64 Facts About Gerald Ford

1. Gerald Ford was the only president never to have been elected to the office of president or vice president.

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2. When President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, Gerald Ford succeeded to the presidency, but was defeated for election to a full term in 1976.

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3. Gerald Ford began his political career in 1949 as the US representative from Michigan's 5th congressional district.

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4. Gerald Ford served in this capacity for nearly 25 years, the final nine of them as the House minority leader.

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5. In December 1973, two months after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford became the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment.

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6. Domestically, Gerald Ford presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure.

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7. Gerald Ford's took her son with her to Oak Park, Illinois, home of her sister Tannisse and brother-in-law, Clarence Haskins James.

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8. Gerald Ford was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, and earned that program's highest rank, Eagle Scout.

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9. Gerald Ford is the only Eagle Scout to have ascended to the US presidency.

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10. Gerald Ford attended the University of Michigan, where he played center, linebacker, and long snapper for the school's football team and helped the Wolverines to two undefeated seasons and national titles in 1932 and 1933.

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11. Gerald Ford was Ward's best friend on the team, and they roomed together while on road trips.

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12. In 1934, Gerald Ford was selected for the Eastern Team on the Shriner's East–West Shrine Game at San Francisco, played on January 1, 1935.

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13. Gerald Ford graduated from Michigan in 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.

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14. Gerald Ford turned down offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.

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15. Gerald Ford hoped to attend Yale Law School beginning in 1935.

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16. Gerald Ford received a commission as ensign in the US Naval Reserve on April 13, 1942.

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17. Gerald Ford was serving as General Quarters Officer of the Deck and was ordered to go below to assess the raging fire.

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18. Gerald 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.

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19. Gerald Ford was a member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, holding Michigan's 5th congressional district seat from 1949 to 1973.

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20. Gerald Ford described his philosophy as "a moderate in domestic affairs, an internationalist in foreign affairs, and a conservative in fiscal policy.

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21. Gerald Ford was known to his colleagues in the House as a "Congressman's Congressman".

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22. Gerald Ford became vice president as the Watergate scandal was unfolding.

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23. Immediately after Gerald Ford took the oath of office in the East Room of the White House, he spoke to the assembled audience in a speech that was broadcast live to the nation.

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24. On September 8, 1974, Gerald Ford issued Proclamation 4311, which gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.

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25. Regardless, historians believe the controversy was one of the major reasons Gerald Ford lost the 1976 presidential election, an observation with which Gerald Ford agreed.

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26. On October 17, 1974, Gerald Ford testified before Congress on the pardon.

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27. Gerald Ford chose a young Wyoming politician, Richard Cheney, to replace Rumsfeld as his new Chief of Staff; Cheney became the campaign manager for Gerald Ford's 1976 presidential campaign.

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28. On October 4, 1974, Gerald Ford gave a speech in front of a joint session of Congress; as a part of this speech he kicked off the "WIN" campaign.

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29. Gerald Ford expressed "strong support for full educational opportunities for our handicapped children" according to the official White House press release for the bill signing.

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30. Gerald Ford was criticized for abruptly switching from advocating a tax increase to a tax reduction.

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31. In March 1975, Congress passed, and Gerald Ford signed into law, these income tax rebates as part of the Tax Reduction Act of 1975.

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32. Gerald Ford continued the detente policy with both the Soviet Union and China, easing the tensions of the Cold War.

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33. In November 1975, Gerald Ford adopted the global human population control recommendations of National Security Study Memorandum 200 – a national security directive initially commissioned by Nixon – as United States policy in the subsequent NSDM 314.

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34. Gerald Ford considered it "stalling" and wrote, "Their [Israeli] tactics frustrated the Egyptians and made me mad as hell.

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35. Gerald Ford felt truly annoyed and thought the chance for peace was jeopardized.

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36. In December 1974, months after Gerald Ford took office, North Vietnamese forces invaded the province of Phuoc Long.

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37. Gerald Ford's was paroled on December 31, 2007, after serving 32 years.

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38. In 1975, Gerald Ford appointed John Paul Stevens as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to replace retiring Justice William O Douglas.

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39. Gerald Ford appointed 11 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 50 judges to the United States district courts.

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40. The turning point came in the second debate when Gerald Ford blundered by stating, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Gerald Ford Administration.

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41. In 1979, Gerald Ford published his autobiography, A Time to Heal.

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42. Bush, and Bill Clinton, Gerald 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.

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43. Gerald Ford hosted the Jerry Ford Invitational in Vail, Colorado from 1977 to 1996.

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44. Gerald Ford attacked Carter's conduct of the SALT II negotiations and foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa.

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45. Gerald Ford believed the more conservative Ronald Reagan would be unable to defeat Carter and would hand the incumbent a second term.

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46. Gerald Ford was encouraged by his former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger as well as Jim Rhodes of Ohio and Bill Clements of Texas to make the race.

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47. On March 15, 1980, Gerald Ford announced that he would forgo a run for the Republican nomination, vowing to support the eventual nominee.

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48. Gerald Ford conditioned his acceptance on Reagan's agreement to an unprecedented "co-presidency", giving Gerald Ford the power to control key executive branch appointments.

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49. On October 8, 1980, Gerald Ford said former President Nixon's involvement in the general election potentially could negatively impact the Reagan campaign: "I think it would have been much more helpful if Mr Nixon had stayed in the background during this campaign.

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50. On March 24, 1982, Gerald Ford offered an endorsement of President Reagan's economic policies while stating the possibility of Reagan being met with a stalemate by Congress if not willing to compromise while in Washington.

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51. Gerald Ford founded the annual AEI World Forum in 1982, and joined the American Enterprise Institute as a distinguished fellow.

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52. Gerald Ford was awarded an honorary doctorate at Central Connecticut State University on March 23, 1988.

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53. In 1987, Gerald Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of District of Columbia Circuit Court judge and former Solicitor General Robert Bork after Bork was nominated by President Reagan to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

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54. At the 1992 Republican National Convention, Gerald Ford compared the election cycle to his 1976 loss to Carter and urged attention be paid to electing a Republican Congress: "If it's change you want on Nov 3, my friends, the place to start is not at the White House but in the United States' Capitol.

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55. On January 20, 1998, during an interview at his Palm Springs home, Gerald 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.

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56. In October 2001, Gerald Ford broke with conservative members of the Republican Party by stating that gay and lesbian couples "ought to be treated equally.

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57. Gerald Ford suffered two minor strokes at the 2000 Republican National Convention, but made a quick recovery after being admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital.

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58. Gerald Ford died on December 26, 2006, at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis.

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59. On December 30, 2006, Gerald Ford became the 11th US president to lie in state in the Rotunda of the US Capitol.

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60. When speaking of his mother and stepfather, Gerald Ford said that "My stepfather was a magnificent person and my mother equally wonderful.

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61. Gerald Ford was not aware of his biological father until he was 17, when his parents told him about the circumstances of his birth.

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62. At the time of their engagement, Gerald Ford was campaigning for what would be his first of 13 terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives.

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63. Couple had four children: Michael Gerald Ford, born in 1950, John Gardner born in 1952, Steven Meigs, born in 1956, and Susan Elizabeth, born in 1957.

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64. In spite of his athletic record and remarkable career accomplishments, Gerald Ford acquired a reputation as a clumsy, likable, and simple-minded everyman.

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