NEW ORLEANS - An event that saw thousands of volunteers and city leaders – Republican and Democrat - pull together for a common cause, while bringing the international spotlight to New Orleans, opened 25 years ago today.
On August 15, 1988, New Orleans helped write a chapter of American history, with the opening of the Republican National Convention at the Louisiana Superdome, now the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The GOP convention brought thousands of delegates, politicians and members of the media to town for three days that week in August. The work to bring the convention here, and then spruce up the city for the thousands of attendees, required months of planning and volunteer coordination.
The event also brought outgoing President Ronald Reagan and the Republican party’s nominee, George H.W. Bush, to town.
Reagan delivered a speech on the opening night of the convention, August 15. Bush delivered his acceptance speech at the Superdome which contained two of the phrases for which he is still best remembered – “a thousand points of light” and “Read my lips. No new taxes.”
Mr. Bush unveiled his choice for vice president here as well, at an event at Spanish Plaza, Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle.
The Bush-Quayle ticket would go on to win the election that fall, but would only serve one term before losing to Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992.