Miller Center

Presidential Key Events

George W. Bush

 

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George W. Bush - 10/09/2007: The Dow Jones industrial average closes at 14,164,…
The Dow Jones industrial average closes at 14,164, its all-time high. Soon after, it begins a steep decline. October 09, 2007

George W. Bush - 11/27/2007: President Bush hosts a Middle East Peace Conferenc…
President Bush hosts a Middle East Peace Conference in Annapolis, Maryland, with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. November 27, 2007

George W. Bush - 12/19/2007: Congress passes new energy legislation to increase…
Congress passes new energy legislation to increase automobile fuel efficiency standards and mandates increases in biofuel production. The bill passes the House and Senate, and President Bush signs it into law. December 19, 2007

George W. Bush - 01/18/2008: President Bush proposes a $145 billion stimulus pa…
President Bush proposes a $145 billion stimulus package in response to a housing crisis and rapidly increasing oil prices. The package gives individuals several hundred dollars to facilitate spending, as well as rebates for children and tax deductions for businesses in order to jump-start the slowing economy. January 18, 2008

George W. Bush - 01/31/2008: U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan kill a top al-Qae…
U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan kill a top al-Qaeda leader, Abu Laith al-Libi, who trained terror operatives in the region. January 31, 2008

George W. Bush - 02/01/2008: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.…
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. economy lost more than 15,000 jobs during the previous month. Such an elimination of jobs from the economy had not occurred for more than four years. February 01, 2008

George W. Bush - 02/07/2008: The Senate passes a $170-billion stimulus package …
The Senate passes a $170-billion stimulus package to give many Americans tax rebates as large as $600 or more, and to implement tax breaks for certain businesses in an effort to head-off impending economic slowdown. February 07, 2008

George W. Bush - 02/11/2008: Six detainees at Guantanamo Bay who were thought t…
Six detainees at Guantanamo Bay who were thought to have had roles in orchestrating the September 11 terrorist attacks are charged with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, terrorism, and other charges. All six face the death penalty in military tribunals. February 11, 2008

George W. Bush - 03/23/2008: After a roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad, the U.S…
After a roadside bomb exploded in Baghdad, the U.S. death toll for the war in Iraq reached 4,000. March 23, 2008

George W. Bush - 05/09/2008: The State Department renews a deal with Blackwater…
The State Department renews a deal with Blackwater Worldwide, the private defense contractor whose guards killed 17 civilians in 2007, to provide defense for U.S. diplomats in the Middle East. May 09, 2008

George W. Bush - 05/22/2008: The House and Senate override President …
The House and Senate override President Bush’s veto of the Farm Bill, a $307 billion bill which will provide subsidies to farmers. More than $10 billion of the funds will go to expanding nutritional programs such as food stamps. Bush originally vetoed the bill, which he felt to be excessive. May 22, 2008

George W. Bush - 06/03/2008: Democratic candidate Barack Obama secures the part…
Democratic candidate Barack Obama secures the party’s nomination for the presidency. June 03, 2008

George W. Bush - 06/05/2008: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finds,…
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finds, after a five-year study, that President Bush and other officials greatly exaggerated the evidence showing that Saddam Hussein held weapons of mass destruction. June 05, 2008

George W. Bush - 06/30/2008: In a new report issued on the situation in Iraq, t…
In a new report issued on the situation in Iraq, the U.S. Army admits that while it was able to adequately topple Hussein’s regime, it did not have the capability to rebuild Iraq into a fully-functioning new country. June 30, 2008

George W. Bush - 09/01/2008: U.S. forces hand over control of Anbar Province to…
U.S. forces hand over control of Anbar Province to the Iraqi military and police, who will now be responsible for maintaining order there. September 01, 2008

George W. Bush - 09/07/2008: The U.S. government places Fannie Mae and Freddie …
The U.S. government places Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under its control to prevent the institutions from going under and endangering more than half of the country’s mortgages. September 07, 2008

George W. Bush - 10/01/2008: Senate approves an end to the long-standing ban on…
Senate approves an end to the long-standing ban on trading nuclear fuels with India, who will be able to purchase fuel on the market as long as it is for civilian purposes. October 01, 2008

George W. Bush - 10/03/2008: At the onset of financial crisis, President Bush s…
At the onset of financial crisis, President Bush signs a $700 billion bailout plan for failing bank assets, the largest in U.S. history. October 03, 2008

George W. Bush - 10/30/2008: U.S. gross domestic product drops by 0.3 percent, …
U.S. gross domestic product drops by 0.3 percent, the first time GDP has shrunk in 17 years. October 30, 2008

George W. Bush - 10/31/2008: General David Petraeus takes over as Head of Centr…
General David Petraeus takes over as Head of Central Command, overseeing all U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Iran. October 31, 2008

George W. Bush - 11/04/2008: Barack Obama is elected the next President of the …
Barack Obama is elected the next President of the United States in an historic election in which Democrats win in several traditionally Republican states and pick up seats in the House and Senate. Obama is the first African American elected President. November 04, 2008

George W. Bush - 11/25/2008: The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve ag…
The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve agree to provide another $800 billion in lending programs to buy debt insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to provide more small loans to consumers. November 25, 2008

George W. Bush - 12/16/2008: Federal Reserve cuts interest rates to an all-time…
Federal Reserve cuts interest rates to an all-time low of zero percent, down from 1 percent and 0.25 percent earlier in the year as part of a plan to stimulate the economy. December 16, 2008

George W. Bush - 12/19/2008: President Bush issues a $17.4-billion auto bailout…
President Bush issues a $17.4-billion auto bailout to General Motors and Chrysler to keep the two American automotive giants from going bankrupt. December 19, 2008

George W. Bush - 01/20/2009: Barack Obama is inaugurated the 44th President of …
Barack Obama is inaugurated the 44th President of the United States. President Bush leaves Washington, D.C., and settles in Dallas, Texas. January 20, 2009

George W. Bush - Terrorist Attacks

On September 11, 2001, the United States endured a deadly attack when terrorists hijacked four planes and crashed them. The hijackers intentionally flew the first three planes into important targets: both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon building in Washington, D.C. The fourth plane, which some speculated was headed for the White House, crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Passengers aboard the plane, talking on their cell phones, learned what the hijackers intended to do and with astonishing heroism tried to overtake the hijackers, saving the fourth target and sacrificing their lives.

Police and fire department personnel in New York City rushed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center after the planes crashed into them to begin rescuing victims from the burning towers. Their colleagues assisting matters outside-like all Americans-were shocked and horrified to see those towers collapse, killing hundreds of the rescue workers and thousands of people who had been trapped inside. Total casualties from September 11, 2001, were nearly 3,000 people.

President George W. Bush spoke passionately of our “disbelief, terrible sadness and…quiet, unyielding anger.” He pledged that the government would bring the persons responsible for the hijacking to justice. It soon became clear that Al Qaeda, a loosely-knit radical Islamic organization, was responsible for the attacks. Al Qaeda's founder was former Saudi citizen and millionaire Osama bin Laden. After Afghanistan's ruling elite-the Taliban-refused to surrender bin Laden, who was a guest in their country, President Bush swiftly gathered international support for the use of military force in Afghanistan to shatter the strength of Al Qaeda.

September 11, 2001, is a date that no American is likely ever to forget. Many Americans spent the day glued to their televisions, as terrible images of lives lost and property destroyed marched across the screens. Mingled with those pictures were others, equally memorable: scenes of magnificent courage, sacrifice, and hope. As a defining moment in modern United States history, September 11, 2001 has justly been compared with December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The words of President Franklin Roosevelt more than half a century ago are most appropriate: it is a date that surely will live in infamy.

September 11, 2001

George W. Bush - Operation Enduring Freedom Begins

On October 7, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the United States had begun military action in Afghanistan. The military operation was code-named Enduring Freedom.

“On my order, U.S. forces have begun strikes on terrorist camps of Al Qaeda and the military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,” Bush said in a somber, televised address from the White House Treaty Room. The air assaults, he said, were joined by Britain, with assorted intelligence efforts and logistical support coming from several other nations, including France, Germany, Australia, and Canada.

The United States had turned its attention to Afghanistan shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks because the Taliban regime had provided sanctuary to Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization responsible for the attacks. The United States demanded that the Taliban surrender Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda. When the Taliban refused, the United States together with allies launched an attack against the Taliban.

Apparently anticipating a U.S. attack, Al Qaeda had, a few days before the attacks, assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of an anti-Taliban rebel force known as the Northern Alliance. It was widely believed that without Massoud, the Northern Alliance would fracture as a fighting force. Instead, the Northern Alliance fought against the Taliban, bolstered by U.S. warplanes and U.S. Special Forces. First it ousted the Taliban from the city of Mazar Al-Sharif on the northern frontier and then from the capital city of Kabul. By mid-March 2002, the Taliban had been removed from power, and the Al Qaeda network in Afghanistan was severely damaged.

A fledgling democracy was installed in Afghanistan, but even before that country was truly pacified, the Bush administration had turned its attention to Iraq and its dictator Saddam Hussein. With U.S. attention diverted, Afghanistan was left in a precarious state, threatened by instability, violence, and a possible Taliban resurgence.

October 07, 2001

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