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tv   The Presidency Gerald Fords Life Presidency  CSPAN  August 16, 2021 2:00am-3:00am EDT

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and presidency. donald holloway is the curator , presidential museum.
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he came to the presidential museum in 1996. since that is up curator and shape over 70 including centennial of president mrs. ford. the core exhibit in 1997 and 2016. he has a bachelors degree of history and science from oklahoma's baptist university where he served as adjunct professor teaching american history and ancient history. donna welcome are you with us? >> i am thank you for having me. >> excellent how are you doing? more importantly how is the staff? are you guys reopen there's a lot of energy to get all of these museums reopen how are things there? >> we hope to share some the energy and soon. library is in phase one. some are returning and doing
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more on site. the museum continues at zero. the numbers are training our way. we hope in short order to be in a position we can reopen the doors to the public. we are excited because just this last weekend we were open in washington d.c. the headquarters were the rotunda on saturday and sunday were testing all the systems here in washington and were eager as you say open the doors all laughing at the crowds back in. >> because of our situation that's why we are doing the centennial we will learn and alisa virtually experience the presidential museum. we have great programs for us today. i'm going to turn the screen over to you and let's run through it. then we will come out for some q&a at the end. >> okay take you.
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i think we can go right to the first slide. i'm going to talk a little bit about the library museum. you are going to get more gerald ford than a brick-and-mortar in this presentation. a little bit about the library and museum in any case. you might have it museum and eight library is separated in different buildings. they share the same campus. we are separated by estate. our library is unique on the north campus of the university of gerald ford's alma mater. it's 130 miles to the west in grand rapids. gerald ford's hometown in the heart of his district which he represents and congress for 25 years. so we are unique by having a facility separated in this way.
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we can get into that during the q&a as to why that is. in those small parts because of the unity of the team to the presidency. one of the things we find because of that unique entry with gerald ford is we have to introduce gerald ford to our people. how other presidents who ran things for the office. if you look at the next slide, thank you, i'm going to take you to the oval office on march 10 covid 1975. recalling something david mccullough said with john adams by that point have brought to lesser presidents
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with john adams to the attention of the american most successful book was being interviewed among the 20th century residents. the president really needs to be known better. so here we are march 10 rainy monday a spring and washington talking to his chief of staff don rumsfeld were in the background as a fellow by the name of john percy. john is a pulitzer prize winning novelist, journalist she's working for the "new york times" magazine and they asked ford for permission to follow him for a week during his presidency. president ford agreed to that the object was to write a
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lengthy story about gerald ford because they said americans are more about the president. the polling that was being done inside ford's own sense confirmed just what the magazine was asserting. they needed to be better known by the american people. he was well known in the beltway on capitol hill and his district would we go to the next slide where he had run for office in 1948. i notice the image on the left of ford leaning in their work dungarees, he talking to them one of the things that came to be known very well about gerald ford. much of which they already
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knew he was well known in grand rapids. i was in his district as a hard worker, a straight shooter, no pretense about him. he was someone who kept his word. for a few years the attorneys talking to the farmers not pretending to be a farmer himself but listening to him that they send him to congress he would carry their concerns to capitol hill. these farmers on the fifth district turned out any primaries representative of the fifth district replaced him with gerald ford and that in november of 1975 he won the general election. in 1948 he won the general election and was off the congress. those on capitol hill learn the same things about gerald
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ford. he was a hard worker, he kept his word, he was a good listener he had a sharp mind. and that leadership on capitol hill and congress and among the congress rewarded him with important positions early in his career. 1950 when the appropriations committee. by 1953 into a majority. he has given charge into the image on the right military personnel, the dnc in south korea. it's during these early days of the cold war with bases in the pacific and europe he is traveling, attending to the army's needs, reporting back to capitol hill and help track
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their budget. 1956 he was given oversight. in a 1957 his place on the select committee helped draft the legislation. in 1963 lyndon johnson reaches out to him as one of two members of the house of representatives. but that the commissioners on the committee that's investigating the assassination of president john kennedy, the warren commission. we go to the next slide to use his own phrase he was going to be a workhorse, not a show horse. not someone who's going to make his name by things giving speeches on the floor but someone is going to make his name by work on committees and learning the mechanics of congress.
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he was known for his constituents, that's what we see on the left. he's sitting at his desk reading constituent mail. he had a standing order that all constituent phone calls and letters would be answered within 24 hours. his constituents in his district appreciated that. in 13 elections they return him to congress each time with not less than 61% of the vote. we call it at the library the ford it's an aggressive calendar you might see where he jotted down, not every day but often we would get a sense of his work. for him it was not a monday -- friday job. he was often in the office on saturdays and sundays. they would play in statutory
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hall with other congressional leaders. and sometimes to be standing at his typewriter typing letters to their mother. with how much they appreciated her. he earned the reputation to the extent we know something of gerald ford he is mr. bipartisan. and he was, he worked to weld people on both sides of the aisle. but he wasn't partisan pretty had a partisan side as well. he sat leadership. his ambition was to be speaker of the house. he begins moving into leadership in 1966 but the republican leader with what we came home as the ebb and gerry show. before the television cameras they would help promote the
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republican agenda on capitol hill and take shots that president johnson also. he moves into the leadership by 1964 with the sites on the speakership. in the delegation rewarding him at every turn. if you go to the next slide, this is alexandria, home, this is family. the kids are born, mike the oldest in 1952 the youngest 1957. and there's jackson and steve in between. the hard work that he did on capitol hill often known as having the all american family. he does what we all know all
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american families have problems, challenges. mrs. ford was raising four kids in the middle of the 1960s a turbulent 1960s. and yet her husband is gone so much. and earns the minority leader's in 1960 he could be gone over 200 days of the year promoting the republican agenda and campaigning for the message of congress. when she began to speak in the larger platform as the second lady to talk to newspaper reporter she was open about the psychiatric help there are challenges we go to the next
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slide board still seeking the speakership. by 1964 covid 19662 years into his minority leadership to make great strides in recovering those numbers. the party secures the presidency in a razor thin election. richard nixon is elected to the presidency campaigning alongside nixon. in his home district. and once it nixon begins his administration gerald ford the minority leader is working with a mixed agenda on capitol hill to help them shape that as well.
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i 1972 nixon was a historic landslide election. but that needle barely moved. and then, ford realizes his dream of becoming speaker probably is not going to happen. in 1974 he would stand for election once again. but the nixon administration second term. then they returned to grand rapids. history intervenes. ford haven't mentioned watergate during this time but watergate begins in 1972. not for reasons related, but
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other reasons. president need to exercise a provision of the 25th amendment which was ratified in 1967 the lousy president to nominate a person to fill the vacancy of the vice presidency as a tribute but bipartisanship. while congress has a chance occurrence of voting in late december of 1972 this only 35 members of the house the vote against as much is your get on capitol hill. by december ford is moved from the house of representatives to becoming president of the senate and vice president of the united states.
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he holds a position for eight months. then nixon in august of 1974 sulfur signs and ford becomes president of the united states. like the french magazine that promotes a new america betty ross fashioned, not making the american flag but mending the american flag. above him are two images mrs. more about their new president against the world who wants to know something about this new president but they find out is he is not in michigan, he was not born, he
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was aboard leslie lynch junior on july 14, on the right side there is a child with his mother in the bed of which she was born. the house in which she was born the others father-in-law's house. i have their one and only child leslie king proves himself to be a liar. somewhat abusive. to its the child is born dorothy king secrets the child out of the house, off to chicago and over too grand rapids where her parents are developing real estate. she sues for divorce in 1913, the divorce is granted. go to the next slide to three
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years letter she's met a paint salesman at a church picnic. a fellow by the name of ford. we see him on the left side. deutsche junior junior in front of him. rolling evolution they have none during this period as junior teams. the tended to middle school his snoring as gerald ford for about time he graduates from high school in 1931 and goes into university as michigan is known as gerald ford juniper in 1935 could step by the petition the court to have his name changed visually to
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gerald rudolph ford junior. never an adoption. official name change at the end. his mother and his father, stepfather are pretty active in grand rapids. his mother moves from being a paint salesman is on paint and varnish company. mother and father teach their children the moral and >> responsibility they appreciated for the boy scouts was relatively new. it's on mackinac island with when the eagle scouts as
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depression rolls in the burger joint across in the high school where he worked on his lunch hour. and then in the evening and weekends as well. restaurant calls of bills a place where he first meets his birth father. she is birthmother on the right. take junior out to lunch. talks with him, and encourages them to move with him to wyoming where he is living. he talks about that. first he writes in his article and then the book. talks about it in a television interview and writes about in his memoirs. it was huge because he had to go home and tell his parents.
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next slide mrs. film mrs. film that was found at the grand rapids public library and the high school team football match between high school and south hides the first game of the season on the light great uniforms as his junior year. he is playing in here. you can look at it frame by
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frame and find number 53 and it and would become next year's senior year the allstate player would learn would earn the state championship parent going to come up here in just a minute going to freeze-frame so you can see the only known picture of gerald ford playing high school football. you see it coming in from your right hand side. there he is getting number 23 didn't want to the next slide there is a unique film there. form ford would parlay that same on the football field through admission to the university of michigan. their current him to play football. at this time they did not offer scholarships.
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ford had to work his way through school, i'm sorry through college. the community would help get in there and hold him there. we see them playing against michigan state. his freshman year senior year all-american center, and it goes undefeated in the championship. but it would become part of his senior year. they would take the lessons taught him patience, taught him teamwork. to achieve goals part of the bipartisan policy of his.
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the fraternity house for which he resolved was the party house. many of the greek houses. they were known for the parties gave us the camaraderie and friendship that ford loved. this is a party he was never going to wear the lampshade but he enjoyed that sort of fraternal activity. that very end is jack beckwith. his best man at his wedding. impede the namesake of his second son jackson ford.
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in his congressional years work on the campaign in 1976. and unfortunately died in an automobile accident in the primaries are the end of the primary season in 1976. that took lessons from the football field, and let's go to the next slide. see three football offers, offers to play professional football for the lions pretty turns him down to go to yale of all things the boxing coach they knew nothing about boxing they knew nothing about yell stop at the ymca and grand rapids took some boxing
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lessons we know little bit about the language, the moves and enough to fool the rest of the team. he is at yell for five and half or six years for these are the years we don't know a whole lot about. still a lot of work to be done. this is where he learns to play tennis pretty learns to play golf pretty learns to ski and play bridge. becomes an excellent bridge player. he's dating one of the top models in new york city. ends up 1940 campaign. and also he gave voice to isolationism. as world war ii was boiling over in the pacific, taking
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shape ford was part of the majority. that was isolationism. he helped found the america the first chapter at gayle others establish them seems to be leading a loose of that position and it changes. if you go next slide it happens with so many and world war ii shut him of his isolationist position. 1943 covid 1944 he spends most honest aircraft carrier may be coming close to his life in the tornado that struck in december of 1944. after closer examination but
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this time aboard the uss monterey, the intense amount at the gilbert and the carolinas in the philippines and for most see earns eight battle stars was the athletic officer the gunnery officer and the assistant navigator as well. the theme on the left-hand side he's the one on the left i think that image is the japanese torpedo is staring down and they are returning fire. he comes back in 1936 and his interest in politics is interest in reforming politics
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and grand rapids in the state of michigan. it's also prominent and begins to shape his career. we go to the next slide, we go into congress, we rehearse that. he ends up in the presidency. and unfortunately not too often ford is seen as something of a placeholder some right about him. after nixon anticipating carter and ronald reagan. his presidency it took 95 days for the presidency. it was so much more than that. has to select his own vice president. with the nixon cabinet. that is going to take a while.
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what we might oversee, overlook his two weeks after that is when betty ford was in for a routine exam and realizes she has cancer, ends up in the hospital and what could be the darkest night of his presidency. that night he spends alone in the white house anticipating her surgery. also dealing with inflation at this time. with smallpox to see their their strategic arms hoping for assault to agreements. so also dealing with the crisis between allied turkey and greece. we go to the next flight again, just has crowd is 895 days are. and how consequential they are. 1974 in january of 1965
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mounting that recession. in april they changed anything there in operation baby lift in april 1975. he has to deal with throughout new york city crisis. you see the headlines one of the things that comes with the ford administration that line is reprised so often different ways. also wrote the endorsement for gerald ford in the general election. also the other cities that are
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facing similar crises throughout new york city are watching a ford in this ration dealt with that. the challenge later in 75 the bicentennial celebrations of 1976. i want to leave with this, betty ford the famous picture her striking a dance post on the table cabinet room and a lot of people write about this makes considering betty ford in the administration she said the one disappointment she had when she was not able to get a woman in the supreme court. housing and urban development secretary with ford's cabinet. but i want to take a different take on this. she's an white house
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photographer, this was taken to generate 19 covid 1977, their last full day in the white house. what she is doing is she's taking a tour of the white house. she is meeting with the white house staff as many as she can find. thanking them for having made the white house her home. having welcomed her into the people's house over the past two and half years. and it recalls something gerald ford did on his first day in the white house. he commuted from his home in alexandria nixon materials being taken out of residence. he walks up to the north entrance of the white house with the marine guard is standing at attention pretty sticks out his hand to the marine, shakes his hand and said hello i'm gerry ford i'm
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going to be living here for a while what is your name? they brought with them some and grand rapids they learned on capitol hill played so much importance on people criticizing, for continuing to be a congressman while he was president. but those congressional qualities we often not overlook as they served so well. he was president, also dealing with foreign leaders and others the signal quality i hope i did not go too long. >> note thank you fantastic. you covered a lot of ground. so if you questions have come in. i want to encourage folks to use the chat to ask your questions there.
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all over the country, savannah georgia arlington, fairfax delaware ohio, new jersey, colorado, california, riverview, florida, connecticut a lot of gerry ford fans out there which is fantastic. let me start off with the questions are getting in the queue here. let's start off with something we been talking about the of the series on the first ladies we have been doing. obviously over the last year the country has been looking at legacy of our founders. how people are looking through a different lens. can you talk a little bit, especially since you've had a fairly long career at the ford
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museum, how his legacy has change may be from when he first came out of office. you mentioned a mccullough quote. i'm curious. >> is grueling. i think it really began to change the attention mccullough shined on him just briefly. after his passing he passed away on december 26 and over the holiday, the remainder of his holiday we had his funeral, he laid in state at the capitol, and the service in california, and washington d.c. and grand rapids. the outpouring grand rapids gave him a rhyme when the casket arrived, laid in state
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17 hours overnight. lined up the cameras rolled, showed that and talked about grand rapids. they did this for 30 years in his post- presidency. that is long enough in some respects long enough to be forgotten. it's called to mind about ford after he left office. he was the kind of person we always wanted as a president. and i think that has sort of burnished his image. and helped his legacy. he is a pivotal president. he begins the regulation.
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because credit that the carter and reagan rightfully. even george bush. in the ford white house he makes us break sort of the fdr legacy. the regulation of telecommunications of transportation of the airlines , this begins with the ford administration to the 1990s. they need biographies of ford. i will throw a ploy out there we can anticipate next year through norton smith publishing a lengthy biography for the summer of next year.
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>> terrific want to make sure you get a chance to answer some of them. the florida family is the common question we have a presidential library. our family members involved with the library, the museum and if so how? >> they are. they got more involved of course after president ford passed away in mrs. ford passed away in 2011. marty allen had been the longtime chairman started about that time. jack ford became the chairman of the ford foundation. at the library and the museum for a few years. and then steve ford for a while. i'm sorry mike ford is the chairman right now. susan plays she is part the
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uss gerald r ford. she is active in many of the programs we have. exhibits have been very supportive. they and the foundation have been very supportive of the library and museum in the exhibit program. participation efforts also. >> you touched about betty ford with the cancer experience. the museum himself is there talk about that? and later on the addiction connection what you have with betty ford? >> we are fortunate to have first lady who is open come as much as she was. she said if i'm having these problems, others are having these problems and they might benefit. so class in 2016 and in betty
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ford footprint in that. a great deal about her advocacy on behalf of women's rights. the breast cancer, the betty ford clinic, for the arts in particular american arts and dance. also her and see for children. who are suffering health problems, mental problems. handicapped children time for
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that herself. that is been a long ongoing or mrs. ford. we cap quite a bit about her. we would like to as much as space allows. >> can you touch a little about his role in congress. let's talk about relations. it's a two-part question or will you answer whatever order you prefer. the relationship with ronald reagan beats them and then loses the carter. "again going to terms. i'm curious about that being a personal relationship there. then you talked about congress and the deregulation. i read similar in preparation for this he vetoed 66 democratic legislation because he disagreed.
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[inaudible] seems like a large number these days. can you sort of talk about his relationship with congress? >> perhaps i can answer the questions in unison. ronald reagan hammered ford for the ballooning budget as he made a bid to unseat ford in the primary in 1976. ford was left scratching his head as they imagine how big it would have been if i had not refunded all those bills pretty vetoed 66 bills while he was president. it was only effective meanie had for exercising some control with majority, strong majorities in the house and
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the senate. it was also a time there's a greater myth among democrats. they imagined he could craft their effective minorities or effective majority positions on capitol hill even among democrats. he did not know reagan that well. ronald reagan had come from california. ford on capitol hill did not mix that much with others. he did not know ronald reagan that well. reagan had run in 1968 and had come close and had considered himself next in line, it was his turn and ford was in way. ford had come to this in a way he needed to get out of the
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way and let reagan run. ford had hoped he could craft away to encourage reagan to not run against him. there in march of 1975 flew out to california met with with small talk in hopes of trying to end the software persuade him not to run. mrs. ford writes letter after they left that dinner they were both convinced ronald reagan was going to run. it was a testy relationship forged in that primary. but it was one there were strong indications ronald reagan might be vice president
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there's a headline a chicago newspaper touting that very thing. they talked about it and thought better of it. ford was supportive of a reagan during four years. i'm sorry it's eight years in the white house. >> great. couple more questions from our q and a here. you talk a little bit about the participation of the warren commission? [inaudible] nobody is going to talk and he gave the most amount of time. something, for some a controversial pic ford had a relationship with the fbi. they were those who made the allegation ford was sort of a mouth and ears, eyes for the fbi on that commission.
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nothing of that there's no evidence of it. ford and earl warren flew to dallas to question jack ruby after jack ruby had killed oswald. and questioned him at length. and met with mrs. oswalt and met with marguerite also the mother. he did a lot of work, productive produced a book, jack styles i pointed out he wrote a book. think it came out in 1966 called portrait of the assassin. he believed in the inclusions that the warren commission published. he helped to shape those conclusions, crafting the
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language that said there is no evidence of any other participation of any collusion of other players that oswald, the evidence indicate oswald is the known assassin. they believed oswald to be the alone assassin. it was also very open with those critics and would say, i heard him stand number of occasions if you have evidence, bring it forward. we are still willing to consider it. but in the absence of any other evidence the conclusion stands. >> a terrific. missy if i can sneak a couple more in here before we have to wrap up. can you talk to us about why did he dump rockefeller in bp and 76? tough decision. ford made principled decisions. but he could also make political decisions.
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decisions cap political calculus behind them. that was one of them. he wrote himself out, he wished he had stood up to the right wing of the republican party and said no it's going to be ford, rockefeller and you need to accept that. but, he and rockefeller had a meeting in the oval office discussing the obvious problem the polls revealed. that with rockefeller there's a good chance ford is going to lose the primaries. rockefeller said look if you want my resignation comes forward remember the conversation, rockefeller said if you want mine resignation they should you'll have it. and ford said it would be easier if i had it. and so rockefeller bowed out of the tickets. it's interesting that as the convention moved to kansas city a product, reagan's a big
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stumble was over the vice presidency as well when he selected schweikert. and made that announcement before the convention began. and that was his undoing. >> sir, let me give you a chance to answer questions that come through. it about the actual facilities, why are the sites quest? >> when ford moving to leadership in 1964 as the minority leader in congress, he struck an agreement with his alma mater to house his papers. he began archiving his papers at the university of michigan. and that continued to the rest of his time. when he became vice president he extended the agreement to his vice presidential papers as well.
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but then he becomes president. now he can fill the presidential library for illicit keep his commitment to the university of michigan so he built his library there. but he was to do something for his hometown in the heart of the fifth district. and so he builds his new museum over there. sort of breaks up the synergy of the staff. is that good a bipartisan decision. the decision was actually put into effect, it has its challenges. it has its benefits also. there's a presence over the state of michigan. does present challenges to want to visit the gerald r ford i bring an end up in ann arbor hoping to see the exhibits. we do offer some exhibits at the library. but we do labor with with that
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facility. >> we have got to last questions here. one oh something up on the screen. the referent football, college and high school provosts. but as you are well aware that there is a document from curly lambeau i think we have him offering this job to play for the packers. i did a little research. the packers were doing pretty good in the late 30s early 40s. the lions and the bears, he had three offers from top clubs before the nfl. i am just curious if you had any comment if you went to the liens or had a shot at the packers? >> surely would have of course of course they would've. [laughter]
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who is not an all-american, gerald ford wasn't. he was an all-star. so he goes to -- he was selected to appear in the east-west shrine game in san francisco. he takes the train out there with the team for they practice along the way. all of these nfl all-american players and no one's paying any attention to them. with his elect, the deign starts. he's blank back up center. center in the first couple of snaps damages his knee, has to come out and ford place the remainder of the game and does a stellar job. such that on the train back pam bell and others seated next to ford controlling him, trying to get him to sign on the dotted line. he puts them off and eventually turned them down because he wants to go to yale. he goes to yell without
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promise of entry into lost about because he has a job at the athletic department and then petitions the law school for entry which eventually earned. >> very good. on another light spirited one, want to bring up chevy chase. gerald ford is spoofed a little bit on saturday night live opting not to show any clips today, just a couple of things, clumsy and so forth. was that just unfair? is that sort of a hazard of being a president and being under the microscope? is there any truth to saturday night live's take on president ford? >> there is a grain of truth in any character. any good character. i met think chevy chase was good at character. i will say that ford laughed it off. i will say also that got under ford's skin.
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he was arguably the most accomplished athlete to ever occupy the oval office. as you pointed out, three offers to play professional football. an unnatural just about any sport he picked up. he had bad knees because he played football party in operation on one knee, that an operation on the other knee. he had weaker knees that would occasionally bother him. particularly as the weather changed. he had the unfortunate experience of bumping his head on marine one is he is getting out of it. and then hitting somebody with a golf club, a golf ball to swing the club often at that's going to happen. especially people line the fairways. yes, it was unfair. yes, is part of the turf. ford understood as that. he had a conference at the library museum, humor in the presidency and he invited chevy chase to it. and so it got a nice picture
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of him tripping chevy chase. [laughter] >> excellent, excellent. don this is been terrific for diner audience has appreciated it. we really added to our presidential library series. before i let you go, i was the hopefully reopening soon we encourage people to visit your website. is there anything you can tell us about assuming all goes well with health numbers and we reopen, but over the fall or next year are there anniversaries of things that museum are planning for the folks might put on their calendar? >> i would just say keep your eyes open and your pen ready to write these things down. but in september of this year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the library and museum. we will see how we are able to do that. we are hoping we can do that and god willing we will.
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but also, we are moving into is beginning to 2022 the 50th anniversary of the break-in at the watergate hotel. and the 50th anniversary of the ford administration rolling out. i know the foundation i would say stay tuned until you see things roll out as we get the pandemic.use of the library but of the ford presidency. >> terrific. anniversaries are coming up the toys a and
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mrs. ford daughter susan ford bales. >> thank you and welcome everyone. you know, today many people call washington a swamp.


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