The G8 summit in Huntsville marked 35 years that leaders of the major industrialized countries have gathered to talk about crucial global issues. Some past summits have kick-started significant initiatives and steered key international policies. Here are some of the most important meetings:

Rambouillet, France, 1975. The G7 had its first meeting when French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing invited the leaders of the top industrialized countries to talks. There were only six countries at the start – Canada was invited to join for the next year’s session in Puerto Rico. The communiqué said the industrialized democracies were intent on overcoming...

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