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Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford

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Gerald Ford

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  1. Gerald Ford “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” August 9, 1974

  2. What to do with Nixon?

  3. Ford Pardoned NixonSeptember 8, 1974 “Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States . . . do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon . . .”

  4. Ford’s Pardon and Pen

  5. Why Pardon Nixon? • Publically: Ford felt that Nixon had suffered enough • Threat of prosecution was damaging Nixon’s health • Trial would reignite bitter and divisive passions and prevent the country from moving forward • Privately: Ford felt the trial would hinder his ability to govern • Hoped a pardon would bring closure to the issue • Speaks before a congressional committee to answer questions regarding the pardon • First President since Lincoln to do so • States there was never a prearranged pardon agreement

  6. Ford’s Approval Rating Fell from 72% to 49%

  7. Economy • High inflation and unemployment • Nixon faced similar problem • Chose to implement wage and price freezes • Ford proposed a tax hike and reduction in federal spending but call for more individual spending • WIN: “Whip Inflation Now” buttons • Big failure, no public interest/support

  8. Presidential Vetoes • Vetoed 66 bills in 2.5 years (FDR 635 vetoes) • Had 12 vetoes overturned (2nd most)

  9. Protecting President Ford

  10. Sacramento, California September 5, 1975

  11. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme-wanted to bring fame to Charles Mansion “family”

  12. “Squeaky” Fromme’s Gun

  13. Sara Jane Moore

  14. San Francisco, California September 22, 1975

  15. Sara Jane Moore December 30, 1975 “Although part of me regrets not being successful in the task, I am very thankful I did not kill another human being.” May 28, 2009 (NBC’s Today Show) "I am glad that I didn't kill [Ford], but I don't regret trying."

  16. Busing • Summer of 1974, judge ordered the city school system to integrate immediately. • All black buses came to all white schools and vise versa • Mobs of students met the buses and fights broke out • Violence culminated in a white student being stabbed and a riot

  17. Ford’s Foreign Policy Strong Commander-in-Chief and Revive Détente

  18. Ho Chi Minh OffensiveNVA / VC Attack Vietnam and Southeast Asia December 13, 1974 – April 30, 1975

  19. Ford Asked for $722 million in aid for South Vietnam NO "...large sums for evacuation, but not one nickel for military aid"

  20. Operation Frequent WindApril 30, 1975 Almost 7,000 Americans and Vietnamese are evacuated in a 24 hour period

  21. USS MayaguezCaptured May 12, 1975 • 39 American naval personnel were captured by the Cambodian military

  22. USS Mayaguez Rescued May 15, 1975 39 Americans rescued 41 Americans were killed in the rescue

  23. Gerald Ford Museum

  24. Soviet Union and Détente • Wanted to continue Nixon’s détente policy with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev

  25. SALT II (1974)(Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II) • Attempted further cuts in nuclear arsenals • Did not pass

  26. Helsinki Agreements (1975) • Soviets wanted: WWII borders recognized (YES) • US wanted: Soviet emigration (NO)

  27. Ended Yom Kippur War (September 1, 1975)

  28. Yom Kippur War • Fought: October 6-25, 1973 between Israel and Arab coalition led by Egypt/Syria • A surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur-the holiest day in Judaism • Initial success for Arab coalition was later overrun by Israeli forces • The war humiliated the Arab coalition and showed the Israeli’s impressive operational and tactical abilities

  29. Gerald Ford’s Domestic Legacy • Not elected as President (or VP) by American people • Wanted Nixon’s pardon to heal country but instead reopened the issue/ended honeymoon • Faced a difficult economy, the likely collapse of Vietnam, and public mistrust of its leaders • Democrats controlled Congress and were never convinced of Ford’s legislative program – led to a lot of vetos and overriding of vetos

  30. Gerald Ford’s Foreign Legacy • Solid but unremarkable record • Continued to pursue détente • Signed Helsinki pact but failed to agree on major arms control agreement • Vietnam War officially ended on his watch • However, the Communists ultimately became victors • Mayaguez was captured • Successful military operation to save the crew

  31. Final Analysis • Most Americans believed Gerald Ford was a decent and good man and that he did bring/restore honor to the White House • However, the failing economy and his inability to navigate the political game with Congress led to his defeat for reelection in 1976 to Jimmy Carter

  32. Gerald Ford: A Time to Heal