Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.

Burial Location Visited Vice President Grave #
Grand Rapids, Michigan April 20, 2010 19th Visited

Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon's successor, is
buried at his presidential museum in Grand
Rapids, Michigan. Ford is the only commander-
in-chief whose presidential museum and
library are located separately. His museum
is housed in Ann Arbor.

Buried alongside the Republican is his wife of
fifty-eight years, Betty. Mrs. Ford was still
living during my April 2010 visit to the Gerald
R. Ford Presidential Museum. She passed away
the following year on July 8th.

Ford passed away on December 26, 2006 and
was laid to rest on January 3, 2007. He is the
only president to have died in one calendar
year and to be buried the next. Harry Truman
also died on December 26th many years
prior, but was interred on December 28th.

At the time of his death in 2006, Ford was
the last surviving member of the Warren
Commission, which investigated the death
of President John F. Kennedy.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* Technically, Gerald Ford was the only "king" to become president of the United States of America. His birth name was Leslie Lynch King, Jr. Only a few days after his son's birth, Leslie Sr., who had a history of being abusive, threatened his family with a kitchen blade, prompting his wife to flee with her newborn child. The two divorced soon after, and in 1916, Dorothy King married a man named Gerald Rudolff Ford. Eventually, Leslie Jr.'s name was legally changed to pay homage to his stepfather.

* In October of 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned following allegations of tax evasion and bribery. While in the past the position of vice president would have stayed vacant until inauguration day in 1977, the recently passed 25th amendment required that there always be a sitting VP. Just two days after Agnew's resignation, House Minority Leader Gerald Ford was nominated for the position. On November 27th, Ford was approved by the U.S. Senate and then by the House of Representatives nine days later. On December 6th, he was sworn in as the 40th vice president of the United States.

* Ford did not stay vice president for very long, however. Nixon was up to his neck in trouble, stemming from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters and the president's work to cover it up. On August 8th, 1974, Nixon announced his resignation from the presidency and that Vice President Ford would be taking his place. The transfer of power took place the following day at noon, at which time Ford became the only person ever to be both president and vice president but not elected to either office.

* On September 8th, not even a month after ascending to the presidency, Ford pardoned former President Nixon of all charges. He stated that he felt an unconditional pardon was necessary and in the nation's best interest. Some politicians at the time believed that this was the result of a deal with Nixon and his chief of staff, but Ford maintained that no such transaction occurred. All the same, the pardoning of Richard Nixon helped lead to Ford's defeat in the 1976 election. Subsequently, however, the general consensus has been that Ford made the right decision and healed the nation's wounds.

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