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Gerald Ford was the 38th President of the United States (1974-1977). He was a lawyer, U.S. Representative, Vice President, and President. Ford was the only President to become Vice President, then President without being elected into office. Below are some great facts on President Gerald Ford or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Leslie Lynch King, Jr. was born on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was the son of Leslie Lynch King, Sr. and Dorothy Ayer Gardner. Dorothy divorced Leslie, Sr, and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan after Leslie, Jr, was born. In February 1916, Dorothy married Gerald Rudolph Ford and Leslie, Jr, he adopted his stepfather’s name to become Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.
- In 1931, Ford graduated from Grand Rapids High School. By 1935, he’d enrolled at the University of Michigan where he became a football star player. Contracts were offered to him by the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, both offers were turned down because he chose to enter law school.
- In 1938, Ford entered Yale Law School and graduated in 1941. He worked as an assistant football and boxing coach at Yale prior to studying law. The same year of his graduation, he was admitted to the bar and immediately opened his law practice in Grand Rapids.
- In December 1941, upon the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ford was enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served until 1946 with the rank lieutenant commander.
- On December 15, 1948, he married Elizabeth “Betty” Bloomer Warren, with whom he had four children.
- During the 1948 election, he ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives under the Republican Party. Ford won and served until 1973. He became the House Minority Leader from 1965 to 1973.
- By November 1963, he was one of President Johnson’s appointees to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy under the Warren Commission.
- On October 10, 1973, President Nixon’s vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned. Ford was then chosen to fill the vacant position and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 27.
- President Nixon announced his resignation on national television on August 8, 1974. The next day, Ford assumed the Presidency.
Gerald Ford’s Presidency
- On August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford took his oath as the 38th President of the United States in the East Room of the White House. He was the only President who became vice president, then president without election. Nelson A. Rockefeller became his vice president after his nomination and approval by Congress.
- By September 8, 1974, Proclamation 4311 was signed giving former President Richard Nixon a full pardon, which caused the decline of his approval rating.
- Ford became the first incumbent U.S. President to visit Japan on November 17, 1974. That same month, he announced the campaign WIN (Whip Inflation Now) to counter rising inflation. By November 21, Congress overrode the president’s veto on the Freedom of Information Act. On the other hand, the Privacy Act was passed into law ensuring the right to individual privacy by every American citizen.
- The fall of Saigon was the event that led to the evacuation of the remaining American troops in Vietnam in March 1975. While in America, the Tax Reduction Act was signed cutting $22.8 billion in taxes.
- Ford attended the Helsinki Accord held in Europe in August 1975. It sought to improve relations between Western countries and the Communist bloc.
- On September 5 and 22, 1975, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate the president.
- During his term, Ford vetoed 46 bills while 94% of those were overridden by Congress. Inflation rate went as high as 12.2% while the unemployment rate rose as much as 9.2%.
- Ford was the Presidential candidate of the Republican Party during the 1976 election but lost to Democrat James Carter.
Post-Presidency & Death
- In 1977, Ford joined the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy. By 1982, he founded the AEI World Forum, which held its first assembly in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
- He was appointed as the President of the Eisenhower Fellowship in January 1977, and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1980 until 1986.
- By 1979, he published his autobiography, “A Time to Heal”. During the 1980 election, he was considered as the running mate of Ronald Reagan but it did not push through.
- On April 27, 1981, he opened his own Presidential Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, while the one in Grand Rapids was dedicated on September 18, 1981.
- In August 1991, Ford was awarded by President Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After a decade, he co-chaired he cho-chaired the National Commission on
- Federal Election Reform with former-president Jimmy Carter. That same year, he received the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award.
- At the age of 93, he was the longest-lived U.S. president before he died on December 26, 2006, from arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis. A state funeral was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on December 30. His body was interred in a tomb at the Gerald Ford Museum.
President Gerald Ford Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use President Gerald Ford Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Gerald Ford who was the 38th President of the United States (1974-1977). He was a lawyer, U.S. Representative, Vice President, and President. Ford was the only President to become Vice President, then President without being elected into office.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Gerald Ford Facts
- Simply Jerry
- Ford’s Presidents
- Vetoed v. Signed
- Exceptional Road to the White House
- Football or Boxing?
- Assassination Plots
- Helsinki Accords
- Political Cartoon
- Ford Administration
- I Can AfFORD
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Use With Any Curriculum
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