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Moments: The President comes to town

4:50 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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"I'm sorry we were a little late in getting here. But you know how it is on this campus - Even I couldn't find a parking spot."

After thanking a list of local dignitaries, President George H.W. Bush delivered that opening line while speaking on the campus of the University of Tennessee on February 2nd, 1990.

The president's visit to East Tennessee coincided with his new nation-wide plan for education and tied-in with a new science-focused initiative at UT.  Then UT President Lamar Alexander introduced Bush to a full-capacity crowd in Alumni Memorial Gymnasium shortly after 3 o'clock. 

During his speech, Bush praised Tennessee's "volunteer spirit", called Sen. Howard Baker an "outstanding public servant" and talked about Coach Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols' trip to the White House in April of 1989. 

"When they came to Washington, the Lady Vols had only one request," Bush recalled. "Not to see the Oval Office. Not to see the Smithsonian. What they wanted to see was Millie's new puppies." For that request, the president joked that he should be allowed to meet Smokey.

More than 20 years later, President George H.W. Bush's trip to East Tennessee is still a memory shared by many and is one of your "Straight from the Heart Moments."



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