Season 3
Sep 5, 2019

George Bush’s infamous crack speech, 30 years later

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Today, we're revisiting our episode about that speech, the events that led up to it and the lives it affected.

On Sept. 5, 1989, President George H.W. Bush looked into the camera, live from the Oval Office, and held up a bag of crack.

“This is crack cocaine, seized a few days ago by drug enforcement agents in a park just across the street from the White House,” he said. “It’s as innocent looking as candy, but it’s turning our cities into battle zones.”

Exactly three decades later, we know there’s so much more to the story. Today, we’re revisiting our episode about that speech, the events that led up to it and the lives it affected. For more on America’s drug war, listen to season 3 of our show.

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The team

Krissy Clark Host and Senior Correspondent
Caitlin Esch Senior Producer
Peter Balonon-Rosen Associate Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Catherine Winter Senior Editor