Gerald Rudolph Ford

Michael Nehme

How Ford Becomes President

  • Gerald Rudolph Ford was the first man to be made president solely on a vote of Congress

  • In August 1974, he entered the White House

  • Ford granted a complete pardon (Ford Pardon) to Nixon for any crimes he may have committed as president

  • Democrats were outraged, they wanted justice and vengeance for Nixon

  • Ford first sought to enhance the détente with the Soviet Union that Nixon created

  • In 1975, Ford joined leaders from 34 other nations in Finland to sign several sets of historic accord

  • Ford at first stuck to détente, but after the public’s fury, he refused to even pronounce the word
  • Roe v. Wade: All state laws prohibiting abortions were made unconstitutional based on a woman's right to privacy
  • Bakke v. Regents of University of California 1978: Allan Bakke found out a minority with lower grades was accepted into medical school. He was soon accepted into medical school, but the ruling was that while race was a legitimate factor in school admissions, the use of rigid quotas was not permissible.

  • Title IX: Ford prohibited sex discrimination in any federally funded education program

End of the Vietnam War

  • In early 1975, the North Vietnamese when full force in their drive southward

  • Ford urged congress to vote for more weapons for Vietnam, but his plea was in vain
  • On May 1st, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army overtook Saigon, which they renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Without the crutches of American aid, the South Vietnamese quickly collapsed

  • The remaining Americans had to be evacuated by helicopter, the last evacuated on April 29, 1975

  • 140,000 South Vietnamese were also rescued and admitted by Ford into the US

  • America did not lose the war, the country that they were supporting did

  • The US withdrew its troops in 1973, leaving the South Vietnamese to fight their own war with US supplies

  • The war cost the US $118 billion

  • There were 56,000 deaths and 300,000 wounded

  • Americans realized that their power and pride were deeply wounded in Vietnam