Presidency of Tom Bradley
On November 8, 1988, California Governor Tom Bradley proved wrong the notion that "a black man" couldn't be president when he won the presidency 341-197 against challenger New York Representative Jack Kemp.
On January 20, 1989, President Bradley was inaugurated as the 40th President. He wished former President Nichols "good luck" on his post-presidency life and Nichols wished the same back. The two had very little interaction, mostly at the behest of Nichols who had wanted Bradley to run on his own record rather than having to ride Nichols' coattails. On February 6, Bradley ignored any bail-out proposals involving the banks but approved giving the SEC and FDIC more regulatory oversight. On March 14, the Bradley administration announced that he would maintain President Nichols' criminal and drug policies but also make some needed additions. On March 24, the Exxon Valdez supertanker runs aground in southeastern Alaska, becoming the worst oil spill on American territory. The tanker dumps 240,000 barrels of oil into the surrounding waters and causes environmental damage. President Bradley dispatches the EPA and clean-up crews to the location and makes the case for continuing to incentivize the alternate fuel and power industry. Bradley offers a program of special assistance for Poland, whose communist government had agreed to negotiate with the opposition Solidarity party which produce a plan for free elections. Elections were held in August 1989 and lead to single party rule. On June 4, Tianamen Square Massacre occurred, as a pro-democracy movement began to take shape but was put down by the Chinese military. On June 5, Bradley condemns the actions of China and announces a number of condemnatory actions including the suspension of trade. On August 9, Bradley reaches a compromise with Congress on the "letting the banks collapse" situation and instead Bradley signs the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 which gives financial assistance but not a bail-out and creates a new government body, the Resolution Trust Company to oversee mergers and liquidation of troubled banks. On November 9, the Berlin Wall fell and marked the symbolic end of Communist rule in Europe. On November 17, President Bradley signed the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1989, which by April 1991, would raise the minimum wage to $4.55. On November 21, President Bradley signed a new drug law that provided for education and law enforcement, expanded treatment facilities, decreasing federal prison sentences and reduced penalties for less violent crime. On December 2, President Bradley and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev hold their first meeting of Bradley's presidency in the harbor of Valetta, Malta, to discuss nuclear disarmament and the strengthening of Soviet-American trade relations. Both leaders announce that the Cold War is effectively over. Though the war against Communism continues, as former Soviet General Genedy Vilkov of Ukraine annexes Belarus and renames it in his honor, the Communist Republic of Vilkovia.
On June 1, 1990, at a summit meeting in Washington DC, President Bradley and Russian President Gorbachev sign the broadest arms reduction agreement in two decades. The agreement stipulates that the United States and the Soviet Union scrap 25 to 40 percent of their respective nuclear stockpiles. On June 26, President Bradley announces that the economic policy of President Nichols had successfully created an economic surplus, the largest in American history and had essentially eliminated the budget deficit. On July 26, President Bradley signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, which affected 43 million Americans and forbid discrimination in employment, public accommodations and transportation. On August 2, Iraq invades Iran as its civil war has left its oil reserves mostly unattended, President Bradley strongly condemns the actions of Iraq and calls on global response. On October 3, seven months after the East Germans overwhelmingly approve reunification, the two German states are formally reunited. On October 22, President Bradley signs the Civil Rights Act of 1990 which allows greater numbers of minority individuals into areas of the workforce that are employed by predominantly white employees. On November 5, President Bradley signs a Balanced Budget Law that would prevent future government expenditures from going over the GDI. On November 15, President Bradley signs the Clean Air Act of 1990, which tightens air pollution standards and seeks to reduce urban smog, cut acid rain pollution by one-half, and eliminate industrial emissions of toxic chemicals by the end of the 20th century. On November 19, the Treaty of Conventional Forces in Europe limits the weapons holdings and caps the American troop presence in Central Europe at 150,000. On November 29, President Bradley signs the Immigration Act of 1990, the most extensive revision to immigration law in more than half a century. The new law allows for the admission of 700,000 aliens each year. The U.S. engages in Operation Mountain Volley which prevented Vilkovian aggression and annexation of Romania. Though Vilkovia had been beaten back, it was not gone and was brewing a more deadly confrontation in the future.
On July 10, President Bradley lifted most sanctions against South Africa, stating that the end of Apartheid was "near." On July 31, President Bradley and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Moscow to sign a nuclear arms treaty (START-1) which called for both nations to make significant reductions in the number of nuclear warheads in their respective arsenals. On October 15, Bradley's nominee to replace retiring justice Harry Blackmun. On November 21, President Bradley signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, making it easier for employees to sue employers on grounds of discrimination. On December 31, the constituent republics of the Soviet Union had dissolved, the USSR ceased to exist. Though Vilkovia continued to exist.
On February 2, 1992, President Bradley met at Camp David with new President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin to discuss US-Russian relations and officially declare the end of the Cold War. On February 18, President Bradley shocks the nation announcing that he would not be running for re-election. On April 1, President Bradley announces an aid plan to spur democratic and market reforms in the Russian Federation. On May 23, the US signs agreements with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan ensuring that continued participation of those nations in the nuclear arms reduction treaties signed by the USSR before its collapse in 1991. On June 12, Bradley sends Vice President Bentsen to Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero and states that the US will sign a treaty, which is designed to protect rare and endangered animals and plants. President Bradley and President Yeltsin announce an agreement to reduce their nuclear arsenals by 3,000 or 3,500 by the 2003. On June 22, President Bradley calls for a reinvestigation of the Rodney King beating by the LAPD; later an independent jury charges the officers involved with battery. On July 3, President Bradley signs the Unemployment Compensation Amendment of 1992, extending coverage to the unemployed for 26 weeks, following their initial 26 weeks of benefits. On August 19, the Democratic party nominates Vice President Bentsen and nominated Tennessee Senator Al Gore as his Vice President. On November 3, Indiana Senator William Morgan, a Republican, was elected President after defeating Vice President Bentsen. On December 9, American troops landed in Somalia as part of a UN-sponsored "Operation Restore Hope." The humanitarian mission's first goal was to ensure the distribution of food and medical supplies to suffering Somalis. Somalia had been wracked by starvation, drought and violence.
On January 20, 1997, William Morgan is inaugurated 42nd President of the United States. President Bradley and his wife left Washington DC and flew home to Los Angeles, California.