Gerald R. Ford Museum (MI)

(continuer en français) – Published: July 19, 2022

Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Gerald R. Ford (1913 – 2006) served as the 38th President of the United States, the only president never to be elected in a presidential election.

Gerald R. Ford

Youth

The future president grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During his high school and college years, Gerald Ford was noted for his athletic ability, especially in American football, the most popular sport in the United States. He went on to study law at the prestigious Yale University before establishing himself as a lawyer in Grand Rapids. But the Second World War caught up with the United States and Gerald Ford joined the army. He returned to civilian life and became a lawyer in Grand Rapids, but only for a short time as he successfully ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gerald R. Ford
Gerald R. Ford
Gerald R. Ford
Gerald R. Ford

The White House

In 1948 Gerald Ford was elected to the House of Representatives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the Republican Party. He was consistently re-elected until 1973, declining offers to run for US Senator or State Governor. He served for a time as the Republican Party leader of the House of Representatives, winning support on both sides for his balanced positions.

As the Watergate scandal poisoned American politics, Vice President Spiro Agnew had to resign. Richard Nixon chose Gerald Ford to replace him, a choice ratified by Congress. Richard Nixon then had to resign, leaving Gerald Ford in charge until the end of the four-year term.

Gerald Ford thus became the 38th President of the United States without having been elected either President or Vice President, also he failed in 1976 against Jimmy Carter.

Reconstruction of the Oval Office in the time of Gerald R. Ford, United States
Reconstruction of the Oval Office in the time of Gerald R. Ford, United States
Reconstruction of the Cabinet meeting room, United States

The Museum

It has long been a tradition for former presidents to write their memoirs, finally presenting the facts according to their vision and leaving inspiring pages for their successors. Gerald Ford’s autobiography was published in 1979.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, most former US presidents have also been keen to create an institution to carry on their legacy as a library, museum and cultural centre. There is even a federal administration that manages these institutions, Presidential Libraries.

Gerald Ford created both a library on the campus of his former university in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a museum in Grand Rapids, where he lived and was long elected. While the memory of his presidency in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and in the midst of the Cold War is beginning to fade, a visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a good way to remember the main events.

Gerald Ford and his wife are buried in the museum’s garden.

Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
History of Presidents, United States
Gerald R. Ford
Portion of the Berlin Wall
Tomb of Gerald R. Ford
Gerald R. Ford

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