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Gerald R. Ford legacy 50 years later

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Public domain photo via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

The new year will mark a lot of 50-year anniversaries for those celebrating the legacy of President Gerald R. Ford.

The congressman who unexpectedly became president was in a front-row seat for some iconic events in American history -- the resignation of Vice-President Spiro Agnew, the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Museum in Grand Rapids will be holding special events and opening a new exhibit to mark a remarkable year in U.S history, and Ford’s role in it as the 38th president.

Gleaves Whitney, Executive Director of the Foundation says there are many milestones, including the pardon of Nixon one month after Ford was sworn in.

1045 “He did something no previous President had done before, pardoned his predecessor for all crimes having to do with the scandal but he did it to heal the nation”

Contributions of First Lady Betty Ford will also be highlighted, such as her determination to speak publicly about previously taboo topics.

1125 “Six weeks after her husband became president of the United States, Mrs. Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer. She changed women’s health history by the way she conducted herself. She made it possible for every woman at the dinner table to talk about breast cancer and go get that mammogram.”

Anniversary events include exhibits, speakers, programs and a partnership with the Grand Rapids Whitecaps baseball team. Details can be found online at Ford 50.com.

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