Vital Statistics

George Herbert Walker Bush

41st President

Years in Office: 1989–1993

Born: June 12, 1924

Birthplace: Milton, MA

Party: Republican

Vice President: J. Danforth Quayle

First Lady: Barbara Pierce

Children: George, Robin, John, Neil, Marvin, Dorothy

Nickname: Poppy

Fast Fact: The first president to refuse publicly to eat broccoli.

Important Events During Presidency

  • Government bailout of insolvent savings and loan institutions (1989).

  • U.S. troops invade Panama (1989).

  • First minimum-wage increase since 1981 takes effect (1990).

  • U.S. spearheads allied force in victory over Iraq in Persian Gulf War (1991).

  • South Africa rejects apartheid policies. U.S. lifts sanctions (1991).

  • Los Angeles riots break out after police officers are acquitted in Rodney King beating trial (1992).

  • U.S. sends 28,000 troops to Somalia as part of United Nations effort to provide emergency medical and food relief (1992).

News Flash From Past: United Nations Holds Earth Summit

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 14, 1992 — The United Nations Earth Summit ended today as representatives of 153 nations signed treaties designed to reverse disturbing trends in the environment.

These agreements concern such issues as global warming and biodiversity. Global warming involves the greenhouse effect, which is the increase in worldwide temperature caused by manmade chemicals trapped in the atmosphere.

Biodiversity refers to the incredible variety of plant and animal species on the planet. Environmental scientists have warned that the continuing destruction of South American rain forests threatens many species that live there.

Environmental protection has become a particularly prominent issue in U.S. politics since March 24, 1989, when the oil tanker "Exxon Valdez" struck a reef off the Alaskan coast. The accident spilled ten million barrels of oil into Prince William Sound. The oil spill, the worst in the nation's history, killed thousands of birds, otters, fish, seals, and other animals.

The Early Years

George Bush's father was a Wall Street Banker and later a U.S. senator from Connecticut. Prescott Bush taught his children that people of wealth and privilege should give something back to their country. On his eighteenth birthday in June 1942, George put off attending Yale University and enlisted in the navy. A year later, he earned his wings as the youngest Navy pilot at that time. During World War II, Bush flew 58 combat missions against the Japanese and won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

For further information about President George W. Bush, look in Compton's online encyclopedia (Keyword: Encyclopedia). Some of the information here is courtesy: Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times (1994: Scholastic, Inc.).