Gerald Ford- Accidental President of the United States
[Writers note: I am not a “Monday Person.” This past weekend, I had a very brief discussion about how Gerald Ford became President. To say I was foggy on the details is an understatement. So, a wee bit of historical trivia today just to get the cobwebs out of my head.]
On October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned. He subsequently pleaded “no contest” to charges of tax evasion and money laundering related to his acceptance of bribes as Governor of Maryland.
On October 12, President Richard Nixon nominated Ford to fill Agnew’s position, the first time the vice-presidential vacancy provision of the 25th Amendment was invoked. The Senate confirmed Ford on November 27. Prior to his appointment, Ford had served 24 years years as the Representative from Michigan’s 5th congressional district, eight years as the Republican Minority Leader.
Following Ford’s appointment, the Watergate investigation naturally continued. [Perhaps I should do a brief Watergate post at some point for the youngsters?]
On August 9, 1974 Nixon resigned due to the Watergate “issue”. Ford thus became the only person to assume the presidency without being elected either President or Vice Presidential.
On August 20, Ford nominated former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to be Vice President.
On September 8, 1974, Ford gave Nixon a pardon for any crimes he may have committed against the United States while President. While controversial at the time, many historians look back at the pardon as helping the country to emerge from a time of great political turmoil.
In 1976, Ford defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination but lost the presidential election to Jimmy Carter.
For more information, see Wikipedia.