Monday, August 29, 2011

Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford 38th President of the United States (1974-1977)

Ford sites that I have visited:

Ford Birthplace garden Omaha, NE
Fords boyhood homes, High School and house in Grand Rapids, MI

Ford Museum and gravesite Grand Rapids, MI

The house in which the future President was born in Omaha, Nebraska. The house is gone now and a memorial garden is now on the site.

Gerald Ford Birthplace. Omaha, NE

Gerald Fords birth name was Leslie Lynch King Jr. He was born in the house of his biological fathers parents. His parents would divorce and his mother would marry a man named Gerald Ford. Ford adopted the boy and he was re named Gerald Ford Jr. When Ford became President in 1974, an Omaha businessman bought the property (the house was gone by that point) and built a garden there.

I visited the birthplace in March 2011, we had driven from Ohio through the night and saw Truman sites in Independence, MO and Eisenhower sites in Abilene, KS. We left Abilene and headed for our hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa. But first we had one last stop. We had a 4 hour drive from Abilene to Omaha. As we got closer to Omaha we were running out of sunlight. We made it to the Ford birthplace with just a few minutes of sunlight. Which explains why the pictures are so dark.

Ford birthplace

Bust of Ford at his Birthplace

Display of Fords golf clubs at birthplace

Replica of what the birthhome looked like on display at the birthplace

Me at Ford's birthplace

This house at 1960 Prospect Ave. Grand Rapids, MI is the house where the very young future President lived with his mother from 1913 - 1917.

This historic marker stands in front of Fords boyhood home at 649 Union Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Fords boyhood home at 649 Union Ave. The Fords lived here from around 1921 - 1930, during a big chunk of his formative years. Ford himself always considered this house his "Home" growing up.

This building once held the School where Gerald Ford attended High School. It is now the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center. Grand Rapids, MI.

This house at 330 Washington St. SE in Grand Rapids is the house where Gerald and Betty Ford lived from 1948 - 1950. The first 2 years of their marriage.

Gerald Ford Museum in December 2009. Grand Rapids, MI.
Gerald Ford Museum July 2014

     My kids with the new Ford Statue

I have now been to the Gerald Ford Museum twice. Once in December 2009 and again in July 2014. The weather was much nicer on the 2nd trip. Also in between the 2 trips First Lady Betty Ford passed away and was laid to rest next to President Ford at the Museum. Besides that not a lot of difference between the 2 visits.

My wife and Klo in the disco exhibit at the Ford Museum, December 2009

July 2014. Khloe 4 and a half years later with her brothers Nicky and Grant. Their Mom had to work that day. 

Ford oval office

Ford's navy uniform on display

             Ford situation room

         Me with Fords Inagural Bible 

Nicky checks out piece of the Berlin Wall

Statue of a young Ford as an Eagle Scout. He is the only President who has ever earned that honor.

Gerald Ford was a graduate of the University of Michigan. I am a life long Ohio State fan. I felt that I should make this symbolic gesture that I bare no ill will towards Ford for going to Michigan.
One of my favorite quotes from any President

Ford's gravesite at the Ford Museum Grand Rapids, MI, December 2009

          Fords gravesite, July 2014

Me at Ford's gravesite, December 2009

Nicky, Grant and I at Fords gravesite in July 2014, while Khloe took the picture. 

Ford was the only President not be elected President or Vice President. In 1972, The ticket with Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew won in one of the biggest landslides in history. Agnew would resign on corruption charges leaving the country without a Vice President. It was Richard Nixon's job to appoint a new Vice President who would need to be approved by Congress. Gerald Ford was House Minority Leader when Nixon chose him as Vice President. When Nixon himself resigned in August 1974, Ford became President. He was a good, well respected, honest man to take over after the nightmare of Watergate. He made a controversial decision to grant Nixon a full and complete pardon. He would lose the Presidential election of 1976 to Jimmy Carter. Ford died at age 93 in 2006.


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