No iPhones, no Nats: What life was like last time cicadas were here

<p>FILE &#8211; In this May, 26, 2010 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the social network site&#8217;s new privacy settings in Palo Alto, Calif. Zuckerberg turns up at business conventions in a hoodie. “Cocky” is the word used to describe him most often, after “billionaire.” He was Time&#8217;s person of the year at 26. So when he takes Facebook public, why would he follow the Wall Street rules? The company is expected to file as early as Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 to sell stock on the open market in what will be the most talked-about initial public offering since Google in 2004, maybe since the go-go 1990s. Around the nation, regular investors and IPO watchers are anticipating some kind of twist &#8211; perhaps a provision for the 800 million users of Facebook, a company that promotes itself as all about personal connections, to get in on the action. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)</p>
Facebook had just launched in 2004. In this May, 26, 2010 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen. He was Time’s person of the year at 26.

<p>WASHINGTON &#8211; DECEMBER 29: Surrounded by children, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams signs the Ballpark Omnibus Financing and Revenue Act of 2004 that continues the process of returning baseball to the nation&#8217;s capital December 29, 2004 in Washington, DC. The Washington Nationals are scheduled to begin play at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in the spring of 2005. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)</p>
D.C. didn’t have the Nats in 2004. In this Dec. 29, 2004 photo, D.C. Anthony A. Williams signs the Ballpark Omnibus Financing and Revenue Act of 2004 that continued the process of returning baseball to the nation’s capital.

<p>In 2004, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., right, was governor and George W. Bush was president. In this 2006 photo, Ehrlich introduces Bush at the Maryland Victory 2006 Reception, Wednesday, May 31, 2006, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)</p>
Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., right, introduces, President Bush at the Maryland Victory 2006 Reception, Wednesday, May 31, 2006, in Baltimore.

<p>FAIRFAX, VA &#8211; FEBRUARY 10: U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) (C) watches election results on television with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry (R), and Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (L) February 10, 2004 in Fairfax, Virginia. Kerry, Democratic presidential candidate, has won the Virginia primary and is leading in Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)</p>
U.S. Senator John Kerry, center, watches election results on television with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and Virginia Gov. Mark Warner on Feb. 10, 2004 in Fairfax, Virginia. Kerry, Democratic presidential candidate, has won the Virginia primary but lost to George W. Bush.

<p>SIMI VALLEY, UNITED STATES: Former US First Lady Nancy Reagan(C) is embraced by Reverend Robert Wenning as they stand by the casket containing the remains of former US President Ronald Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library 07 June, 2004 in Simi Valley, California. Reagan, 82, wearing a black suit, touched the flag-draped coffin of her husband of 52 years and briefly laid her head on it at a short service held after his body arrived at his presidential library where he will lie in repose for two days ahead of his state funeral 11 June. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Rick Bowmer (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP via Getty Images)</p>
Former U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan is embraced by Reverend Robert Wenning as they stand by the casket containing the remains of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library June, 7, 2004 in Simi Valley, California. Reagan, 82, wearing a black suit, touched the flag-draped coffin of her husband of 52 years and briefly laid her head on it at a short service held after his body arrived at his presidential library where he will lie in repose for two days ahead of his state funeral on June 11, 2004.

<p>CULVER CITY, CA &#8211; JULY 14: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, (L) poses contestant Ken Jennings after his earnings from his record breaking streak on the gameshow surpassed 1 million dollars July 14, 2004 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images)</p>
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek poses contestant Ken Jennings after his earnings from his record breaking streak on the gameshow surpassed $1 million July 14, 2004 in Culver City, California.

<p>HOLLYWOOD, UNITED STATES: Britney Spears and other popular music CDs for sale at a Tower Records store in Hollywood, California, 06 February 2004. Tower, the pioneering record retailer that invented the music megastore, plans to move forward on a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing next week. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)</p>
Britney Spears and other popular music CDs are seen for sale at a Tower Records store in Hollywood, California, in 2004.

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 1:  Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas.  At the end of the performance, Timberlake tore away a piece of Jackson's outfit.  (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on Feb. 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas. At the end of the performance, Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

(1/8)
<p>FILE &#8211; In this May, 26, 2010 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about the social network site&#8217;s new privacy settings in Palo Alto, Calif. Zuckerberg turns up at business conventions in a hoodie. “Cocky” is the word used to describe him most often, after “billionaire.” He was Time&#8217;s person of the year at 26. So when he takes Facebook public, why would he follow the Wall Street rules? The company is expected to file as early as Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 to sell stock on the open market in what will be the most talked-about initial public offering since Google in 2004, maybe since the go-go 1990s. Around the nation, regular investors and IPO watchers are anticipating some kind of twist &#8211; perhaps a provision for the 800 million users of Facebook, a company that promotes itself as all about personal connections, to get in on the action. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)</p>
<p>WASHINGTON &#8211; DECEMBER 29: Surrounded by children, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams signs the Ballpark Omnibus Financing and Revenue Act of 2004 that continues the process of returning baseball to the nation&#8217;s capital December 29, 2004 in Washington, DC. The Washington Nationals are scheduled to begin play at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in the spring of 2005. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)</p>
<p>In 2004, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., right, was governor and George W. Bush was president. In this 2006 photo, Ehrlich introduces Bush at the Maryland Victory 2006 Reception, Wednesday, May 31, 2006, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)</p>
<p>FAIRFAX, VA &#8211; FEBRUARY 10: U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) (C) watches election results on television with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry (R), and Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (L) February 10, 2004 in Fairfax, Virginia. Kerry, Democratic presidential candidate, has won the Virginia primary and is leading in Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)</p>
<p>SIMI VALLEY, UNITED STATES: Former US First Lady Nancy Reagan(C) is embraced by Reverend Robert Wenning as they stand by the casket containing the remains of former US President Ronald Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library 07 June, 2004 in Simi Valley, California. Reagan, 82, wearing a black suit, touched the flag-draped coffin of her husband of 52 years and briefly laid her head on it at a short service held after his body arrived at his presidential library where he will lie in repose for two days ahead of his state funeral 11 June. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ Rick Bowmer (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP via Getty Images)</p>
<p>CULVER CITY, CA &#8211; JULY 14: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, (L) poses contestant Ken Jennings after his earnings from his record breaking streak on the gameshow surpassed 1 million dollars July 14, 2004 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images)</p>
<p>HOLLYWOOD, UNITED STATES: Britney Spears and other popular music CDs for sale at a Tower Records store in Hollywood, California, 06 February 2004. Tower, the pioneering record retailer that invented the music megastore, plans to move forward on a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing next week. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)</p>
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 1:  Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas.  At the end of the performance, Timberlake tore away a piece of Jackson's outfit.  (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

A lot has changed in the the National Capital region — and world — in the 17 years since Brood X cicadas invaded in 2004.

The first iPhone was still three years away, and you couldn’t take a photo with a Blackberry back then. It was harder to share those photos, since in 2004, Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg had just built and launched what he called The Facebook, as a way for classmates to connect.

It was still two years before the groundbreaking of the Intercounty Connector, providing an alternative to the Capital Beltway between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Robert Ehrlich was the governor in Maryland, and Mark Warner was Virginia governor. Anthony Williams was the mayor of D.C.

In September 2004, Major League Baseball announced that the Montreal Expos would move the Washington, D.C. in 2005. The Boston Red Sox ended the Curse of the Bambino, winning their first World Series since 1918.

The city and county of San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And later that year, 11 American states banned gay marriage.

A gallon of gasoline cost $1.88 — a price low enough to facilitate road trips, with music on CDs, including Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” U2’s “Vertigo” and Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved.”

After 10 years, the final episode of “Friends,” aired on NBC, drawing an estimated 66 million viewers, the fifth-most watched series finale in U.S. history.

George W. Bush won his second term in the White House, defeating John Kerry. Ronald Reagan, the nation’s 40th president, died at 93. His death was followed by a six-day state funeral.

After 74 consecutive wins on Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings lost to Nancy Zerg, leaving the show with more than $2.5 million.

And though some referred to Super Bowl XXXVIII 32-29 victory by the New England Patriots over the Carolina Panthers as the greatest football championship game of all time, it was overshadowed by Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” during her halftime performance with Justin Timberlake.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up