Aug 17, 2023 - Politics

Flashback: Republican National Convention in Houston

George H.W. Bush, flanked by Barbara Bush and young family members, waves to the crowd at the 1992 GOP convention in Houston

Then-President George H.W. Bush after accepting the Republican nomination for president. Photo: Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Republicans held their national convention in Houston 31 years ago Thursday, selecting Houstonian George H.W. Bush as their pick to take on Bill Clinton that November.

  • Clinton ultimately won the presidency.

Driving the news: As Houston vies to land the GOP convention in 2028, we wanted to look back at the convention in 1992 — when Pat Buchanan infamously initiated a "culture war" in a 30-minute speech to delegates inside the Astrodome.

  • "There is a religious war going on in this country," Buchanan told delegates. "It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as was the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America."
Pat Buchanan adjusts his tie before the 1992 GOP convention in Houston
Pat Buchanan, adjusting his tie, walks to the stage before his speech to delegates. Photo: Shepard Sherbell/Corbis via Getty Images

Meanwhile, outside the confines of the convention, protesters and counterprotesters squared off throughout the city.

  • In downtown, conservative demonstrators prayed outside Houston's Planned Parenthood headquarters while counterprotesters promoted abortion rights.
Pro choice protesters line the steps of Planned Parenthood in 1992 in Houston
Pro-choice activists defend Planned Parenthood during the GOP convention from extremist organization Operation Rescue. Photo: Lindsay Brice/Getty Images

The bottom line: For a deeper understanding of the 1992 GOP convention in Houston, check out Chron deputy managing editor Dan Carson's retelling of the convention.

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