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Gawthorpe, A. J. Some critics charged that Ford issued the pardon as part of a pre-arranged deal to reach the Oval Office. The agreement guaranteed the territorial integrity of Vietnam and, like the Geneva Conference of 1954, called for national elections in the North and South. [125] Ford dispatched Marines to rescue the crew, but the Marines landed on the wrong island and met unexpectedly stiff resistance just as, unknown to the U.S., the Mayaguez sailors were being released. She would later join his White House staff. All Rights Reserved. Ford's paternal grandfather Charles Henry King paid child support until shortly before his death in 1930. [112] The announced reassessments upset the American Jewish community and Israel's well-wishers in Congress. Public sentiment also began to move against Johnson, and the 1966 midterm elections produced a 47-seat swing in favor of the Republicans. [214], Ford received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in May 1970, as well as the Silver Buffalo Award, from the Boy Scouts of America. The Monterey was damaged by a fire, which was started by several of the ship's aircraft tearing loose from their cables and colliding on the hangar deck. [103] Senator Jacob K. Javits offered "...large sums for evacuation, but not one nickel for military aid". "[167] On October 20, 1981, Ford stated stopping the Reagan administration's Saudi arms package could have a large negative impact to American relations in the Middle East during a news conference. By 1988, Ford was a member of several corporate boards including Commercial Credit, Nova Pharmaceutical, The Pullman Company, Tesoro Petroleum, and Tiger International, Inc.[176] Ford also became an honorary director of Citigroup, a position he held until his death. They had four children together: Michael, John, Steven, and Susan. . See more ideas about Us presidents, Richard nixon, Ford. Gerald Ford, Actor: Dynasty. They never saw one another as children, and he did not know them at all until 1960. The changes included removal of an entire 86-page section on CIA assassination plots and numerous edits to the report by then-deputy White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney.[109]. “Our long national nightmare is over,” he declared in his inaugural address. [116] The announcement was met with thunderous applause. [198] A state funeral and memorial services was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, January 2, 2007. He was born into one of America’s wealthiest families and parlayed an elite education and a reputation as a more, 1. [2] As Ford expected, Turkish relations were considerably disrupted until 1978. [8], After living with her parents for two-and-a-half years, Gardner married Gerald Rudolff Ford on February 1, 1917. Ford was born and baptized Leslie King, Jr. His father was a drunk who began beating his mother almost immediately after they were married, and they were quickly divorced. Ford previously served as the 40th vice president of the United States from December 1973 to August 1974. [192] On April 23, 2006, President George W. Bush visited Ford at his home in Rancho Mirage for a little over an hour. [174] Bork's nomination was rejected by a vote of 58–42.[175]. Later that year, however, Ford helped reduce tensions with the Soviet Union by signing the Helsinki Accords, which were meant to strengthen the relationship between Western nations and the communist countries of Europe. This is the shortest and most honest of recent presidential memoirs, but there are no surprises, no deep probings of motives or events. [196] At the time of his death, Ford was the longest-lived U.S. president, having lived 93 years and 165 days (45 days longer than Ronald Reagan, whose record he surpassed). Ford's first press secretary and close friend Jerald terHorst resigned his post in protest after the pardon. Domestically, Ford presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. Ford attended public schools in Grand Rapids. See more ideas about ford, american presidents, presidents. Low public confidence added to Ford's already formidable challenge of establishing his own administration without a presidential transitionperiod or the popular mandate of a presidential election. [212] Ford received the degrees of York Rite Masonry (Chapter and Council degrees) in a special ceremony in the Oval Office on January 11, 1977, during his term as President of the United States. In 1987 Ford's Humor and the Presidency, a book of humorous political anecdotes, was published. [92] In January 1975, Ford proposed a 1-year tax reduction of $16 billion to stimulate economic growth, along with spending cuts to avoid inflation. One of Ford's greatest challenges was dealing with the continuing Vietnam War. Carter later attributed his victory in the election to the debates, saying they "gave the viewers reason to think that Jimmy Carter had something to offer". Synopsis. [146] Speaking in New Hampshire on the previous day, Ford condemned the growing trend toward big government bureaucracy and argued for a return to "basic American virtues". She took her son with her to Oak Park, Illinois, home of her sister Tannisse and brother-in-law, Clarence Haskins James. Ford was serving as General Quarters Officer of the Deck and was ordered to go below to assess the raging fire. [205][206][207] Pieces of Ford's common Everyman image have also been attributed to Ford's inevitable comparison to Nixon, as well as his perceived Midwestern stodginess and self-deprecation.[204]. "We live in an interdependent world and, therefore, must work together to resolve common economic problems," he said in a 1974 speech. It is only fitting then that I should pledge to them and to you that I will be the President of all the people. During the operation, so many South Vietnamese helicopters landed on the vessels taking the evacuees that some were pushed overboard to make room for more people. On August 21, it was reported that he had been fitted with a pacemaker. Millions of Americans wanted to see the disgraced former president brought to justice. This resulted in a federal deficit of around $53 billion for the 1975 fiscal year and $73.7 billion for 1976. By most, Gerald Ford was a good president during the short time that he was in office. [79], Ford's transition chairman and first Chief of Staff was former congressman and ambassador Donald Rumsfeld. He viewed his brief tenure in the Oval Office as an unexpected bonus at the end of a long career in politics. That year his biological father, whom Ford described as a "carefree, well-to-do man who didn't really give a damn about the hopes and dreams of his firstborn son", approached Ford while he was waiting tables in a Grand Rapids restaurant. On paper, no. On April 20, he reported for active duty to the V-5 instructor school at Annapolis, Maryland. Dorothy called her son "Junie," which soon became "Jerry" out of affection for the boy's new father-figure. [69][70], In the months following the pardon, Ford often declined to mention President Nixon by name, referring to him in public as "my predecessor" or "the former president." The shot missed Ford by a few feet. Ford was detached from the ship and sent to the Navy Pre-Flight School at Saint Mary's College of California, where he was assigned to the Athletic Department until April 1945. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate at Central Connecticut State University[170] on March 23, 1988. Shortly after taking office, Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed as president. [123], North Vietnam's victory over the South led to a considerable shift in the political winds in Asia, and Ford administration officials worried about a consequent loss of U.S. influence there. Ford went on in 1931 to attend the University of Michigan. [87] At the time, inflation was over twelve percent. [73] In presenting the award to Ford, Senator Edward Kennedy said that he had initially been opposed to the pardon, but later decided that history had proved Ford to have made the correct decision. September 1935 Yale University hires Ford to be an assistant football and boxing coach. Unger, Irwin, 1996: 'The Best of Intentions: the triumphs and failures of the Great Society under Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon': Doubleday, p. 104. [93], When New York City faced bankruptcy in 1975, Mayor Abraham Beame was unsuccessful in obtaining Ford's support for a federal bailout. Kennedy. In that operation, military and Air America helicopters took evacuees to U.S. Navy ships off-shore during an approximately 24-hour period on April 29 to 30, 1975, immediately preceding the fall of Saigon. Always very athletic, Ford continued to enjoy the game of golf. [157] Ford and Carter served as honorary co-chairs of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform in 2001 and of the Continuity of Government Commission in 2002. "[183], In the prelude to the impeachment of President Clinton, Ford conferred with former President Carter and the two agreed to not speak publicly on the controversy, a pact broken by Carter when answering a question from a student at Emory University. Ford suffered two minor strokes at the 2000 Republican National Convention, but made a quick recovery after being admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital. [145] On July 7, 1976, the President and First Lady served as hosts at a White House state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom, which was televised on the Public Broadcasting Service network. [149], In the end, Carter won the election, receiving 50.1% of the popular vote and 297 electoral votes compared with 48.0% and 240 electoral votes for Ford. From 1965 to 1973, he was House Minority Leader. Full pardon for draft dodgers came in the Carter administration. [39][40] Ford was known to his colleagues in the House as a "Congressman's Congressman". On Thursday, August 1, 1974, Chief of Staff Alexander Haig contacted Ford to tell him to prepare for the presidency. Save documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online, in OneDrive. However, anti-war pressures within the United States forced Nixon and Kissinger to pressure Thieu to sign the agreement and enable the withdrawal of American forces. He also devoted much time to his love of golf, often playing both privately and in public events with comedian Bob Hope, a longtime friend. [20] Before state events, Ford often had the Navy band play the University of Michigan fight song, The Victors, instead of Hail to the Chief. Gerald R. Ford, the 38th president of the United States and the only one to assume the office without being elected president or vice president, has died. Former Governor of California Ronald Reagan and the party's conservative wing faulted Ford for failing to do more in South Vietnam, for signing the Helsinki Accords, and for negotiating to cede the Panama Canal. From 1965 to 1973, he was the House Minority Leader, where he earned a reputation for high-integrity and openness. Gerald R. Ford was thrust into the presidency in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal, but lost his own bid for election after pardoning President Richard M. Nixon. Ford’s 895 day-long presidency is the shortest in U.S. history for any president who did not die in office. When, on a 1974 trip to California, White House correspondent Fred Barnes pressed Ford on the matter, Ford replied in a surprisingly frank manner: "I just can't bring myself to do it. Gawthorpe, "The Ford Administration and Security Policy", pp. Ford’s decision generated a swirl of controversy. [182], On January 20, 1998, during an interview at his Palm Springs home, Ford said the Republican Party's nominee in the 2000 presidential election would lose if the party turned ultra conservative in their ideals: "If we get way over on the hard right of the political spectrum, we will not elect a Republican President. "[59] He went on to state: I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it. To try to mesh service and sacrifice, "WIN" called for Americans to reduce their spending and consumption. [184], In October 2001, Ford broke with conservative members of the Republican Party by stating that gay and lesbian couples "ought to be treated equally. Stolberg, Sheryl Gay. His mother, Dorothy, divorced King when her son was a baby and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. [100] Ford came under criticism for a 60 Minutes interview his wife Betty gave in 1975, in which she stated that Roe v. Wade was a "great, great decision". Upon taking office, Johnson, also known as LBJ, launched an ambitious slate of progressive reforms aimed at creating a more, The 29th U.S. president, Warren Harding (1865-1923) served in office from 1921 to 1923 before dying of an apparent heart attack. [50], In 1966, criticism over the Johnson Administration's handling of the Vietnam War began to grow, with Ford and Congressional Republicans expressing concern that the United States was not doing what was necessary to win the war. [25] His introduction into politics was in the summer of 1940 when he worked for the Republican presidential campaign of Wendell Willkie. For the next eight months, as the Watergate investigation heated up, Ford defended Nixon and represented the administration. [104] The Administration entered into the Helsinki Accords[105] with the Soviet Union in 1975, creating the framework of the Helsinki Watch, an independent non-governmental organization created to monitor compliance which later evolved into Human Rights Watch. Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. [201] After his death in December 2006, the University of Michigan Marching Band played the school's fight song for him one final time, for his last ride from the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean, two ongoing international disputes developed into crises. "160,000 Mark Two 1775 Battles; Concord Protesters Jeer Ford – Reconciliation Plea". [55] Ford's leadership was instrumental in shepherding revenue sharing through Congress, and resulted in a bipartisan coalition that supported the bill with 223 votes in favor (compared with 185 against). Ford took the loss in stride, however, telling friends that he had planned to retire from Congress that year anyway. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. The Fords began calling her son Gerald R. Ford, Jr., although his name was not legally changed until December 3, 1935. [204] "In all the years I sat in the House, I never knew Mr. Ford to make a dishonest statement nor a statement part-true and part-false. Ford attacked Carter's conduct of the SALT II negotiations and foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa. The unusual chain of events that lifted Ford to the Oval Office began in 1972 when operatives connected to President Richard Nixon’s (1913-1994) re-election campaign broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. A number of high-ranking Nixon administration officials knew about the break-in, and the president himself took part in efforts to cover up the illegal activities that became known as the Watergate scandal. During his brief administration, he replaced all members except Secretary of State Kissinger and Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon. [197], On December 30, 2006, Ford became the 11th U.S. president to lie in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Ford chose a young Wyoming politician, Richard Cheney, to replace Rumsfeld as his new Chief of Staff; Cheney became the campaign manager for Ford's 1976 presidential campaign. [138] During his tenure as House Republican leader, Ford had led efforts to have Douglas impeached. [83] To rein in inflation, it was necessary to control the public's spending. "We gave Nixon no choice but Ford," House Speaker Carl Albert recalled later. During the term of office of his successor, Jimmy Carter, Ford received monthly briefs by President Carter's senior staff on international and domestic issues, and was always invited to lunch at the White House whenever he was in Washington, D.C. Their close friendship developed after Carter had left office, with the catalyst being their trip together to the funeral of Anwar el-Sadat in 1981. [199], Scouting was so important to Ford that his family asked for Scouts to participate in his funeral. Although Gerald Ford had a reputation for being clumsy, he was one of the most accomplished athletes ever to grace the Oval Office. "[34] Ford voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957,[35] 1960,[36] 1964,[37] and 1968,[38] as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. [33] On October 17, 1974, Ford testified before Congress on the pardon. [22], At the time, Ford and his wife, Betty, were living in suburban Virginia, waiting for their expected move into the newly designated vice president's residence in Washington, D.C. From there, she moved to the home of her parents, Levi Addison Gardner and Adele Augusta Ayer, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. [153] Later in 1977, he reluctantly agreed to be interviewed by James M. Naughton, a New York Times journalist who was given the assignment to write the former President's advance obituary, an article that would be updated prior to its eventual publication. ", Ford's wife, Betty Ford, died on July 8, 2011. [7] In a biography of Ford, I have given instructions for a reassessment of United States policy in the region, including our relations with Israel, with the aim of ensuring that overall American interests ... are protected. According to a 1963 FBI memo that was released to the public in 2008, Ford was in contact with the FBI throughout his time on the Warren Commission and relayed information to the deputy director, Cartha DeLoach, about the panel's activities. Gerald Ford faced the same economic problems as Nixon and was no more successful in dealing with them. The 26-year-old Ford cavorted in the snow with Brown as part of a layout ... adopted a golden retriever the family named Liberty after he had already taken office. Her new husband, Gerald R. Ford, a paint salesman, adopted the child and gave him his own name. Perhaps due in part to this fact, the 94th Congress overrode the highest percentage of vetoes since Andrew Johnson was President of the United States (1865–1869). [49][51], As Minority Leader in the House, Ford appeared in a popular series of televised press conferences with Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, in which they proposed Republican alternatives to Johnson's policies. She was paroled on December 31, 2007, after serving 32 years. During the year he was at the Preflight School, he was promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade, on June 2, 1942, and to lieutenant, in March 1943. He had a fine if unremarkable foreign policy experience, and he failed to cure America of both its stagflated economy and it's still severe civil disturbance. [213], Ford was also a member of the Shriners and the Royal Order of Jesters; both being affiliated bodies of Freemasonry. Chevy Chase often did pratfalls on Saturday Night Live, imitating Ford, who had been seen stumbling on two occasions during his term. Ford considered it "stalling" and wrote, "Their [Israeli] tactics frustrated the Egyptians and made me mad as hell. He accepted and so, on December 6, 1973, Gerald Ford became Vice President of the United States without being elected to the office. Unable to convince Congress to approve further military aid to South Vietnam, he could only watch as the country fell to North Vietnamese Communist forces in 1975. America’s 38th president, Gerald Ford (1913-2006) took office on August 9, 1974, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon (1913-1994), who left the White House in disgrace over the Watergate scandal. On December 6, 1973, the House confirmed Ford by a vote of 387 to 35. Ford also believed the more conservative Ronald Reagan would be unable to defeat Carter and would hand the incumbent a second term. [9] He was raised in Grand Rapids with his three half-brothers from his mother's second marriage: Thomas Gardner "Tom" Ford (1918–1995), Richard Addison "Dick" Ford (1924–2015), and James Francis "Jim" Ford (1927–2001). [200], Ford selected the song to be played during his funeral procession at the U.S. In January 1977, he became the president of Eisenhower Fellowships in Philadelphia, then served as the chairman of its board of trustees from 1980 to 1986. "Manufacturing Voter Confidence: a Video Analysis of the American 1976 Presidential and Vice-presidential Debates". A few selected Scouts served as ushers inside the National Cathedral. Like Presidents Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, Ford was an honorary co-chair of the Council for Excellence in Government, a group dedicated to excellence in government performance, which provides leadership training to top federal employees. [101] During his later life, Ford would identify as pro-choice. For nearly 40 years, Democratic majorities have held to the time-tested New Deal formula, tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect. On May 21, Ford "experienced a real shock" when seventy-six U.S. senators wrote him a letter urging him to be "responsive" to Israel's request for $2.59 billion (equivalent to $12.31 billion in 2019) in military and economic aid. [30][136] Before she fired a second round, retired Marine Oliver Sipple grabbed at the gun and deflected her shot; the bullet struck a wall about six inches above and to the right of Ford's head, then ricocheted and hit a taxi driver, who was slightly wounded. He and Earl Warren also interviewed Jack Ruby, Oswald's killer. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. His moderate views on various social issues increasingly put him at odds with conservative members of the party in the 1990s and early 2000s. [91] The focus of the Ford administration turned to stopping the rise in unemployment, which reached nine percent in May 1975. Ford receives professional football contract offers from the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions, which he declines. In a controversial executive action, President Gerald Ford pardons his disgraced predecessor Richard M. Nixon for any crimes he may have committed or participated in while in office. "[165], Following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, Ford told reporters while appearing at a fundraiser for Thomas Kean that criminals who use firearms should get the death penalty in the event someone is injured with the weapon. So I couldn't have written a better prescription for a superb family upbringing. Many journalists and television fans remember how SNL and Gerald Ford ushered in this environment, exactly 40 years ago this weekend, when Ford’s … [178], In April 1991, Ford joined former presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter, in supporting the Brady Bill. Wikimedia Commons. After the service, Ford was interred at his Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. [72] In 2001, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award to Ford for his pardon of Nixon. [179] Three years later, he wrote to the U.S. House of Representatives, along with Carter and Reagan, in support of the assault weapons ban. [43] He died on the 34th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman's death; he was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission. He is credited with helping to restore public confidence in government after the disillusionment of the Watergate era. Maynard, Christopher A. However, "Al Haig asked to come over and see me," Ford later said, "to tell me that there would be a new tape released on a Monday, and he said the evidence in there was devastating and there would probably be either an impeachment or a resignation. [31] Ford also visited local farms where, in one instance, a wager resulted in Ford spending two weeks milking cows following his election victory. Yale officials at first denied his admission to the law school because of his full-time coaching responsibilities. [128] But work by Andrew Gawthorpe, published in 2009, based on an analysis of the administration's internal discussions, shows that Ford's national security team understood that the seizure of the vessel was a local, and perhaps even accidental, provocation by an immature Khmer government. During an August 1982 fundraising reception, Ford stated his opposition to a constitutional amendment requiring the US to have a balanced budget, citing a need to elect "members of the House and Senate who will immediately when Congress convenes act more responsibly in fiscal matters. [205], The trust the American public had in him was rapidly and severely tarnished by his pardon of Nixon. As part of the 1935 Collegiate All-Star football team, Ford played against the Chicago Bears in the Chicago College All-Star Game at Soldier Field. 48 Jersey", "Clumsy image aside, Ford was Accomplished Athlete", "Timeline of President Ford's Life and Career", "In Danger Undaunted: The Anti-Interventionist Movement of 1940–1941 As Revealed in the Papers of the America First Committee (Hoover Archival Documentaries)", "Gerald Ford, 38th President, Dies at 93 years and 165 day", "Lieutenant Gerald Ford and Typhoon Cobra", "The 38th First Lady: Not a Robot At All", "The Patterson Barn, Grand Rapids, Michigan—Barn razing erases vintage landmark", "TO PASS H.R. First person to serve ; after consulting with his basic philosophy of fiscal conservatism Medical Center for undisclosed ;! And Nixon shared Nixon created an unprecedented challenge for his successor Gerald Ford faced the same economic problems as and. 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