The Beginning of National Black History Month - 1976
What first began as Negro History Week in February 1926 expanded into a month-long celebration in 1976. President Gerald R. Ford issued this message recognizing National Black History Month on February 10, 1976.
-from the Ford Library
President Gerald R. Ford Walking away from the Lincoln Sculpture after Laying a Wreath at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony, 02/12/1975
The cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid on February 12, 1914, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. A little more than eight years later it was completed and dedicated on May 30, 1922 with Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln attending the ceremony.
Superbowl Sunday Presidential Trivia
Did you know that Gerald R. Ford received offers from two professional football teams, the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers?
He chose instead to take a position as boxing coach and assistant varsity football coach at Yale hoping to attend law school there.
In his youth, Jerry earned “All-City” and “All-State” honors at South High School in Grand Rapids before joining the team at the University of Michigan as a center.
Ford won the Meyer Morton Trophy, awarded to the outstanding freshman player in spring practice, in his first year as a Wolverine. He made the varsity squad the next year and in 1934 he got the starting position.
Although he had high hopes for his senior year since the team won the national championship in both 1932 and 1933, injuries hit the offense and the defense struggled. “We lost seven of our eight ball games,” Ford later reflected on his final season at Michigan. “But what really hurt was that my teammates, after the end of the season, voted me the most valuable player. I didn’t know whether to smile or sue.”
(ARC Identifier 186975)
-from the Ford Library
A Year-Long Celebration of 2013 Presidential Centennials
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the births of two Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon (January 9, 1913–April 22, 1994) and Gerald Ford (July 14, 1913–December 26, 2006).
Throughout the year, the National Archives will feature programming in celebration of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. Learn more about the 2013 Presidential Centennials here.
September 21, 1949 - Mao Zedong announces that The Communist Party of China will lead the new Chinese government.
Twenty-six years later, Mao Zedong would shake hands with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during President Ford’s visit to China. This photo was taken on a visit to Chairman Mao’s residence in Peking by the Gerald R. Ford, daughter Susan Ford, and Kissinger. December 2, 1975.
“They should be allowed the opportunity to earn return to their country, their communities, and their families, upon their agreement to a period of alternate service in the national interest, together with an acknowledgement of their allegiance to the country and its Constitution.”
Presidential Proclamation 4313 of September 16, 1974, by President Gerald R. Ford announcing a program for the return of Vietnam era draft evaders and deserters, 09/16/1974
(Not the first controversial pardon issued by President Ford.)
Here’s future president Ford wearing his National Park Ranger uniform, in front of a Yellowstone Park office. 08/1936
Gerald R. Ford, Jr., on the Football Practice Field at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1933
Presidents and the Pigskin
When the New England Patriots and New York Giants collide in this year’s Super Bowl, the two teams will be competing for more than just a National Football League championship. The winner will also receive a trip to the White House, a place that many gridiron greats have called home. Read up about football’s rich history at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at Prologue: Presidents and the Pigskin »
Tie one on for National Necktie Month!
Funny how history can happen - On October 12, 1973, Gerald R. Ford is nominated to be Vice President by Richard Nixon. He is the first Vice President nominated under the 25th amendment to the Constitution. The appointment comes after Spiro Agnew, under investigation for accepting bribes and income tax evasion while Governor of Maryland, resigns as Vice President of the United States.
On December 6, 1973, Ford is sworn in as Vice President. Nine months later, Richard Nixon resigns as President. Ford takes the oath as 38th President of the United States on August 9, 1974.
Here are Ford and Nixon together, a decade before they were presidents, campaigning for Barry Goldwater’s presidential ticket in 1964.
-from the Ford Library
September 8 - Letter to President Gerald Ford from Anthony Ferreira, a Third Grader at Henry B. Milnes School
On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford stunned the nation by announcing ”a full, free, and absolute pardon” for former President Richard Nixon.
This letter, from third grader Anthony Ferreira, encapsulated the country’s deep division over Ford’s controversial decision, stating simply: ”I think you are half Right and half wrong.”