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Chinese Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-P’ing Leads President Gerald Ford, Chief U.S. Liaison Officer George H. W. Bush and others through the Great Hall of the People after Bilateral Talks

Chinese Vice Premier Teng Hsiao-P’ing Leads President Gerald Ford, Chief U.S. Liaison Officer George H. W. Bush and others through the Great Hall of the People after Bilateral Talks

 
 
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Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

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."

George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12, 1924) was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. A member of the U.S. Republican Party, he was previously a congressman, ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to Prescott Bush and Dorothy Walker Bush. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Bush postponed college, enlisted in the U.S. Navy on his 18th birthday, and became the youngest aviator in the U.S. Navy at the time. He served until the end of the war, then attended Yale University. Graduating in 1948, he moved his family to West Texas and entered the oil business, becoming a millionaire by the age of 40. He was chosen as a running mate by party nominee Ronald Reagan, and the two were elected. In 1988, Bush ran a successful campaign to succeed Reagan as President, defeating Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis. Under his presidency wars were conducted in Panama and the Persian Gulf, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, and the Soviet Union dissolved two years later. He lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton. Besides being the 43rd president (2001–09), his son George also served as the 46th Governor of Texas (1995–2000) and is one of only two presidents—the other being John Quincy Adams—to be the son of a former president. His second son, Jeb Bush, served as the 43rd Governor of Florida (1999–2007).

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Date

02/12/1975
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Source

The U.S. National Archives
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