President Ford Memorial

president ford Former President Ford’s body will remain in state at the Capital Rotunda through 6:00PM tomorrow and is open to the public. If you are interested in a viewing, the public waiting area is located just across from the Botanical Gardens.

On Tuesday morning the casket will be moved to the National Cathedral in preparation for funeral services that begin at 10:30AM. Unfortunately, tickets are sold out. Immediately following the service, the President’s casket will be taken to Andrews AFB where it will be flown to his home town of Grand Rapids, MI. After a local funeral service at Grace Episcopal Church on Wednesday, he will be taken to the Ford Presidential Museum where he will be interred in a private ceremony.

Gerald R. Ford is the only executive to hold both the vice-presidency and presidency without being elected to either office. He was appointed as VP by President Nixon after Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973. After the Watergate scandal forced Nixon to himself resign in 1974, Ford took over as Chief Executive. Ford’s earlier political career included over eight years as Republican Minority Leader of the House, representing Michigan’s 5th congressional district. In a highly controversial move, Ford pardoned Nixon and many believe this lead to his defeat to Jimmy Carter in 1976.

1975 saw the debut season of SNL and Chevy Chase’s notorious parodies of the president. While in truth he only stumbled a few times on camera, Chase depicted Ford has a complete klutz, which helped to boost his own career from a little-known comedian to movie stardom. It is well known that Ford was good natured and took it all in stride. Years later the two became friends, and the former president and his wife even took Chase on a tour of his home town.

6 Comments so far

  1. Maggie Rubi (unregistered) on January 1st, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    This morning in the CNN Newsroom, reporters, Bob Frankin and Jim Clancy were reporting on the viewing of President Ford in the Rotunda.

    I was shocked when they described the viewers of the President’s body as the “ordinary” and “common” people. ORDINARY??? COMMON??? What are the “other” people called, i.e., the Bushes, Clintons, Carters, extraordinary? I am sorry but we are not ordinary or common people. Next will they call us peasants? Do we have “Royals” in America now? We are just as special as they are. I am appalled that any reporter would consider that type of labeling of the general public. That is one of our current problems existing in Washington DC and in corporate America, most think they are above the law and free to do whatever suits them. This type of the media reporting feeds that mentality.

    Most of us “ordinary and common” people are descent, hardworking, taxpaying, honest, fair, loving and sharing individuals, anything but ordinary or common.

  2. Doug (unregistered) on January 1st, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

    In Shakespeare’s day, they might have used the term “groundling,” for the cheapest seats (one penny) in the theater–not seats at all actually, but standing near the front of the stage. Sort of the moshpit of Elizabethan Britain. I’m not sure how well defined class structure still remains across the pond, perhaps a brit expat visitor can enlighten us.

    At any rate, I agree the CNN reporters stepped on their tongues. I’m sure they will get an earful from it. Hell, write them a letter…

  3. Tiffany (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2007 @ 9:17 am

    I don’t think I would object to the word “ordinary” had it not been paired with the word “common.” Perhaps it should have been paired with the word “citizens,” as in, “look at all the ordinary citizens who have taken time from their hardworking, tax-paying lives to pay their last respects to the former president.”

  4. amy (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2007 @ 10:43 am

    He was a president who never forgot where he came from. My grandfather was his high school football teammate and friend. Their team called themselves The 30-30 Club – which was the 1930 South High School team which won the State Championship. There were 30 guys on the team, so they decided to meet every Thanksgiving to celebrate and it also was a rememberance of the 1930 Union High vs South High game played on Thanksgiving day which they still talk about in Grand Rapids……probably still a few around from those days!

    Anyway, for as long as I can remember, my Grandfather got up on Thanksgiving morning and drove to Grand Rapids for that breakfast, through sleet, rain, snow, etc. he never missed one that I know of. Gerald Ford came back to many of those events, and later when he could not, he always called in by conference call. I

    When my father was about 15, my grandparents took him to DC for a vacation and they met Ford in his office. He closed the door and they talked for at least an hour.

    When he became president, Ford invited all the remaining living members of the 30-30 Club to the White House for Thanksgiving dinner. My grandmother sat at the side of the President and my grandfather next to Betty Ford. We have lots of pictures from that event and there were lots of newspaper stories about it at the time in the Michigan papers.

    so even though he moved on to greater things from Grand Rapids, MI, he never fogot the people who meant a lot to him along the way.

  5. Doug (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    Speaking of football, Ford was also an All-American center with the undefeated ’32 and ’33 national champion Michigan Wolverines. He won the team MVP his senior year, and his number 48 was retired in 1994.

  6. Stacey (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    Amy – that’s a great memory to pass on, thanks for posting.

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