"A lawyer planned a picnic in California's rural heartland and 9,600 decided to come--including three former presidents," wrote the Associated Press Sacramento Bureau Chief, Doug Willis, in a 1993 story that was picked up by newspapers around the nation.
Residents of Bakersfield have always known this "All American City" has much to offer. Thanks to the Conference, the world is seeing Bakersfield in a new light:
- BusinessWeek Magazine writes, "The event counters the image of the city as Hicksville...Any event that can turn a dusty little California town into a Mecca for the rich and famous invites imitation."
- The Los Angeles Times, commenting on the Conference's unique blend of the world's greatest speakers, entertainment, and festivity, writes that the Conference is a "synthesis of Ringling Brothers and Meet the Press."
- On an international level, Reutlinger General News, a German publication, gave a detailed account of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins' interview at the 1994 conference.
The media aren't the only ones"When I accepted this invitation, I thought it was some sort of luncheon," said Henry Kissinger. "I don't think I've ever spoken in front of 12,000 people before."
with something to say about
the Conference. The speakers themselves are the source
of a variety of colorful quotes:
Colin Powell, commenting on the 12,000 American flags waving in the audience, said "If that doesn't make your heart go pitty-pat, you'd better lay down and have somebody throw dirt on you, 'cause you're dead."
Find out for yourself why former New York Governor Mario Cuomo calls the Conference "a parade of power," and Peter Jennings proclaims it "staggering"!