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Remembering the G7 Summit held at Rice University 30 years ago

G7 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations world leaders in front of Lovett Hall, Rice University
G7 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations world leaders in front of Lovett Hall, Rice University (Rice University)

HOUSTON – On July 9, 1990, seven world leaders stood in front of Lovett Hall at Rice University, for the 16th G7 Economic Summit.

Known as the “Group of Seven,” G7 consisted of seven industrialized nations — France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and the President of the European Commission.

G7 members walk through the Sallyport of Lovett Hall at Rice University
G7 members walk through the Sallyport of Lovett Hall at Rice University (Rice University)

The G7 Summit began in 1975 and the 16th summit was held on the campus of Rice University from July 9-11, 1990. It’s purpose was to provide a venue for the non-communist powers to come together and address economic concerns.

G7 members meeting in the Founders Room at Rice University
G7 members meeting in the Founders Room at Rice University (Rice University)

Former Houston congressman and U.S. President George H. W. Bush welcomed the “Group of Seven” which included Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada; Francois Mitterand, President of France; Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of West Germany; Giulio Andreotti; Prime Minister of Italy; Toshiki Kaifu, Prime Minister of Japan; Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission.

G7 members walking on the “inner loop” at Rice University
G7 members walking on the “inner loop” at Rice University (Rice University)

According to the Houstorian Calendar, it’s believed barbecue and “not-so-great stereotypes” of Texas were featured on the opening day of the summit.

The summit has been hosted by the United States six times since 1975 and Houston was the only city from Texas to ever host the event. There is a commemorative installation of the G7 Summit on the grounds of Rice University near Herring Hall. Seven stone blocks represent the seven nations that participated in the meetings.

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