing president of Brazil since João Goulart in 1961.
- January 5 – Police in London arrest 7 suspects in connection with the 2002 Wood Green ricin plot.
- January 8 – US Airways Express Flight 5481 crashes at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing all 21 people aboard.
- January 16 – STS-107: Space Shuttle Columbia is launched on its last flight.
- January 18 – The Canberra Bushfires in Canberra, Australia, kill 4 people.
- January 23 – The last signal is received from NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft, some 7.5 billion miles from Earth.
- January 24 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security established.
- January 29 – 2003 Phnom Penh riots: In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Thai embassy is burned and commercial properties of Thai businesses are vandalized.
- January 30 – Belgium legally recognizes same-sex marriage.
- February 1
- February 5 – Iraq disarmament crisis: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the UN Security Council on Iraq.
- February 9 – The War in Darfur begins.
- February 15 – Global protests against the Iraq war: More than 10 million people protest in over 600 cities worldwide, the largest to take place before a war occurs.
- February 18 – An arsonist destroys a train in Daegu, South Korea, killing more than 190.
- February 20 – The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, claims the lives of 100 people.
- February 26 – An American businessman is admitted to the Vietnam France Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the first identified case of SARS. WHO doctor Carlo Urbani reports the unusual, highly contagious disease to WHO. Both the businessman and doctor later die of the disease.
- February 27 – Former Bosnian Serb leader Biljana Plavšić is sentenced by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, to 11 years in prison.
- March 1 – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 Attacks, is arrested by CIA and ISI officials at a home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
- March 8 – Malta approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- March 12
- March 18 – FBI agents raid the corporate headquarters of HealthSouth Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, on suspicion of massive corporate fraud led by the company's top executives.
- March 19 – The Iraq War begins with the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and allied forces.
- March 23 – Slovenia approves joining the European Union and NATO in a referendum.
- April 3
- April 9 – U.S. forces seize control of Baghdad, ending the regime of Saddam Hussein.
- April 12 – Hungary approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- April 14 – The Human Genome Project is completed, with 99% of the human genome sequenced to 99.99% accuracy.
- April 29 – The United States announces the withdrawal of troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, and the redeployment of some at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.
- May 4 – May 10 – A major severe weather outbreak spawns more tornadoes than any week in U.S. history; 393 tornadoes are reported in 19 states.
- May 11
- May 12
- May 14 – A suicide bomber blows up explosives strapped to her waist in a crowd of thousands of Muslim pilgrims, killing at least 18 people in Chechnya.
- May 16 – In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.
- May 17 – Slovakia approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- May 19 – The Indonesian military begins an operation in Aceh province.
- May 21 – An earthquake in the Boumerdès region of northern Algeria kills 2,200.
- May 23 – Dewey, the first deer cloned by scientists at Texas A&M University, is born.
- May 28 – Prometea, the first horse cloned by Italian scientists, is born.
- June 5 – A female suicide bomber detonates a bomb near a bus carrying soldiers and civilians to a military airfield in Mozdok, a major staging point for Russian troops in Chechnya, killing at least 16.
- June 8 – Poland approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- June 14 – The Czech Republic approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- June 23 – Grutter v. Bollinger: The Supreme Court of the United States upholds affirmative action in university admissions.
- June 26 – Lawrence v. Texas: The U.S. Supreme Court declares sodomy laws unconstitutional.
- June 30 – In Irvine, California, Joseph Hunter Parker kills 2 Albertsons employees with a sword, before being shot to death by the police.
- July 1 – 500,000 Hong Kong people march to protest Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23, which controversially redefines treason.
- July 5
- July 6 – The 70-meter Eupatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message Cosmic Call 2 to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri, HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris, that will arrive at these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044, 2044 and 2049 respectively.
- July 8 – Sudan Airways Flight 139, with 117 people on board, crashes in Sudan; the only survivor is a 2-year-old child.
- July 14 – Plame affair: Washington Post columnist Robert Novak publishes the name of Valerie Plame, blowing her cover as a CIA operative.
- July 18
- July 21 – Eleven support towers on Kinzua Bridge collapse after being hit by an F-1 tornado.
- July 22 – Uday and Qusay Hussein, sons of Saddam Hussein, are killed by the U.S. military in Iraq, after being tipped off by an informant.
- July 23 – Operation Warrior Sweep is the first major military deployment of the Afghan National Army.
- July 24 – The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, Operation Helpem Fren, led by Australia, begins.
- August 1 – A suicide bomber rams a truck filled with explosives into a military hospital near Chechnya, killing 50 people, including Russian troops wounded in Chechnya.
- August 2 – The United Nations authorizes an international peacekeeping force for Liberia.
- August 11 – NATO takes over command of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, marking its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.
- August 14
- August 22 – A rocket explosion kills 21 at the Brazilian rocket complex in Alcântara, Brazil, due to the premature ignition of a solid rocket booster.
- August 25 – The Spitzer Space Telescope is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, during Delta II.
- August 27 – Perihelic opposition: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in over 50,000 years.
- September 3 – The Hubble Space Telescope starts Hubble Ultra-Deep Field.
- September 4 – Europe's busiest shopping centre, the Bullring in Birmingham, is officially opened by Sir Albert Bore.
- September 14 – Estonia approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- September 15 – The ELN kidnaps 8 foreign tourists in the Ciudad Perdida in Colombia; they demand a human rights investigation and release the last hostages 3 months later.
- September 20 – Latvia approves joining the European Union in a referendum.
- September 27 – Smart 1, a European Space Agency satellite, is launched from French Guiana.
- October 5 – Israeli warplanes strike inside Syrian territory.
- October 15 – China launches Shenzhou 5, their first manned space mission.
- October 24
- November 9 – A lunar eclipse is seen in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Central Asia.
- November 12 – Occupation of Iraq: In Nasiriyah, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 Iraq war, are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.
- November 18 – With its ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court makes the state the first in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage.
- November 23 – A total solar eclipse is seen over Antarctica.
- December 1 – The use of hand-held cell phones while driving is outlawed in the United Kingdom.
- December 5 – A suicide bombing on a commuter train in southern Russia kills 44 people.
- December 13 – Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, is captured in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
- December 20 – Libya admits to building a nuclear bomb.
- December 22 – Parmalat is first accused of falsifying accounts to the tune of USD $5 billion, later admitted by founder Calisto Tanzi; observers call it "Europe's Enron".
- December 23 – The World Tourism Organization becomes a specialized agency of the United Nations.
- December 26 – A massive earthquake devastates southeastern Iran; over 40,000 people are reported killed in the city of Bam.
- December 31 – British Airways Flight 223, a Boeing 747–400 flying from London Heathrow to Washington Dulles, is escorted into Dulles Airport by F-16 fighter jets, after intelligence reports of terrorists trying to board the jet and use it in a terrorist attack.
- March 12 – Andrea Brillantes, Filipina actress
- August 28 – Quvenzhané Wallis, American child actress
- November 8 – Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex
- December 7 – Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, daughter of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima
- January 8 – Ron Goodwin, English composer and conductor (b. 1925)
- January 11
- January 12
- January 15 – Doris Fisher, American singer-songwriter (b. 1915)
- January 17 – Richard Crenna, American actor (Marooned) (b. 1926)
- January 20 – Al Hirschfeld, American cartoonist (b. 1903)
- January 23 – Nell Carter, African-American singer and actress (b. 1948)
- January 24 – Gianni Agnelli, Italian auto executive (b. 1921)
- January 26
- January 27 – Henryk Jabłoński, former President of Poland (b. 1909)
- January 29 – Frank Moss, American politician (b. 1911)
- February 1
- Michael P. Anderson, American astronaut (b. 1959)
- David M. Brown, American astronaut (b. 1956)
- Kalpana Chawla, American astronaut (b. 1961)
- Laurel Clark, American astronaut (b. 1961)
- Rick Husband, American astronaut (b. 1957)
- William McCool, American astronaut (b. 1961)
- Ilan Ramon, Israeli fighter pilot and first Israeli astronaut (b. 1954)
- February 2 – Lou Harrison, American composer (b. 1917)
- February 10
- February 19 – Johnny Paycheck, American singer (b. 1938)
- February 20
- February 27 – Fred Rogers, American children's television host (b. 1928)
- February 28
- March 2
- March 9 – Bernard Dowiyogo, President of Nauru (b. 1946)
- March 12
- March 22 – Milton G. Henschel, American Jehovah's Witnesses leader (b. 1920)
- March 26 – Daniel Patrick Moynihan, American politician (b. 1926)
- March 29 – Carlo Urbani, Italian physician (b. 1956)
- March 30 – Michael Jeter, American actor (b. 1952)
- April 1 – Leslie Cheung, Hong Kong singer and actor (b. 1956)
- April 2 – Edwin Starr, African-American soul singer (b. 1942)
- April 7 – Cecile de Brunhoff, French storyteller (b. 1903)
- April 9
- April 11 – Cecil Howard Green, British-born geophysicist and businessman (b. 1900)
- April 14 – Jyrki Otila, Finnish quiz show judge and Member of the European Parliament (b. 1941)
- April 17
- April 19 – Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Indian-born Muslim leader (b. 1928)
- April 20
- April 21 – Nina Simone, American singer (b. 1933)
- April 26 – Peter Stone, American writer (b. 1930)
- April 30 – Wim van Est, Dutch cyclist (b. 1923)
- May 11 – Noel Redding, English musician (b. 1946)
- May 12 – Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (b. 1933)
- May 14
- May 15
- May 26 – Kathleen Winsor, American writer (b. 1919)
- May 27 – Luciano Berio, Italian composer (b. 1925)
- May 28
- June 2
- June 10
- June 11 – David Brinkley, American television reporter (b. 1920)
- June 12 – Gregory Peck, American actor (b. 1916)
- June 14 – Jimmy Knepper, American musician (b. 1927)
- June 15
- June 18 – Larry Doby, American baseball player (b. 1923)
- June 21 – Leon Uris, American writer (b. 1924)
- June 25 – Lester Maddox, American politician (b. 1915)
- June 26
- June 29 – Katharine Hepburn, American actress (b. 1907)
- June 30 – Buddy Hackett, American comedian and actor (b. 1924)
- July 1
- July 4 – Barry White, African-American singer (b. 1944)
- July 5 – Roman Lyashenko, Russian hockey player (b. 1979)
- July 6 – Buddy Ebsen, American actor (b. 1908)
- July 10
- July 11 – Zahra Kazemi, Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer. (b. 1949)
- July 12 – Benny Carter, American musician (b. 1907)
- July 13 – Compay Segundo, Cuban musician (Buena Vista Social Club) (b. 1907)
- July 14 – Éva Janikovszky, Hungarian novelist (b. 1926)
- July 15
- July 16
- July 17 – Rosalyn Tureck, American pianist and harpsichordist (b. 1914)
- July 22
- July 25
- July 27 – Bob Hope, English-born American comedian and actor (b. 1903)
- July 30 – Sam Phillips, American record producer (b. 1923)
- August 1 – Marie Trintignant, French actress (b. 1962)
- August 4
- August 9 – Gregory Hines, African-American dancer and actor (b. 1946)
- August 11 – Armand Borel, Swiss mathematician (b. 1923)
- August 14 – Helmut Rahn, German footballer (b. 1929)
- August 16 – Idi Amin, Ugandan dictator (b. 1924)
- August 19
- August 22 – Imperio Argentina, Argentinian singer and actress (b. 1906)
- August 23 – Jack Dyer, Australian football player, coach, and commentator (b. 1913)
- August 29 – Vladimír Vašíček, Czech painter (b. 1919)
- August 30 – Charles Bronson, American actor (b. 1921)
- September 1
- September 6 – Harry Goz, American actor (b. 1932)
- September 7 – Warren Zevon, American singer (b. 1947)
- September 8 – Leni Riefenstahl, German film director (b. 1902)
- September 9
- September 11
- September 12 – Johnny Cash, American singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1932)
- September 13 – Frank O'Bannon, American politician (b. 1930)
- September 14 – John Serry, Sr., American musician (b. 1915)
- September 17 – Sheb Wooley, American actor and singer (b. 1921)
- September 22 – Gordon Jump, American actor (b. 1932)
- September 23 – Yuri Senkevich, Russian TV anchorman (b. 1937)
- September 24 – Edward Said, Palestinian-born literary critic (b. 1935)
- September 25
- September 26
- September 27 – Donald O'Connor, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1925)
- September 28
- September 30
- October 1 – Huntington Hardisty, American admiral (b. 1929)
- October 3 – William Steig, American cartoonist (b. 1907)
- October 5
- October 10 – Eugene Istomin, American pianist (b. 1925)
- October 12
- October 13 – Bertram Brockhouse, Canadian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- October 16
- October 19
- October 20 – Jack Elam, American actor (b. 1918)
- October 21 – Elliott Smith, American musician (b. 1969)
- October 23 – Soong May-ling, Chinese wife of Chiang Kai-shek (b. 1898)
- October 24 – Veikko Hakulinen, Finnish cross-country skier (b. 1925)
- October 25
- October 29
- October 31 – Richard Neustadt, American political historian (b. 1919)
- November 3 – Spider Jorgensen, American baseball player and coach (b. 1919)
- November 4 – Richard Wollheim, British philosopher (b. 1923)
- November 5 – Dorothy Fay, American actress (b. 1915)
- November 6
- November 9 – Art Carney, American actor (b. 1918)
- November 10
- November 12
- November 15
- November 18 – Michael Kamen, American composer (b. 1948)
- November 20
- November 24
- November 26
- November 28 – Mihkel Mathiesen, Estonian statesman (b. 1918)
- November 30 – Gertrude Ederle, American swimmer (b. 1906)
- December 3 – David Hemmings, English actor (b. 1941)
- December 4 – Iggy Katona, American race car driver (b. 1916)
- December 6
- December 7
- December 8 – Rubén González, Cuban pianist (Buena Vista Social Club) (b. 1919)
- December 9 – Paul Simon, U.S. Senator from Illinois (b. 1928)
- December 11 – Ahmadou Kourouma, Ivorian writer (b. 1927)
- December 12 – Heydar Aliyev, former President of Azerbaijan (b. 1923)
- December 14
- December 15 – George Fisher, American political cartoonist (b. 1923)
- December 16
- December 17
- December 19
- December 22 – Dave Dudley, American singer (b. 1928)
- December 27 – Alan Bates, English actor (b. 1934)
- December 29
- December 30
- December 31 – Arthur R. von Hippel, German-born physicist (b. 1898)
Nobel Prize winners
- Chemistry – Peter Agre, Roderick MacKinnon
- Economics – Robert F. Engle, Clive W. J. Granger
- Literature – John Maxwell Coetzee
- Peace – Shirin Ebadi
- Physics – Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov, Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg, Anthony James Leggett
- Physiology or Medicine – Paul Lauterbur, Peter Mansfield
- In the video game Freedom Fighters, the game is set in an alternate timeline from 1945 on where world power shifted towards the Soviet Union, the Soviets invades and conquers the United States, causing a rebel resistance.
- In the TV series Stargate SG-1 the second alpha site is attacked by kull warriors.
- In The Simpsons timeline, the events of The Simpsons: Hit & Run take place between October 25 and October 31, with all seven levels taking place on one week.
- The events of Resident Evil: Extinction take place, before the last chapters of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.
- The events of 28 Days Later commence in 2003, with the initial uprising of the Rage virus and decimation of Great Britain, and then the sequel 28 Weeks Later is also set later on in 2003, with the resurgence of the virus. The third film, 28 Months Later is to be set around 2005.
- In the last chapters of Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are sent to an Umbrella Fortress in February 2003.
- The Galactic Federation in the Metroid Backstory was formed in 2003.
- The main character in Osamu Tezuka's manga Tetsuwan Atom (1951) or Astro Boy was "born" on 7 April 2003.
- The 1981 arcade game Omega Race is set in the year 2003.
- The track "Queer Wars" from the 1980 comedy album Let's Make a New Dope Deal by Cheech & Chong takes place in 2003 (although stated as 2003 F.M. instead of 2003 A.D.).
- The Black Mesa incident in Half Life happened on 16 May 2003
- 2003 Year in Review – comprehensive listing of 2003 reviews and lists
- 2003 Year-End Google Zeitgeist – Google's Yearly List of Major Events and Top Searches for 2003