Gerald Rudolph Ford

1974-1977

How He Becomes President

- President solely because a vote from Congress and Nixon's resignation

- When entered office he was suspected of being a dim-witted former football player

- Johnson had sneered that he was not smart

- Selected not elected as vice president because of Spiro Agnew's resignation

- Granted a complete pardon for Nixon's crimes after the Watergate break-in which enraged Democrats

- Sought to enhance the détente with the Soviet Union though it was difficult but he took it seriously

End of the Vietnam War

- South Vietnam collapsed and the remaining Americans had to be evacuated by April 29, 1975

- Ford also admitted South Vietnamese refugees into the US (creating even more diversity in America)

- "Ended not with a bang but with a whimper"

- Technically Americans did not lose the war, South Vietnam lost the war

- US had fought the North Vietnamese but then withdrew the troops in 1973 leaving the South Vietnamese to fight their own war with American aid/shipments

- US provided everything to the Vietnamese except the will to win

- American power and pride after the Vietnam War