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George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
41st President of the United States
In office:
May 8, 1984 – May 1, 1995
Vice President: Robert D. Nesen
Preceded by: Ronald Wilson Reagan
Succeeded by: Ray Hunkins (retroactively recognized as the 42nd President)
43rd Vice President of the United States
In office:
January 20, 1981 – May 8, 1984
Preceded by: Walter Mondale
Succeded by: Robert D. Nesen
Biography
Born: June 12, 1924
Milton, Massachusetts
Birth name: George Herbert Walker Bush
Political party: Republican
Spouse: Barbara Pierce Bush
Children: George Walker Bush
Pauline Robinson Bush
John Ellis Bush
Neil Mallon Bush
Marvin Pierce Bush
Dorothy Bush Koch
Alma mater: Yale University
Occupation: Businessman (Oil)
Religion: Episcopalian
Military service
Allegiance: United States of America
Service/branch: United States Navy
Years of service: 1942-1945
Rank: Lieutenant, Junior Grade
Unit: Fast Carrier Task Force
Battles/wars: World War II
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Medal (3)
Presidential Unit Citation

George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the United States (1984-1995). He was also Ronald Reagan's Vice President (1981–1984), a US Congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. Bush also led the Republican National Committee during the early 1970's.

In 1980, Bush declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Bush's main competition in the primaries was former California Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan. Eventually, Reagan triumphed and was declared the GOP nominee. Reagan asked Bush to be his running mate, and despite representing two different wings of the Republican Party, the two developed a strong working partnership.

After the unexpected death of President Reagan, Bush became President. During his presidency, Bush had to face the monumental and unenviable challenges of leading the American Provisional Administration, made up of remnants of the US government, through the decade after Doomsday.

President Bush was faced with many gut-wrenching and controversial decisions. Certain decisions have inspired much controversy. Nevertheless, Bush remained engaged with the American refugee community after his presidency ended, and took strides to ensure the preservation of American culture among the American refugee communities in the Australia and New Zealand Commonwealth, among other places.

After the discovery of a functioning provisional United States government on the Great Plains, Bush took steps to support them as the legitimate successors of the original US government.

Pre-Doomsday

Bush was born in Massachusetts to Senator and New York Banker Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, at the age of 18, Bush postponed going to college and became the youngest naval aviator in the US Navy at the time. He served until the end of the war, then attended Yale University. Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas and entered the oil business, becoming a millionaire by the age of 40.

He became involved in politics soon after founding his own oil company, serving as a member of the House of Representatives, among other positions, such as as the Chief Liason to China, head of the Republican National Committee, and Director the Central Intelligence Agency during the turbulent 1970's.

Bush ran unsuccessfully for president of the United States in 1980, but was chosen by party nominee Ronald Reagan to be the vice presidential nominee; the two were subsequently elected.

During the Reagan presidency, the two men, despite representing different wings of the Republican Party, grew to respect each other and developed a very strong working relationship. Bush's diplomatic experience served a useful function for the Reagan Administration in its negotiations with other nations.

These diplomatic skills would prove to be even more valuable in just a short time.
Greenbrier facility

The Greenbrier facility.

Doomsday

Life at the Greenbrier

With some warning of the imminent Soviet nuclear attack, the Secret Service was able to relocate Bush and his wife Barbara to the Greenbrier Hotel facility. The Secret Service had also been able to scoop up a small number of the higher-ranked members of Congress and transported them to the Greenbrier as well. It had been hoped that they could safely rescue more members of Congress, but a tragically large number of Senators and Representatives had either been too far away for it to be practical for the Secret Service to rescue them, or the Secret Service had been unable to verify their locations in time to pick them up. Nevertheless, the Bushes and the few surviving members of Congress settled into their new home and began communicating with President Reagan and most of the Cabinet members, who were situated at the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center.

The facility, however, only had limited resources and after conferring with the President at Mount Weather, they both agreed to evacuate the country.

Exodus to Mexico and a Family Reunion

Bush left the country on May 5th 1984, where he met with President Reagen in Mexico City, Mexico to discuss with the Mexican government about accepting American refugees. Bush was overjoyed to discover his son George W. Bush and his family had survived Doomsday and had managed to make it to Mexico City. Bush had at the last minute contacted his children before leaving for Mount Weather to warn them of the coming attack. So far, however, only his eldest son had been confirmed to still be alive.

Bush, along with his son, later arrived in Hawaii where he was reported as criticizing the Communistic turn the state had taken, but was happy the islanders were managing to survive. On his way to New Zealand, Bush's airplane made contact with Samoa. After a short stay in Auckland, New Zealand, Bush finally arrived in Brisbane, Australia. After being greeted by Prime Minister Hawke, he was informed that all contact had been lost with President Reagan. Bush was shaken by the news and requested that they wait a few days, but on May 8, 1984, Bush was sworn in as President of the United States of America by Sir Harry Gibbs, Chief Justice of High Court of Australia.

Presidency (1984-1995)

American Provisional Administration

George HW Bush

President Bush's speech announcing the formation of the American Provisional Administration.

The new President Bush moved quickly to re-establish the American administration. On the same day of his inauguration, Bush announced the creation of the American Provisional Administration (APA), located out of the American embassy in Canberra. The goals of the organization were twofold: first, to gather intelligence on the situation, both in the USA and across the world; and secondly, to provide cohesion for the community of American survivors. One of his first acts as president was to order American troops and supplies to Hawaii to prevent the deteriorating condition there. The lack of fuel and food available made this nearly impossible and the mission was scrapped. This early failure was a blow to the Bush administration and put a large amount of stress on Bush.

The experience, however, motivated the president to work to re-establish communication and supply lines with the far flung American outposts in the Pacific Ocean. Negotiations with the Australian government were successful in gaining access to Australian funds and supplies to be used by the APA. Meanwhile, Bush was able to affirm the loyalty of Samoa to the APA after travelling there in July.

In June 1985, President Bush, along with Prime Minister Hawke of Australia and Prime Minister Lange of New Zealand, issued the Gathering Order. The Gathering Order was issued to all remaining US- and NATO-forces to set sail for Australian, New Zealand and Hawaiian waters and submit themselves to command of ANZUS. Bush was on hand to greet surviving American naval ships and toured the Carl Vinson when it arrived in Brisbane on December 8.

The arrival of so many American warships was a boon in securing the supply lines to the scattered outposts of the old USA. Throughout the late 80s and early 90s the APA was able to supply food and medicine from Australia to these last remnants of America.

George HW Bush in Situation Room

At the Situation Room in the US Embassy in Canberra, President Bush is briefed by his advisors on the growing crisis in Hawaii in 1987.

Operation Tropical Storm: Hawaii 1988

In 1987, Governor Goldblatt of Hawaii was assassinated, throwing the islands into a succession crisis. Bush, who felt guilty about his early failure in providing aid to the islands, personally visited Hawaii months later in 1988 to restore order, accompanied by Australian and US troops. The US and ANZC military leaders drew up plans for an operation they called Operation Tropical Storm. Contact between Hawaii and Australia in those days was still spotty and infrequent, and Bush expected to find Hawaii in a state of civil unrest that he could calm with the weight of his own authority. Instead, he and his team stepped into an all-out civil war that put the President in great personal danger.

George HW Bush US Marines during Somalia crisis Dec 4 1992

President George Bush travelling with US troops during Operation Tropical Storm in Hawaii in 1988.

The US troops still in Hawaii, however, remained loyal to the President. Though he did not actively take part in the military decision-making of the mission (entrusting those decisions to the military commander of the operation), Bush traveled among the soldiers and civilians, talking with them and keeping morale up. When guerrilla leader and royal descendant Andrew Piikoi Kawānanakoa ordered his supporters to lay down their arms and submit to US authority "for the good of our islands", Bush personally met with the young leader. Their highly publicized meeting would strengthen Andrew's claim to the Hawaiian throne.

Following the re-establishment of order in Hawaii, Bush helped organize a new government. The success of the invasion of Hawaii helped bolster sagging American morale among the survivors across the Pacific. Americans in Hawaii and across the Pacific were invigorated by the sight of their President personally putting himself at risk, giving them hope that they could past the horrors of the post-Doomsday years. However, the pro-independence groups were unhappy with the result of the conflict.

Election of 1988

On January 24, 1988, Bush announced in a radio address over Australian radio that presidential elections would still be held on November 8, 1988. Bush stated that America was founded on the principal of democratic government and to give it up now, even in the face of nuclear holocaust, would be a death blow to the country. The announcement came as a surprise to everyone in those territories governed by the APA. It was also criticized as a waste of resources.

Steve Cowper 1990

Steve Cowper of Alaska, the Democratic nominee for President in 1988.

Nevertheless, the Republican party held a small convention in Canberra where Bush was unanimously chosen to be their candidate. The remnants of the Democrats had their own convention a few days later and nominated Alaskan politician Steve Cowper, who was particularly adamant about defeating Bush over what he felt was increasingly bad governance of Alaska by the APA. Despite Cowper's beliefs, many Democrats admitted that the only reason they nominated Cowper was so that Bush would not run unopposed for president, something that only George Washington ever had the honor of.

The general election campaign between the two men has been described as one of the most civil in American history. Though Cowper criticized Bush for some of the actions of the APA in Alaska and Hawaii, he lauded him for his efforts in maintaining the United States after Doomsday. Bush also praised Cowper for his actions in helping re establish the Alaskan state government in 1985.

George HW Bush Nov 5 1988 Getty Images

George HW Bush in 1988 after winning reelection as President.

On November 8, 1988, with over 50% of registered voters voting, Bush was reelected President of the United States of America. In his victory speech, Bush promised to continue to work to rebuild America. His speech also contained his famous pledge: "the light of America will never be extinguished." Bush also promised to establish APA control over survivor communities in southern Oregon and northern California and help preserve American culture.

Election of 1992

George HW Bush Oct 1 1993 Houston

By the 1992 election, the increasing difficulties faced by the APA (particularly the fact that it had thus far not managed to restore order to the American mainland) as well as personal doubts about whether he should run again (and become the first President since FDR to surpass 8 years in office) made Bush reluctant to run again. Nevetheless, APA officials convinced him that a familiar face was needed.

By 1992, however, Bush was growing increasingly exhausted, a fact that his advisors all seemed to notice. Although he'd been buoyed during the 1988 election by the afterglow of the successful military operation in Hawaii, by 1992 the situation for the APA was growing increasingly difficult, as it struggled to deal with economic problems in the Pacific, as the independence movement started to grow again in Hawaii in the midst of that economic crisis, and as the APA had thus far failed to reassert itself on the North American mainland.

Furthermore, according to several advisors in interviews given many years later, President Bush was personally conflicted about whether he should or could run for another term in 1992. In 1984, he had considered himself carrying the torch for Ronald Reagan's unfinished term at a time when the situation was too chaotic for an election to be held. In 1988, he had outright won an election in his own name. But if he ran and won in '92, he'd be the first President since FDR to go beyond 8 years. Bush was reportedly considering stepping down, but APA officials and Australian legal scholars convinced him that the post-Doomsday term he'd served from '84 to '88 had been under an extraordinary circumstance and that he could therefore run again. The APA officials further pressed that Americans needed to see a familiar face in charge, at least until the APA could return to restore order on the American mainland.

Reluctantly, Bush declared his candidacy for another term as President. But this time would not be as easy as the last.

As a result of the increasingly visible problems facing the APA and lack of progress in reclaiming the mainland, Bush's Democratic opponent in 1992 would be much more eager to challenge him and mount a much feistier campaign than Cowper had in '88.

More to Come

Bush troops

President Bush visits American troops during training exercises in the Outback, 1990

Crescent City Crisis

Desperate to meet his campaign promises in the face of growing dissent, Bush pressured APA officials to re-establish federal control among the survivor communities of southern Oregon and northern California. Despite refusals by the local leader, "Boss Jones," the APA established a base at Del Norte County Airport near Crescent City, California. In April, Boss Jones and followers launched a surprise attack on the base, taking hostage many APA agents and killing the small Marine guard that was sent to protect them.

News of the attack led to widespread outrage among Americans in Oceania. President Bush quickly ordered a rescue mission to be carried out by American special forces was mounted. Though the mission successfully freed the hostages, several of the hostages were killed, as well as over 200 civilians in Crescent City during a bombing run on the town's defenses. "Boss Jones" survived, but the real blow was to the American Provisional Administration, because it showed a key weakness of the APA projecting power from ANZC to the former USA.

In the aftermath of the crisis, the towns of the region became openly hostile to the APA. Attempts to establish another APA base were rebuffed, sometimes violently. Public opinion of the APA dropped dramatically. President Bush would later go on to say that the Crescent City Crisis caused him to seriously consider proposals about disbanding the APA.

End of the APA

On May 1, 1995, Bush announced in front of the American embassy in Canberra the end of his presidency and the American Provisional Administration. In consultation with Prime Minister John Howard, Bush issued a short statement to a crowd of American expatriates and forces in Australia, stating that it is best if they "become part of the Australian life and culture". He explained how he would continue to act as an adviser to Howard, primarily on development of Australian oil production in Indonesia. Though the United States of America had officially come to an end, Bush stressed in his speech that hope for the United States. In what became known as the “Continuity Act”, Bush declared that the United States sovereignty and Constitution were only “temporarily suspended until a legitimate successor – continuing the US traditions of Freedom and Democracy - is elected by the American people."

Disbanding the APA, and thus the United States, proved to be the most controversial decision in Bush's presidency. The constitutional debates about whether Bush had the executive power among expatriate Americans proved to be the spark that created the Committee to Restore the United States of America.

George HW Bush picture

Post-Presidency

Though no longer President of the United States, Bush was present on August 15, 1995 on the celebrations commemorating the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand. As one of the many speakers at the occasion Bush announced that the ANZC was the successor to the United States that he and other Americans were hoping for. Not all Americans, however, were supportive of this development. The Committee to Restore the United States of America felt that Bush had betrayed the country by disbanding the APA and throwing his support behind the ANZC. Bush continued to remain an advisor to the leaders of the Commonwealth on American affairs.

The book that may do the most to shape Bush's final legacy in the public memory was published in 2000. The Last American President, by historian William Feston, is a sympathetic biography focusing on the President's resilience in the Aftermath era, and on the intense personal struggles he felt during his key decisions, from requesting to be sworn in as President in Canberra, to disbanding the APA a decade later. The Last American President has been widely read by surviving Americans wherever it has been made available, even on the American mainland, where in many communities it is practically the only piece of post-Doomsday literature that can be found. Bush himself approves of the book and convinced Feston and his publisher to donate their profits and royalties to the United States History Museum.

Though not present for the signing of the Municipal States of the Pacific Contract on July 4th, 2006 at Crescent City, Bush commented that: “The seed of the spirit of the United States has survived on U.S. soil. Maybe one day our glorious heritage will be continued ..." This was the first time Bush had publicly spoken on American nationalism since 1995.

Bush remained prominent in international affairs throughout his life. In 2007, he was one of the many dignitaries who helped negotiate the creation of the League of Nations. He was especially helpful by acting as a arbitrator of disputes between the ANZC and the South American Confederation.

Ever since the 2009 Field Expedition brought news back of the large number of American survivor states in the interior of North America, Bush has once again spoken out in favor of American nationalism. Exactly what this would mean for Bush's future political career became a very widely-discussed topic among political obsevers

When US President Allard flew to Australia and the League of Nations headquarters at Tonga with Continuity of Government documents proving the legitimacy of the new American government, there were certain political elements that vehemently tried to block diplomatic recognition of the reborn USA. It was ultimately former President Bush who helped turn the tide in Allard's favor. Bush made a surprise appearance at the LON headquarters on Tonga and requested time for a speech. Secretary-General Cedric Wairafea granted him time, and Bush approached the podium.

One member of the ANZC delegation gave the following description of the momentous event to reporters:

Everyone was craning their necks to see him, whispering to their fellow delegates with a mixture of curiosity and shock. The former President was now much older, and walked with the help of a cane. The Secretary-General helped him climb the steps to the podium. Now the crowd fell silent. Bush put on a pair of spectacles and surveyed the crowd quietly. Then he spoke.

Bush confirmed the validity of the Continuity of Government documents that President Allard had presented. He explained the small details that confirmed that these were indeed official US government documents and not forgeries. President Bush then paused, looked at the delegates again, and explained that when he'd given the order to disband the APA in '95, there didn't seem to be any hope of salvaging the original American homeland. But now here was a survivor state whose leaders had been elected by American citizens, followed the principles of the US Constitution, and were based on US soil. And now the validity of their claim to be an official successor the old Federal government was confirmed. President Bush said that in light of these facts, he strongly urged the LON member states to extend diplomatic recognition to the reborn United States.

I may be an Aussie, but I know for a fact that this was an epochal moment for Americans. Former President Bush had come to the rescue of his successor, like a knight on horseback in one of those old timey stories, and successfully helped the reborn United States of America take its place among the nations of the world.

And I'll never forget how Bush ended his speech. He referenced the name of the world-famous biography that had been written about him, but he sacrificed the title it had given him, sacrificed it for the good of his country: Bush, by now energized and forceful, declared to the assembled delegates that "1995 was not the last American year. The generation that lived through Doomsday was not the last American generation...

...and I am NOT 'the Last American President!'"

George HW Bush and Barbara Bush Dec 7 2009 - National Museum of the Pacific War

Bush leaving the League of Nations headquarters on Tonga with his wife Barbara after making his famous speech in favor of the restored United States.

At this declaration, the various delegations all reacted. The reception was mostly positive, although members of the socialist delegations, such as from Siberia or Cuba, predictably reacted with jeers. But the members of the US delegation and the delegations of various US-friendly governments such as the ANZC, gave President Bush a standing ovation.

This was especially notable, since the American delegation had been ambivalent to Bush before, due to his decision to end the APA. However, as commentators would later note, this speech almost single-handedly mended the bridges between the Bushes and the restored US government.

George H. W. Bush then made his way down from the podium and famously embraced President Wayne Allard. With that speech and that now-famous photo of the Bush-Allard embrace, Bush had helped prove the legitimacy of the Torrington government and signaled his endorsement of Wayne Allard and the other new Presidents as his legitimate successors.

Many commentators have noted that President Bush's appearance at the League of Nations that day almost single-handedly reversed the negative perception of him among many CRUSA members and other Americans who had disapproved of his disbandment of the APA. Commentators would also note that it ensured a political future for President Bush's son, George W. Bush. As news, photos, and radio reports of the speech spread, Bush's popularity among mainland Americans was restored. Soon, discussions even began of a possible visit by Bush to Torrington someday.

The former President continues to make many public appearances. Recently he appeared on an Australian fishing television show. He currently lives in Canberra, Australia with his wife Barbara.

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