What Happened in 1904 in American History?

In 1904, American history saw significant events that shaped the country’s future. From political to cultural, there were several events that occurred throughout the year that impacted the nation.

Politics and Government

One of the most significant events in 1904 was the election of President Theodore Roosevelt. He took over the presidency after William McKinley’s assassination in 1901 and was re-elected for a full term in 1904. Roosevelt’s presidency was marked by a progressive agenda that focused on social justice, environmental conservation, and trust-busting.

In addition to Roosevelt’s election, Congress passed several important laws in 1904. The Elkins Act strengthened existing antitrust laws by prohibiting rebates and other discriminatory pricing practices by railroads. The Hepburn Act gave the Interstate Commerce Commission more power to regulate railroad rates.

World Events

The year 1904 also saw significant world events that impacted America. The Russo-Japanese War began in February of that year, which resulted in Japan’s victory over Russia. The war had far-reaching consequences for international relations and contributed to increased tensions between Japan and the United States.

In addition to the war, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition was held in St. Louis, Missouri from April to December of 1904. This World’s Fair showcased technological innovations and cultural exhibits from around the world, including exhibits from African American communities.

Cultural Events

The year 1904 also saw significant cultural events that impacted American society. The first Olympic Games held outside of Europe took place in St. Louis during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. These games featured only a few countries but marked an important step towards international sporting competitions.

Another significant cultural event was the opening of New York City’s Subway system on October 27th, 1904. The Subway system revolutionized transportation in New York City and became a model for other cities around the world.


In conclusion, 1904 was a year of significant events in American history. From political to cultural, the year saw important developments that impacted the nation’s future. With President Theodore Roosevelt’s progressive agenda and the world events of the Russo-Japanese War and Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904 was a year of change and progress in American society.