Looking back at Bush’s visit to Western Kentucky University in 1984

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Back in 1984, then Vice President George H.W. Bush made a campaign stop in Bowling Green.

It’s the only known time Bush visited Bowling Green.

On Oct. 29, 1984 the vice president spoke in front of 8,000 people inside Diddle Arena at Western Kentucky University.

According to Western Kentucky University Special Library Collections Director, Jonathan Jeffrey, there were at least six high school bands at the event, as well as the WKU marching band and Big Red.

“You had two people with national reputations, the sitting Vice President of the United States and the most unique mascot in the United States,” Jeffrey said.

At one time during his speech, Bush even waved one of the iconic red WKU towels. Bush’s wife, Barbara also gave remarks that day, according to Jeffery.

“It was very successful. They had it decorated with a huge American flag that was behind Bush. There were a lot of college students invited and six to eight high school bands that were there,” said Jeffrey.

Bush spent most of his time on stage discussing the accomplishments he and President Ronald Reagan had made during their first four years in office.

“It was a typical campaign speech that lasted about 10 minutes,” said Jeffrey

Four years after Bush’s appearance at WKU, President Reagan would attend a campaign rally at Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, stumping for the man he hoped would succeed him, George H.W. Bush.

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