Timeline of the presidency of George H. W. Bush

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The presidency of George H. W. Bush began on January 20, 1989 when George H. W. Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States, and ended on January 20, 1993.


  • January 20 – George H. W. Bush's presidency begins with his inauguration at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.; the oath of office is administered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
  • January 21 – President Bush greets White House visitors at the Executive Entrance,[1] speaks to reporters in the Oval Office,[2] and delivers a speech to members of his campaign for the presidency and supporters in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the State Department during the morning hours.[3]
  • January 23 – President Bush calls Mikhail Gorbachev and "other foreign leaders" to thank them for their positive sentiments. In the East Room, Bush attends the swearing in of staff members. Bush meets with United States National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu and afterward phones an anti abortion rally.[4]
  • January 25 – President Bush announces his nominations of W. Henson Moore for United States Deputy Secretary of Energy,[5] and Susan S. Engeleiter for Administrator of the Small Business Administration.[6] President Bush signs an executive order creating the President's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform.[7]
  • July 11 – Secretary of Defense Cheney pledges an increase of civilian oversight in the purchasing of arms as well as trimming the people involved in purchasing decisions by thousands.[8]
  • July 13 – The Senate approves immigration legislation sponsored by Senators Alan Simpson and Ted Kennedy that creates categories that rank immigrants by their education and work experience. The Senate rejects bestowing more points to immigrants who speak English under the legislation.[9]
  • July 14 – Bush administration officials say the administration is preparing the offer of compensation for the families of the victims in the Iranian airliner that were shot down by the US Navy.[10] In an 81 to 10 vote, the Senate approves the imposing of economic sanctions on China.[11]
  • July 16 – President Bush reports the Soviet economy as being worse than that of its western counterparts during a news conference.[12]
  • July 18 – President Bush addresses the novel Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars: The Trivial Pursuit of the Presidency, 1988 for the claim that Vice President Quayle was a lightweight during the campaign, stating his offense and citing Quayle's trips to Latin America as proof of his worth.[13]
  • July 30 – Secretary of State Baker asserts the US is opposed to the Khmer Rouge having any role in a possible Cambodian government while at an international conference.[14]
  • November 2 – Congress negotiators agree to a defense budget of 305 million USD which cuts 1 billion USD from the Strategic Defense Initiative.[15]
  • November 3White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater says the Bush administration will back Congress in a pay raise for top federal officials while in Norfolk, Virginia.[16]
  • November 24 – US Ambassador William Walker says the only known witness to the slaying of six Jesuit priests the prior week was granted safe passage by the Bush administration.[17]
  • November 29 – President Bush says it is too soon to cut defense spending during an interview in the Oval Office, saying "we are not in that posture."[18]
  • December 1 – President Bush orders US warplanes into Manila.[19]
  • December 2 – President Bush meets with Mikhail Gorbachev at a summit, Bush proposing the two collaborate on a strategic arms reduction treaty for another summit in six months.[20]
  • December 3 – Aboard the Maxim Gorky, a soviet ship, President Bush and Gorbachev have a joint news conference.[21]
  • December 4 – In Brussels, ahead of a NATO summit, President Bush talks with Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher and Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney.[22]
  • December 7 – President Bush delivers a speech at the Acres Homes War on Drugs Rally in Houston, Texas.[23]
  • December 8 – President Bush states his wishes to attend a Colombia summit in spite of recent bombings.[24]
  • December 11 – President Bush says the trip to China taken by Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger was meant to brief Chinese officials on the Malta summit and that he is pleased with China's announcement earlier that day that China is not intending to sell Syria M-9 missiles.[25] Bush also admits to a potential lack of funds in cleaning up the saving and loan disaster of the US from a 50 billion thrift bailout while speaking to editorial writers in Washington.[26]
  • December 12 – Secretary of State Baker visits East Germany, telling denizens there that the US supports the changes "taking place in this country."[27] The White House announces the Bush administration's possible authorization of three telecommunication satellites to China following a cancellation as a result of the Tiananmen Square bloody demonstrator crackdown.[28]
  • December 13 – President Bush signs a repeal of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act.[29]
  • December 14 – President Bush announces his nomination of Donald Robert Quartel for Federal Maritime Commissioner.[30]
  • December 15 – President Bush signs the Department of Housing and Urban Development Reform Act of 1989.[31]
  • December 18 – The White House discloses that President Bush sent National Security Advisor Scowcroft on a secret trip to China the past July for the purpose of informing Chinese officials of President Bush's shock in response to the June 4 Tiananmen Square violence.[32]
  • December 19 – Secretary of State Baker admits miscommunication on his part of when US officials first met with Beijing leadership after the Tiananmen Square massacre.[33]
  • December 20 – President Bush delivers a televised address condemning military action by the United States in Panama.[34]
  • December 21 – President Bush holds what he calls his 30th as well as final of the year, insisting an "open-ended" commitment toward the continued deployment of American troops in Panama and tracking Manuel Antonio Noriega.[35]
  • December 22 – President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush visit AIDs patients, the president commenting that some individuals are worried about contracting the disease through casual contact as part of their misinformation on how to acquire it.[36]
  • December 23 – President Bush moves 2,000 troops into Panama as reinforcements for US forces already there amid criticism the US is not moving quickly enough.[37]
  • December 26 – Press Secretary Fitzwater releases a statement saying President Bush is content with Panamanian people making "progress" in crafting a democracy as well as by the involvement of the US in the endeavor.[38]
  • December 27 – President Bush participates in a question and answer session with reporters in Corpus Christi, Texas.[39]
  • December 29 – Press Secretary Fitzwater says President Bush has issued "a warm message of congratulations" to Vaclav Havel in response to the latter being elected President of Czechoslovakia.[40]
  • December 30 – President Bush says the Panama-based US troops made a "screwup" two days prior when they searched the Panama residence of Antenor Ferrey.[41]
  • December 31 – President Bush talks with reporters in San Antonio, Texas, saying the administration is solving the problems in Noriega and that discussions and conversations will take place in the advancement of the US agenda there.[42]



  • February 27 – President Bush announces the Gulf War has ended, citing the liberation of Kuwait and the defeat of the Iraq army, in a televised address.[49]
  • May 4 – President Bush suffers irregular heartbeat during a jog. Stays in hospital for a few days. Diagnosed with Grave's Disease.
  • December 19 – President Bush signs the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1991[50] and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991.[51] President Bush conducts a press conference with foreign journalists on the relations of the US with other countries and the administration's general foreign policy in the Old Executive Office Building during the afternoon.[52]
  • December 26Dissolution of the Soviet Union
  • December 27 – President Bush delivers a speech on disaster relief at Chase Field Naval Air Station in Beeville, Texas during the morning.[53] President Bush gives an address on his administration's foreign policy at Bee County Rodeo Arena during the evening.[54]


  • January 8 – President Bush falls ill during a state dinner with Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa of Japan, vomiting on Miyazawa.[55]
  • November 3 – President Bush loses the presidential election against Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
  • November 18 – President Bush meets with President-elect Clinton at the Oval Office to discuss the transition of power between the presidents.


  • January 19 – President Bush spends his last full day in office as the 41st President of the United States.
  • January 20 – President Bush finishes his time in office as the 41st President of the United States, and departs the White House with the First Lady Barbara Bush. His successor, Bill Clinton, was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States, at noon EST.


  1. ^ Remarks to White House Visitors (January 21, 1989)
  2. ^ Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters (January 21, 1989)
  3. ^ Remarks to Campaign Staff Members and Political Supporters (January 21, 1989)
  4. ^ McNulty, Timothy J. (January 24, 1989). "Pace Quickens At White House". Chicago Tribune. 
  5. ^ Nomination of W. Henson Moore To Be Deputy Secretary of Energy (1989-01-25)
  6. ^ Nomination of Susan S. Engeleiter To Be Administrator of the Small Business Administration (1989-01-25)
  7. ^ Remarks on Signing the Executive Order Establishing the President's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform (1989-01-25)
  8. ^ "Once again, Pentagon to try thrift". Chicago Tribune. July 12, 1989. 
  9. ^ "Senate OKs bill shifting limits on immigration". Chicago Tribune. July 14, 1989. 
  10. ^ Moseley, Ray (July 15, 1989). "U.S. may pay families in downing of Iranian airliner". Chicago Tribune. 
  11. ^ "Senate vote hits China in wallet". Chicago Tribune. July 15, 1989. 
  12. ^ McNulty, Timothy J. (July 17, 1989). "Bush: Too Early For Soviets To Join Economic Summit". Chicago Tribune. 
  13. ^ "Bush miffed at Quayle-bashing by '88 advisors". Chicago Tribune. July 18, 1989. 
  14. ^ "Baker: Keep the Khmer Rouge out". Chicago Tribune. July 31, 1989. 
  15. ^ "Conferees take ax to 'Star Wars'". Chicago Tribune. November 3, 1989. 
  16. ^ Cawley, Janet. "Bush backs raises for lawmakers". Chicago Tribune. 
  17. ^ "U.S. aids Salvadorian eyewitnesses". Chicago Tribune. November 25, 1989. 
  18. ^ "Bush: Too soon to cut defense; President cool to 'peace dividend' idea". Chicago Tribune. November 30, 1989. 
  19. ^ Shanker, Thom (December 2, 1989). "U.S. balanced aid for Aquino with concern over military bases". Chicago Tribune. 
  20. ^ Moseley, Ray (December 3, 1989). "President lists 20 proposals for Gorbachev". Chicago Tribune. 
  21. ^ Moseley, Ray (December 4, 1989). "Bush, Gorbachev hail new era". Chicago Tribune. 
  22. ^ Madigan, Charles M. (December 5, 1989). "USSR finds place for religion". Chicago Tribune. 
  23. ^ Remarks at the Acres Homes War on Drugs Rally in Houston, Texas (1989-12-07)
  24. ^ "Bush still for Columbian summit". Chicago Tribune. December 8, 1989. 
  25. ^ Sly, Liz (December 12, 1989). "Bush gets heat over officials' China visit". Chicago Tribune. 
  26. ^ Winter, Christine (December 12, 1989). "Bush: S&L rescue falling short". Chicago Tribune. 
  27. ^ Moseley, Ray (December 12, 1989). "Baker calls for 'new Europe'". Chicago Tribune. 
  28. ^ Sly, Liz (December 13, 1989). "U.S. may OK 3 satellites for China". Chicago Tribune. 
  29. ^ "Bush approves repeal of Medicare health plan". Chicago Tribune. December 14, 1989. 
  30. ^ Nomination of Donald Robert Quartel To Be a Commissioner at the Federal Maritime Commission (December 14, 1989)
  31. ^ Statement on Signing the Department of Housing and Urban Development Reform Act of 1989 (December 15, 1989)
  32. ^ Sly, Liz (December 19, 1989). "White House reveals earlier China visit". Chicago Tribune. 
  33. ^ McNulty, Timothy J. (December 20, 1989). "Baker admits missteps on officials' China trips". Chicago Tribune. 
  34. ^ Address to the Nation Announcing United States Military Action in Panama (1989-12-20)
  35. ^ "U.S. in no hurry to quit Panama". Chicago Tribune. December 22, 1989. 
  36. ^ "Bush, wife visit AIDS victims' clinic". Chicago Tribune. December 23, 1989. 
  37. ^ "GIs cheered as fighting in Panama eases". Chicago Tribune. December 24, 1989. 
  38. ^ Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Situation in Panama (December 26, 1989)
  39. ^ Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters in Corpus Christi, Texas (December 27, 1989)
  40. ^ Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Election of Vaclav Havel as President of Czechoslovakia (December 29, 1989)
  41. ^ Marx, Gary (December 31, 1989). "Bush calls raid a 'screwup'". Chicago Tribune. 
  42. ^ Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters in San Antonio, Texas, on United States Military Action in Panama (December 31, 1989)
  43. ^ "Bush tells rights leader he deplores bombings". Chicago Tribune. January 2, 1990. 
  44. ^ "Bush budget delayed; aid criticizes Congress". Chicago Tribune. January 2, 1990. 
  45. ^ "Cut proposed in outlay for home heating aid". Chicago Tribune. January 2, 1990. 
  46. ^ Cawley, Janet (January 29, 1990). "Quayle hones his game during Panama visit". Chicago Tribune. 
  47. ^ "Bush budget gets cool greeting". Chicago Tribune. January 30, 1990. 
  48. ^ "Panama invasion illegal, Jamaican leader tells Quayle". Chicago Tribune. January 30, 1990. 
  49. ^ "Bush Halts Offensive Combat; Kuwait Freed, Iraqis Crushed". New York Times. February 28, 1991. 
  50. ^ Statement on Signing the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1991 (December 19, 1991)
  51. ^ Statement on Signing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991 (December 19, 1991)
  52. ^ The President's News Conference With Foreign Correspondents (December 19, 1991)
  53. ^ Remarks on Disaster Relief Efforts in Beeville, Texas (December 27, 1991)
  54. ^ Remarks to the Bee County Community, Beeville, Texas (December 27, 1991)
  55. ^ Wines, Michael (January 9, 1992). "BUSH IN JAPAN; Bush Collapses at State Dinner With the Japanese". New York Times. 

External links

  • Miller Center G.H.W. Bush Presidential Timeline
U.S. presidential administration timelines
Preceded by
G. H. W. Bush presidency
Succeeded by
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