President George H.W. Bush asks Rice to host the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations on July 9-11. The annual event signals Rice's emergence as an international institution when the world press corps focuses attention on the talks. President Bush welcomes Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy, Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany, President François Mitterand of France, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada, Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu of Japan and President Jacques Delors of the European Economic Community. The guests enjoy events at several Houston institutions, including a memorable private dinner at Bayou Bend, the former home of philanthropist Ima Hogg and, since 1966, the Museum of Fine Arts decorative arts wing.
Summit historian Dr. John B. Boles uncovers several amusing stories that occur as Rice prepares to become Summit headquarters. President Bush's advance team asserts that the 80-year-old, original Lovett Hall toilet in President Rupp's office is not acceptable and oversees installation of a new seat. The team also asks Rice to construct a wall and line of shrubbery to enhance the view from the window of President Bush's Herring Hall office. For more anecdotes, see Dr. Boles's companion publication.