The Republican National Convention begins today in the Houston Astrodome, lavishly nicknamed “The Eighth Wonder of the World” by its creator, Judge Roy Hofheinz, when it opened in 1965.

Key Speakers and Events MONDAY

Rep. Guy Vander Jagt (Mich.), National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Sen. Phil Gramm (Tex.), National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. Alan K. Simpson (Wyo.) Patrick J. Buchanan Ronald Reagan Platform adoption TUESDAY

Lamar Alexander, Secretary of Education Jack Kemp, Secretary of housing and urban development


William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator Rep. Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Republican Whip

Sen. Phil Gramm, Keynote Speaker WEDNESDAY

Gov. Pete Wilson Marilyn Quayle Wynonna Judd, entertainment selection Barbara Bush

Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin, nomination speech William J. Bennett, former education secretary

Roll call of states THURSDAY

Gerald R. Ford

Vice President Dan Quayle, acceptance speech Bob Dole, Senate Republican leader President Bush, acceptance speech

Fact and Figures Number of delegates: 2,210 Media representatives: 15,000 Total Astrodome seating: 36,000 Dome height: 15 stories Economic impact on Houston: $60 million to $100 million Police assigned to convention: 2,000 Speakers in sound system: 576 Sound level: 140 decibels (about the same as a 747 on takeoff) Balloons: 225,000 (101.8 per delegate)

Who Pays for the Party? The taxpayer cost comes to $418 for each person attending the GOP gala and $803 per person attending the Democratic convention, using an attendance estimate of 40,000 for each event. Supporters say the money is well spent because it brings in visitor spending, promotes the city and keeps the parties from turning to special interests to underwrite costs. The federal money comes from taxpayers who check off a box on their income tax returns designating $1 for public campaign financing. Convention financing (in millions)

Federal goverment Municipal taxes Private donations Republicans $11.0 $5.7 $4.3 ($21.0 million) Democrats 11.0 $21.1 $6.5 ($38.6 million)

Sources: Republican National Committee, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council, Times staff and wire reports