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US History: President Gerald R. Ford (1974 - 1977)

Updated on June 2, 2015

President Gerald Rudoph Ford Timeline and Global Events

  • In 1963, Gerald Ford was elected to the US House of Representatives and served 13 terms in total, declining advice to run for the US Senate.
  • In 1965, Ford was elected as the minority leader of the House of Representatives.
  • The Minority Leader held this office, until he was appointed Vice President after the resignation of Spirow T. Agnew over charges of personal tax evasion under the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Administration.
  • Gerald R. Ford was the first Vice President of the United States appointed under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution:

"Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."

  • During his US House tenure, Ford was popular and was accepted into the popular House group, the Chowder and Marching Society that sought out former athletes. This is a group that has a presence on many college and university campuses and in the military forces as well. It is said that Representative Ford could simply ask other representatives for their vote on an issue and he would receive it.

August 9, 1974 - January 20, 1977


  • August 9, 1974 - Vice President Ford took over as US President (POTUS) after the impeachment and resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, under the 25th Amendment. This was the second time he had assumed office under this Constitutional Amendment. He was never elected to Vice President or POTUS. His comment at his swearing in was: “Our long, national nightmare is over.”
  • August 19 - The President spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their Chicago convention, He supported earned clemency for Vietnam War draft evaders.
  • September 8 - President Ford pardoned President Richard Nixon of all crimes he committed or which he may have committed in the White House. Immense public outcry and criticism followed. He may have lost the next presidential election in large part because of this pardon.
  • October 8 - Whip Inflation Now was a program developed by President Ford.
  • November 17 - Ford visits Japan, the first US President to have done so. Following that, he visited South Korea and the USSR.
  • During the first year and two months in the office of POTUS, Ford vetoed 39 bills, most of which would have increased inflation. His major interests were in fighting inflation, recession, and energy dependence on foreign countries.

Apollo and Skylab



  • New Year's Day - John Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman were pronounced guilty of the Watergate cover-up. Ford signed the Privacy Act of 1974.
  • January 4 - Ford permitted a panel to investigate the CIA and its actions inside the USA. VP Nelson Rockefeller led the panel.
  • April - The Viet Nam Conflict becomes unmanageable in its advancement into Cambodia and Khmer Rouge takes over Cambodia by April 17. By April 28, Americans were evacuated from South Viet Nam.
  • July - Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft launch for a USA -Soviet link in space. The Apollo Space Program online is found at APOLLO.
  • September - President Ford survives two assassination attempts in California. On September 5, Charles Manson's follower, Squeaky Fromme attempts an assassination in Sacramento. The reportedly leftist Sara Jane Moore attempted assassination in San Francisco.
  • October 11 - The first broadcast of Saturday Night Live occurred with host George Carlin.
  • October 2 & 3 - The Presidents hosts Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako at the White House in the first ever state in the US visit for an Emperor and Empress of Japan. This is 30 years after the end of WWII.
  • October 29 - Ford won't give a struggling NYC a Federal Bailout but he does arrange for the city to have a line of credit via US Congressional action.
  • November 4 - A White House Cabinet shake up called the Halloween Massacre that placed these people in long-term power:
  • George H.W. Bush - CIA Director; became 41st POTUS
  • Richard (Dick) Cheney - White House Chief of Staff; became Vice President under George W. Bush, the 43rd POTUS
  • Elliot Richardson - Commerce Secretary
  • Donald Rumsfeld - Defense Secretary
  • Henry Kissinger - Secretary of State
  • Brent Scowcroft - National Security Advisor

Soyuz Manned Spacecraft



June 20 - Evacuation of the US Embassy in Beirut.

July 4, 1976

  • The USA celebrated its Bicentennial Celebration with 400 Elvis Presely impersonators on the Washington DC mallway.
  • Israeli commandos attacked the Entebbe Airport in Uganda and freed 103 hostages from Palestinian hijacking of an Air France plane. The US aided both Egypt and Israel in Middle East conflicts in order to attempt to prevent declared war.

    Movies about this event include Raid on Entebbe (1976), Victory at Entebbe (1976), Operation Thunderbolt (Hebrew with English subtitles, 1977) and Operation Thunderbolt: Entebbe (2000).

  • Early August - a strange, heretofore unknown disease claimed a total of 29 lives, starting at an outbreak at the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. The source later was named as E-Coli bacteria.

  • September 23 - President Ford and Governor Jimmy Carter debate in Philadelphia in the first presidential candidate debate since Nixon-Kennedy in 1960, a full 16 years previously. Two additional presidential debates occurred on October 6 and October 22.

On January 20, 1977 during Jimmy Carter's inauguration, he stated:

  • “For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.”

Carter and Ford went on to work together on a number of matters of national importance.

Thunderbolt (1977, closed caption English after opening credits)

  • The US Bicentennial Band

    The United States Armed Forces Bicentennial Band - men and women from every branch of the US Armed Forces toured together beginning in 1975 to celebrate America's Bicentennial Anniversary.

Members of The Warren Commission

  • Earl Warren, Chairman; Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, former Governor and Attorney General of California;
  • Richard B. Russell, Democratic Senator and Governor from Georgia, former chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee;
  • John Sherman Cooper, Republican Senator from Kentucky, former county and circuit judge in Kentucky, US Ambassador to India;
  • Hale Boggs, Democratic Representative from Louisiana, Majority Whip of US House of Representatives;
  • Gerald R. Ford, Republican Representative from Michigan and Chairman of the House Republican Conference;
  • Allen W. Dulles, attorney; former Director - Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);
  • John J. McCloy, attorney; former President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), former United States High Commissioner for Germany.

If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.

— President Gerald R. Ford

Quotes from President Gerald R. Ford

From and about his Presidential Inauguration:

"I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our government but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad. In all my public and private acts as your president, I expect to follow my instincts of openness and candor with full confidence that honesty is always the best policy in the end." (1974)

"I guess it just proves that in America anyone can be president."

During his term in presidential office:

"It can go on and on, or someone must write "The End" to it. I have concluded that only I can do that. And if I can, I must." (Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon)

"If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have."

"Teddy Roosevelt once said. 'Speak softly and carry a big stick. Jimmy Carter wants to speak loudly and carry a flyswatter."

Some of the Awards Given to President Gerald R. Ford

  • August 11, 1999 - Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Bill Clinton.
  • October 27, 1999 - Congressional Gold Medal.
  • May 21, 2001 - John F. Kennedy Foundation, Profiles in Courage Award.
  • March 2006 - NCAA names Ford the 14th most influential student-athlete of the last 100 years.

21 Jet Salute Over Grand Rapids, Michigan

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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    • johnpolk profile image


      8 years ago

      I think that Gerald Ford was a great president!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      GO GERALD FORD! :)


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