The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waiver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.
- George W. Bush; America's Response: Bombing Afghanistan; Bush Addresses the Nation, 2001
- George W. Bush; America's Response: Bombing Afghanistan; Bush Addresses the Nation, 2001
This is one of my favorite speeches by George W. Bush, at the time the nation needed him the most. Many claim to know who this man is, but are often mistaken. To know an individual, or in this case a president really well, you need to understand what he has been through and accomplished in life. There are many aspects and unknown qualities of Bush that not many know. In this Historyplex article, we will be going over some of these facets and revealing who this man, the 43rd President of the United States of America really is.
George W. Bush Trivia
George W. Bush is the first President to have run a marathon. He completed it in 3 hours, 44 minutes. Bush maintains a rigorous exercise routine; running regularly at Camp David, the Presidential Retreat (Maryland) during his Presidency.
George W. Bush is also described as the 'Baseball President'. He's always been a huge baseball fan and even went on to be the managing partner of the Major League Baseball Team, in the Texas Rangers. He is the first Little League player to be elected as the President of the United States. He is also the first President to have T-ball games on the White House Lawn.
On May 5, 2001, George W. Bush was the first President ever to deliver a speech in both Spanish and English, during the first Weekly Radio Address of the President of the United States Broadcast.
George Bush has been titled the 'Vacation President' (took the title away from former President Ronald Reagan), because he took over 900 days off in his 8 year tenure.
During his Presidency, he took a five-week long vacation in August, 2005, which went on to make him the President to take the longest vacation in 36 years, by historical standards.
George Bush apparently has been the first American President to have spent so much money on unofficial travel in American history. He would fly down for vacation, to his ranch in Crawford, Texas in the Air Force One, whose cost was $56,000 to $68,000 per hour. He made 77 such trips.
During the unveiling of his White House portrait, George Bush introduced Laura Bush by saying,"It's my privilege to introduce the greatest first lady ever". He then realized his mother was also present there!
George Bush loves eating pretzels. (In fact, he even choked himself on one). He also enjoys peanut butter and honey sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, BLT and deviled eggs.
His favorite cuisine is Mexican and on most Sundays ate 'huevos rancheros' as his post-church meal. Apparently President Bush is very particular about not wanting to wait for his food. He doesn't like spending time waiting for his food and even dines quickly.
George Bush loves clearing brush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he spent a major portion of his vacations during his Presidency. Besides clearing brush, he also loves fishing. Post-presidency, he is also trying his hand at painting portraits of puppies and landscapes.
Childhood and Career
George W. Bush is the eldest son of George Herbert Walker Bush (41st US President) and Barbara Bush.
He was born on July 6, 1946 in Newhaven, Connecticut.
Bush has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. The names of his siblings are are Neil, Jeb, Marvin and Dorothy. Sadly, Robin his other sister died of leukemia.
He spent his childhood in Midland, Texas till the seventh grade, after which he was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
Bush was a mischievous child and was even caught painting a mustache on his face during the music lesson.
An all-around athlete, who enjoyed playing football, baseball, rugby and basketball, Bush had qualities of leadership right from childhood. He was elected as class President in the seventh grade. He was also the head cheerleader of his team in high school.
For higher education, like his father and grandfather, Bush was sent to Yale. His popularity continued to grow and he became the President of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He also became a member of Yale's secretive Skull and Bones Society, whose membership can be attained by invitation only. He graduated from Yale in 1965.
In 1975, George Bush completed his Masters of Business Administration from Harvard's Business School. Again he is only US President to have an MBA degree.
Bush signed up for the Texas Air National Guard (1968-1974) and was trained as an air force fighter pilot (F-102 fighters).
In terms of his career path, Bush preferred to follow his father's trail and entered the oil business in Midland, Texas. However, several misfortunes forced him to get out of it.
Again, following his father's footsteps, he entered the political arena and helped senior Bush with his Presidential campaigns in 1988.
He was elected as the 46th Governor of Texas in 1995. At the end of the 4-year term, he was again reelected and this made him the first Governor in the history of Texas, to be elected for two consecutive terms. However, he had to resign his post, when he was elected President in the year 2000.
Marriage and Kids
During the summer of 1977 George Bush met the love of his life, Laura Welch, a school teacher and librarian, at a backyard barbecue held by mutual friends in Midland Texas.
Just within 3 months of knowing each other, they decided to tie the knot, and got married on November 5, 1977.
Both were 31 years old when they got married.
The wedding was a small one (but elegant wedding), as compared to the profile they had, with only about 75 guests.
The couple settled in Midland, Texas, where Bush continued to build his business.
In 1981 George and Laura's twin daughters were born. They named their children Jenna and Barbara (after maternal and paternal grandmothers).
George Bush is known to have had some alcohol issues during his youth. In his early twenties, he got addicted to alcohol and was even arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, in Kennebunkport, Maine (1976). However, he quit alcohol in 1986. Many credit his wife for being a good influence on her husband's decision to quit drinking.
Laura Bush is said to be the 'best first lady ever'. She has presented herself in the best possible manner at all times, and has never embarrassed her husband or her country. She was even extremely courteous to the Obama's and welcomed them graciously into the White House, when Obama was elected as the next President of the United States.
The Bush family owns two Scottish Terriers; Barney and Miss Beazley. Barney has his own website and YouTube videos. They also have their biographies on the White House website. Their pet cat India 'Willie', lived with them for two decades but died in 2009, in the White House. There was a lot of protest in India with regards to the name, however, Bush stuck with the name as the cat wasn't named after the country, but after the baseball player Rubén Sierra, who was nicknamed "El Indio". When the Bush family entered the White House in 2001, they also had an English Springer Spaniel, Spot who was put to sleep at the age of 15, after a series of strokes.
George W. Bush was elected and sworn into office as the 43rd President of the United States on January 20th, 2005. He won a narrow victory against Democratic candidate, Al Gore, the then Vice President, in the 2000 elections. The election results were so close, that they had to be recounted in Florida and other states. He is the first President since 1988, to win the Presidential election without a majority.
George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush happen to be the second father and son in US history, to be elected as Presidents after John Quincy Adams followed John Adams in the early 1800s.
Christian Methodist by religion, Bush is the third well-known Methodist to hold the highest office in the US, after William McKinley and his father.
George W. Bush was reelected in 2004 and was sworn in on 20th January, 2005. However, he happened to have the lowest approval rating (50%) of any recent two-term president.
September 11, 2001 terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, were the major events that took place during his presidential era.
Sadly, these events etched negative sentiments in the nation as a whole. Post-September 11 attacks, George Bush's popularity soared to the skies. However, sinking economy, hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq plummeted his popularity to the dumps.
George W. Bush is the only President to have such terrible approval rating (19%) at the time of leaving his office. In fact he is the only living President with an approval rating of below 50%. George Bush had an approval rating of 50%, when he entered office. His popularity then soared with an approval rating of more than 90%, after the 9/11 attacks (2001). However, the slump in the economy and Iraq war dragged his approval ratings right to a mere 40% (2006). When he left office he had an approval rating of only 19%, which is lowest rating recorded in US history. (However, we cannot ignore the fact that approval ratings increase over the years!)
In the year 2005, George Bush was almost assassinated by a man named Vladimir Arutyunian, in Georgia. Vladimir threw a live grenade enveloped in a red handkerchief at Bush, who was standing near the podium along with Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili. The handkerchief somehow prevented the grenade from exploding. You can say, Bush was saved by a handkerchief! Vladimir was arrested and has been sentenced life imprisonment.
Not only did George Bush's policies spearhead hatred in America, but also in places like Iraq, wherein, an Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, hurled his pair of shoes one after the other at Bush, during a joint press conference held along with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Iraqis were also found hitting an effigy of Bush with shoes.
By David Bohrer/White House photograph