Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Gerald Ford Museum: I

Spent several hours at the Gerald R. Ford Museum today. I had no clue that the 40th 38th President was from Grand Rapids, MI.

This was also my first visit to a Presidential Museum (well, I'd been to Hyde Park but I was 13 and not really interested.) -- there was a lot of stuff about the Nixon years and Watergate. All in all quite an interesting visit! Here's some pictures.

A chunk of the Berlin Wall (given as a gift to the American People)

The implements used to break into Watergate!

Facsimile of the letter of resignation of President Nixon.

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The staircase used in the evacuation of Saigon.


Walt Roberts said...

Hey G, Reagan was the 40th president lol. It's cool you got to go to Ford's museum though. I just had to clarify it know, he's my idol (FYI: his father and brother were Catholic). Good luck with the rest of your trip. You remain in my prayers.

Anonymous said...


If Walt didn't beat me to it, I would have shared the same news about the 40th president.

Looks like a cool museum.



Gashwin said...

Walt, dogwood -- thanks for the correction. I thought that didn't sound right (wasn't Clinton the 43rd?)... and I thought I checked again at the Ford Library page, but it was near midnight and I was tired. I hope this isn't on the citizenship exam! Or well, maybe I hope it is, now that I know the answer ... :)

Walt: I know you're a Reagan fanatic too ... so please take the quote about Reagan (which will be up on the blog later) light heartedly :) And I do appreciate the prayers.

I was wondering about Ford's religion -- nothing seemed to indicate it (though I might have missed it). Maybe Episcopalian? There's this verse from Proverbs which was his favorite, and figured at pivotal times in his life, that got major play ... another blog post tonight on that! :)

assiniboine said...

He is indeed Episcopalian. I wonder why there's a section of the Berlin Wall there though. His thing was détente (well, the tail end thereof -- having kept Henry Kissinger on as Secretary of State but taken away HAK's second, National Security Advisor, hat and having given James Schlesinger the old drop kick as Secretary of Defence) and he left office in 1977, a decade before the fall of the Wall. Do I detect that he was the one who removed those hideous sconces that Nixon had on the walls to the right and left of the desk?

assiniboine said...

Really? His natural father Leslie Lynch King Sr, presumably, not his adoptive father (and his mother's second husband after her divorce) Gerald Rudolph Ford Sr then? Or do you mean Reagan? (Yes, his father and brother were Catholic, but certainly not Nelle.)

Gashwin said...

@assiniboine: how on earth do you recall the decorative plan of the Nixon Oval Office in such detail?

I too was puzzled by the gift of the Berlin Wall. The plaque wasn't helpful, only noting that it was a gift to the American people who'd supported the FDR and the aspirations of liberty of the people's of the DDR for all those years, or something to that effect.

Walt Roberts said...

Sorry for the confusion. I was talking about Reagan's father and brother being Catholic, not Ford's. Interestingly, Ford's mother died praying by herself inside an Episcopal church.

Jennifer said...

Did you fly into GR, there is a really beautiful GRF mural there (or maybe I just think it's beautiful because I loved to study it while waiting on my parents to come home from flights as a child).

I can't say that I care very much for GRF, but it's fun to be from the same hometown as the only non-elected president. There have been a few times in that past years I wish he would keep quiet. Oh well...

I didn't know that about Betty Ford, either. I'll have to tell my mother.

Thanks again for the memories!

Gashwin said...

@Jennifer: No, we've been driving! It's getting quite tiresome!

assiniboine said...

It's not that I have any special affinity for or interest in the finer points of interior decoration. It's only that everyone who was sentient during the Watergate period saw so many photos of the Nixon Oval Office that its every nook and cranny are seered in our memories.

Jennifer said...


I knew about the vow of poverty, I didn't know about the vow of taking rediculously long drives in a car. You guys really are on your way to becoming saints! :)