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President Gerald Ford

Gerald Rudolph Ford served as the 38th President of the United States from 1974 to 1977Created by: PICRYLDated: 2016
President Gerald R. Ford Reading a Newspaper during His Christmas Vacation Trip to Vail, Colorado
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) served as the 38th President of the United States from 1974 to 1977. He is the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the United States without being elected to either office. As he was appointed to fill a vacancy and then succeeded to the presidency, Ford also earned the distinction of being the only person in American history to neither begin nor finish either a presidential or vice presidential term on the date of a regularly-scheduled inauguration. Before vice-presidency, Ford served 25 years as Representative from Michigan's 5th congressional district, the final 9 of them as the House Minority Leader. Ford's reputation for integrity and openness had made him popular during his 25 years in Congress.
When Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office on August 9, 1974, he declared, "I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances.... This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts."
As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward détente in the Cold War. With the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam nine months into his presidency, U.S. involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Ford acted vigorously to maintain U. S. power and prestige after the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam. Domestically, Ford presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. He granted a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal.
In the GOP presidential primary campaign of 1976, Ford defeated then-former California Governor Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. He narrowly lost the presidential election to the Democratic challenger, then-former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, on November 2.
Following his years as President, Ford remained active in the Republican Party. He died on December 26, 2006 and lived longer than any other U.S. president, 93 years and 165 days.
"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our constitution works."
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718 Media in collectionpage 1 of 8
Photograph of Lieutenant Commander Gerald R. Ford, Jr., Showing His Parents a Map of the Pacific Theater after Returning from Active Duty

Photograph of Lieutenant Commander Gerald R. Ford, Jr., Showing His Pa...

This photograph depicts Lt. Commander Gerald Ford, Jr., showing his parents Dorothy Gardner Ford and Gerald R. Ford, Sr., a map of the Pacific Theater at their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is indicating t... more

Left to right, General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of STAFF; Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, Representative George H. Mahon (D-Texas) and Representative Gerald R. Ford (R-Michigan) are interviewed by ABC-TV newsman William Downs following a meeting with the House Committee on Defense Appropriations

Left to right, General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA, Chairman, Joint Chiefs ...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Washington State: District Of Columbia (DC) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: PHC Ralph Seghers Release Status: Rel... more

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, left, talks with Representative Gerald R. Ford (R-Michigan) prior to a meeting with the House Committee on Defense Appropriations at the Capitol

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, left, talks with Representati...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Washington State: District Of Columbia (DC) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: PHC Ralph Seghers Release Status: Rel... more

Photograph of the Warren Commission Presenting the Final Report to President Lyndon B. Johnson Inscribed to Gerald R. Ford by the President

Photograph of the Warren Commission Presenting the Final Report to Pre...

This photograph depicts Chief Justice Earl Warren presenting the final report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (Warren Commission) to President Lyndon B. Johnson. They are... more

Photograph of Congressman Gerald R. Ford Cutting the Cake at His 59th Birthday Party

Photograph of Congressman Gerald R. Ford Cutting the Cake at His 59th ...

This photograph depicts Gerald R. Ford cutting a large, multi-tiered cake in front of a group of people including Betty Ford. He is in a wheelchair following an operation for his "football" knee. Gerald R. Ford... more

Vice President Gerald R. Ford Talks with Reporters Following President Richard Nixon's Announcement That He Will Resign

Vice President Gerald R. Ford Talks with Reporters Following President...

This photograph depicts Vice President Gerald R. Ford standing with his press secretary Paul Miltich and talking to several reporters on the front lawn of his house at 514 Crown View Drive in Alexandria, Virgin... more

[President Gerald Ford being photographed while announcing amnesty for draft evaders at the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford being photographed while announcing amnesty for...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford making statement about amnesty for draft evaders and signing three amnesty documents. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photogra... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and Others Attending a Late Night Meeting that Extended into the Early Hours of November 24 at the Vladivostok Summit

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid B...

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

[President Gerald Ford being photographed while announcing amnesty for draft evaders at the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford being photographed while announcing amnesty for...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford making statement about amnesty for draft evaders and signing three amnesty documents. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photogra... more

[President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford at a White House State Dinner, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford at a White House Stat...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: White House State Dinner for Australian [i.e., Austrian] Chancellor Kreisky. MST. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact s... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev upon Ford's Arrival at Vozdvizhenka Air Base, near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

Photograph of President Gerald Ford with Soviet General Secretary Leon...

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Walking to the Summit Meeting Room at Okeansky Sanatorium in Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissi...

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, General Secretary Lenoid Brezhnev, and Others Attending a Meeting on the Second Day of the Vladivostok Summit Meetings on Arms Control

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, General Secretary Lenoid Brezhnev...

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

[President Gerald Ford meeting with the National Security Council in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford meeting with the National Security Council in t...

Photographic negative showing President Ford seated at a table with William E. Colby, Director of CIA; Robert S. Ingersoll, Deputy Secretary of State; Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State; James R. Schlesinger, ... more

[President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee h...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford appears before House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on pardoning of former Pres. Nixon. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photog... more

[President Gerald Ford speaking into microphones]

[President Gerald Ford speaking into microphones]

Title devised by Library staff. Probably shot at the White House, Washington, D.C. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford, Kissinger, and Middle Eastern Ambassadors... TOH & WKL. U.S. News & World Report ... more

[House Judiciary Subcommittee questioning President Gerald Ford on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.]

[House Judiciary Subcommittee questioning President Gerald Ford on par...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford appears before House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on pardoning of former Pres. Nixon. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photog... more

[President Gerald Ford being photographed by Buck May in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford being photographed by Buck May in the Oval Offi...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: Andrew "Buck" May retires as Photo Office Administrator of the White House. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact sh... more

[President Gerald Ford escorting Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky into the White House for a state dinner, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford escorting Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky int...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: White House State Dinner for Australian [i.e., Austrian] Chancellor Kreisky. MST. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact s... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Conferring on the Train Ride to Vladivostok

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissi...

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

[House Judiciary Subcommittee questioning President Gerald Ford on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.]

[House Judiciary Subcommittee questioning President Gerald Ford on par...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford appears before House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on pardoning of former Pres. Nixon. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photog... more

[President Gerald Ford announcing amnesty for draft evaders at the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford announcing amnesty for draft evaders at the Whi...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford making statement about amnesty for draft evaders and signing three amnesty documents. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photogra... more

[President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, conversing, on the grounds of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, convers...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: WHITE HOUSE - President Ford saying good-bye to King Hussein of Jordan. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact sheet ... more

[President Gerald Ford addressing Congress as Speaker of the House Carl Albert looks on, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford addressing Congress as Speaker of the House Car...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford inflation message to joint session of Congress. MST. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact sheet available... more

[President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, seated, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, seated,...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford, Kissinger, and Middle Eastern Ambassadors... TOH & WKL. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact sheet avail... more

Photograph of the First Meeting between President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and the Delegations in the Conference Hall at Okeansky Sanatorium, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

Photograph of the First Meeting between President Gerald Ford, Soviet ...

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

[President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee h...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford appears before House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on pardoning of former Pres. Nixon. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photog... more

[President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee h...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford appears before House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on pardoning of former Pres. Nixon. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photog... more

[President Gerald Ford meeting with George Meany in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford meeting with George Meany in the Oval Office of...

Photographic negative showing President Ford seated at a desk with George Meany, president of AFL-CIO. Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: Pres. Ford conferring with George Meany in Ov... more

[President Gerald Ford at a White House press conference, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford at a White House press conference, Washington, ...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford press conference. TOH & MST. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Contact sheet available for reference purposes.

[President Gerald Ford being photographed while appearing at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on pardoning former President Richard Nixon, Washington, D.C.]

[President Gerald Ford being photographed while appearing at the House...

Title devised by Library staff. Contact sheet folder caption: President Ford appears before House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on pardoning of former Pres. Nixon. TOH. U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photog... more

President Gerald R. Ford Riding a Snowmobile at Camp David
Guests Holding Puppies at an Anniversary Party for President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford

Guests Holding Puppies at an Anniversary Party for President Gerald R....

This photograph depicts guests at President and Mrs. Ford's 27th wedding anniversary holding two of the puppies from the Ford family dog Liberty's litter. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

Representatives From the National Turkey Foundation Presenting President Gerald R. Ford with a Thanksgiving Turkey

Representatives From the National Turkey Foundation Presenting Preside...

This photograph depicts the presentation ceremony of a Thanksgiving turkey to President Ford in the White House Rose Garden. Pictured from left are Jim Shepard; President Ford; Mrs. Shepard; W.H. Shepard, Jr., ... more

President Gerald R. Ford Visiting the Gold Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan

President Gerald R. Ford Visiting the Gold Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan

This photograph depicts President Gerald R. Ford seated with Zen Buddhist Abbot Jikai Murakami as they look out over the Kyoko Chi Pond at the Gold Pavilion (Kinkakuji Castle). Standing around them are members ... more