Gerald Ford
When Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office on August 9, 1974, he
declared, "I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances....

This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts."

It was indeed an unprecedented time. He had been the first Vice President chosen
under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment and, in the aftermath of the

Watergate scandal, was succeeding the first President ever to resign. Ford was
confronted with almost insuperable tasks. There were the challenges of mastering
inflation, reviving a depressed economy, solving chronic energy shortages, and
trying to ensure world peace. The President acted to curb the trend toward

Government intervention and spending as a means of solving the problems of

American society and the economy. In the long run, he believed, this shift would
bring a better life for all Americans. Ford\'s reputation for integrity and
openness had made him popular during his 25 years in Congress. From 1965 to

1973, he was House Minority Leader. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1913, he grew up
in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He starred on the University of Michigan football
team, then went to Yale, where he served as assistant coach while earning his
law degree. During World War II he attained the rank of lieutenant commander in
the Navy. After the war he returned to Grand Rapids, where he began the practice
of law, and entered Republican politics. A few weeks before his election to

Congress in 1948, he married Elizabeth Bloomer. They have four children:

Michael, John, Steven, and Susan. As President, Ford tried to calm earlier
controversies by granting former President Nixon a full pardon. His nominee for

Vice President, former Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York, was the second
person to fill that office by appointment. Gradually, Ford selected a cabinet of
his own. Ford established his policies during his first year in office, despite
opposition from a heavily Democratic Congress. His first goal was to curb
inflation. Then, when recession became the Nation\'s most serious domestic
problem, he shifted to measures aimed at stimulating the economy. But, still
fearing inflation, Ford vetoed a number of non-military appropriations bills
that would have further increased the already heavy budgetary deficit. During
his first 14 months as President he vetoed 39 measures. His vetoes were usually
sustained. Ford continued as he had in his Congressional days to view himself as
"a moderate in domestic affairs, a conservative in fiscal affairs, and a
dyed-in-the-wool internationalist in foreign affairs." A major goal was to
help business operate more freely by reducing taxes upon it and easing the
controls exercised by regulatory agencies. "We...declared our independence

200 years ago, and we are not about to lose it now to paper shufflers and
computers," he said. In foreign affairs Ford acted vigorously to maintain

U. S. power and prestige after the collapse of Cambodia and South Viet Nam.

Preventing a new war in the Middle East remained a major objective; by providing
aid to both Israel and Egypt, the Ford Administration helped persuade the two
countries to accept an interim truce agreement. Detente with the Soviet Union
continued. President Ford and Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev set new
limitations upon nuclear weapons. President Ford won the Republican nomination
for the Presidency in 1976, but lost the election to his Democratic opponent,
former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia. On Inauguration Day, President Carter
began his speech: "For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my
predecessor for all he has done to heal our land." A grateful people
concurred.

When Gerald R. Ford took
the oath of office on August 9, 1974, he declared, "I assume the Presidency
under extraordinary circumstances.... This is an hour of history that troubles
our minds and hurts our hearts." It was indeed an unprecedented time. He
had been the first Vice President chosen under the terms of the Twenty-fifth

Amendment and, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, was succeeding the
first President ever to resign. Ford was confronted with almost insuperable
tasks. There were the challenges of mastering inflation, reviving a depressed
economy, solving chronic energy shortages, and trying to ensure world peace. The

President acted to curb the trend toward Government intervention and spending as
a means of solving the problems of American society and the economy. In the long
run, he believed, this shift would bring a better life for all Americans. Ford\'s
reputation for integrity and openness had made him popular during his 25 years
in Congress. From 1965 to 1973, he was House Minority Leader. Born in Omaha,

Nebraska, in 1913, he grew up in Grand Rapids,