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US History: George H.W. Bush (1989 - 1992)

Updated on December 5, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

After his funeral in Washington D.C., President George H.W. Bush went home to Texas, where he was loaded onto Union Pacific "4141", painted in the colors of Air Force One to take him to his final rest at a wooded area at his Presidential Library.
After his funeral in Washington D.C., President George H.W. Bush went home to Texas, where he was loaded onto Union Pacific "4141", painted in the colors of Air Force One to take him to his final rest at a wooded area at his Presidential Library. | Source

President George Herbert Walker Bush

(1924 - 2018)

A Political Dynasty

George H.W. Bush is the first US President named by the Miller Center for Public Affairs in Virginia as "Globalization."He was also the last president of the Greatest Generation, particularly marked by heroism, sincerity, and civility.

President Bush 41's history includes:

  • Graduated Yale with a degree in Economics.
  • Ran for Congress in 1964, his platform being against the Civil Rights Act and lost to his opponent.
  • US Representative from Texas, 1966-1970.
  • Ambassador to the United Nations, 1971-1974.
  • Republican National Chairman, 1975-1976.
  • Director of the CIA from 1976-1977. Some conspiracy theorists claim that George H.W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson were responsible for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. No evidence of this has been uncovered.
  • Vice President under Ronald Reagan, 1981 - 1988. Journalists uncovered the facts that the rising drug addiction problem in America, despite Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign, was allowed to proliferate and the funds obtained through drug and drug-money confiscations were used to finance the Contras.
  • US President, 1989-1992.

Famous Last Words in 1988; "Read my lips. No new taxes." Taxes increased.

President Bush's father, Prescott Bush, was a US Senator from Connecticut. HW's son Jeb was the Governor of Florida and his son, George W. Bush, served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 - 2008.Jeb lost the republican nomination as a candidate for POTUS in 2016.

The family made a fortune in oil and became a political dynasty.

President George Herbert Walker Bush.
President George Herbert Walker Bush. | Source

George H.W. Bush Timeline and Global Events


  • January 20, 1989: Inauguration as President of the United States.
  • March: The largest oil slick in American history to date spills into Prince William Sound near Alaska. The tanker ship Juan Valdez dumps 10 million gallons of oil that have not been entirely cleaned up, even into the 21st century. The loss of this oil pressured the overtaxed petroleum-based energy foundation of American transportation, leading to increasing gasoline and related prices. Alaska oil itself cannot be drilled because the lands and wildlife are protected by legislation (up until 2017 under the Trump Administration), as are the Native American inhabitants in that area. Even if drilled, that supply would be able to last all of America only two months.
  • Summer: Over 800 US savings and loan institutions are bankrupt. President Bush signs legislation for federal aide to these entities. As a healthcare provider, I found that many of my patients were left unable to pay their bills for medical treatment as well as daily living expenses.
  • December: President Bush and Congress send armed troops into Panama to attempt the capture and arrest of General Manuel Noriega, wanted on drug-trafficking charges.

The Alaskan Peninsula: Location of the Juan Valdez oil spill.
The Alaskan Peninsula: Location of the Juan Valdez oil spill. | Source


  • August: Iraqi troops invade Kuwait. The Persian Gulf War begins soon after.
  • Juli Inkster becomes the first woman golfer to win the Invitational Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. This is the only pro tournament globally where and men and women compete together.
  • Dr. Antonia Novello becomes U.S. Surgeon General as the first woman and first Hispanic.

Surgeon General Antonia Novello
Surgeon General Antonia Novello | Source


  • January and February: The USA leads the Persian Gulf War with several nations as allies. Together, they drive Iraq out of Kuwait. IN the US, the war was called Operation Desert Storm.
  • April 6, 1991: Iraq accepts the terms of a United Nations Ceasefire Agreement to end the Persian Gulf War.
  • July: The US and USSR agree to the START I Treaty of reduction in nuclear armaments.
  • Summer: Four white police officers are recorded beating black motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles, leading to racially-charged riots and at least 50 deaths, along with over $1 billion in property damages. This incident later became a jumping off point for the Back Lives Matter protests of the 2010s as well as for racially based protests and injustice.
  • December: The USSR dissolves into individual autonomous countries, followed by a long series of conflicts between these smaller nations. One result is that Russia invaded Ukraine and took over Crimea around the time of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Violence continues.
  • The United States soccer team wins the first Women's World Cup.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison | Source

Mission STS-47

The STS-47 mission was launched via Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992, landing after eight days of studies. The seven crew included the first Japanese astronaut, the first African American woman to fly in space, and the first married couple to fly on the same space mission.

The STS-47's mission was to fly the SpaceLab-J. The SL-J payload included 34 Japanese and 9 American experiments in materials science and the life sciences. An Autogenic Feedback Training Experiment was conducted on the astronauts to examine relaxation and biofeedback type methods of preventing and easing space sickness. Other studies included frog embryo production and plant cultures.


  • February 1, 1992: The Cold War is declared officially over by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and US President George HW Bush at Camp David.
  • December: President Bush sends troops to Somalia in a United Nations initiated relief effort.
  • December 24: On Christmas Eve President Bush pardons six officials implicate dint he Iran-Contra Scandal, to the criticism of many that declared a cover-up.
  • In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the US Supreme Court upheld the woman's right to abortion under Roe v. Wade.
  • Ms. Manon Rheaume became the first woman to start in a National Hockey League game.
  • Ms. Lyn St. James comes in 11th in the Indianapolis 500 as Rookie of the Year.
  • Girls won all three Division Titles of the All-American Soap Box Derby.
  • Mae Jemison was hired as the first black female astronaut.
  • 1992 Winter Olympics took place in Albertville, France. The German East-West combined squads and the Unified Team of ex-Soviets were the top medal winners with 26 and 23, respectively. The USA won 11 medals, including 2 Golds by speed skater Bonnie Blair.
  • 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain saw the American Dream Team of professional basketball athletes with the gold medal. A reunited Germany sent a single, unified Olympic team for the first time since the summer of 1964.

Important Additional History


  • Bush, B. Barbara Bush: Presidential Matriarch. University of Kansas Press. 2008.
  • Bush, B. Barbara Bush: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster. 2015.
  • Kornbluh, G.The Iran-Contra Scandal (The National Security Archive Document). The New Press. 1993.

  • Goodman, MA. Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insiders Account of the Politics of Intelligence. City Lights. 2017.
  • Valentine, V. The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. Clarity Press. 2017.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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