President Bush turned down an invitation to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual convention, becoming the first president to decline each year of his presidency since Herbert Hoover.

Bush attended as a presidential candidate in 2000.

The NAACP reported that Sen. John Kerry will speak on the final day of the convention, to be held in Philadelphia starting July 10.

The White House said the invitation was turned down because of scheduling conflicts. A spokesman said Bush has spoken about "equal opportunity and equal rights for all Americans" in many public venues.