Gerald R. Ford Museum
Exhibits, Events, Education Center

303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-254-0400 (tel)
616-254-0386 (fax)

e-mail
Ford Museum Facebook Page

Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (Mon-Sat)
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sundays
(Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Days)


Gerald R. Ford Library
Research, Events, Small Exhibits

1000 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734-205-0555 (tel)
734-205-0571 (fax)

e-mail
Ford Library Facebook Page

Hours: 8:45am-4:45pm (Mon-Fri)
(Closed Federal Holidays)



Recent Events at the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum


Captain Meier

Creating a Culture of Excellence – Captain John Meier, Commanding Officer, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)
November 19

ANN ARBOR-In a wide-ranging presentation at the Library, Captain John Meier discussed many of the technical advances of the new Ford aircraft carrier and the more efficient interior design within the same hull as the Nimitz class carriers.  The new ship will be able to launch aircraft more quickly while costing less to maintain, saving the Navy a projected $4 billion over the ship's 50-year life span.

Captain Meier spoke with enthusiasm and pride about the ship and the very great challenge of selecting and building the crew. He stressed that in selecting the crew, the content of their personal character is key, adding that one can teach skills, but character is core. He uses his leadership philosophy to shape every aspect of the culture of life on board, viewing himself as a steward of America’s sons and daughters. 


Richard Norton Smith

Richard Norton Smith – On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller
November 12 and 13, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor

Acclaimed historian, Richard Norton Smith, thrilled full houses as he shared story after story about Nelson Rockefeller, an heir to the famous Rockefeller fortune, flamboyant governor of New York, and ultimately President Gerald Ford’s Vice President.

Talking about his spellbinding book: On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller, Smith vividly captured the soaring optimism, polarizing politics and inner turmoil of one of the twentieth century’s most significant politicians, businessmen, and philanthropists. 

Richard Norton Smith is the former Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. Smith was a eulogist at funeral services of Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford. He also served as a White House intern during the Presidency of Gerald R. Ford.


Ken Gormley

President Ford’s Pardon of Richard M. Nixon: a 40-Year Retrospective
October 21, 2014

ANN ARBOR - Ken Gormley, Dean of Law at Duquesne University recounted the gripping story of President Ford’s unexpected pardon of Richard Nixon, revealing facts that are largely unknown to history.  Sharing these facts, Gormley adds that, indeed, those who questioned President Ford’s decision may reevaluate that assessment.  The program included clips of Benton Becker, who served as Special Counsel to President Ford and was personally sent by Ford to California to negotiate the terms of the Pardon with Richard Nixon.

The evening also featured a special Tom Brokaw recollection piece about this dramatic moment in American history, and Gormley’s own filmed interview with President Ford. This interview, occurring several years before Ford’s death, included the former president discussing his reasons for pardoning Nixon, knowing that it might cause him to lose the presidency in 1976.  These dramatic events formed the subject of an informative and fascinating discussion. 


Howard Willens

Howard Willens
September 23, 2014

ANN ARBOR -  The Library presented its first public program of the fall season, featuring Howard Willens, former Warren Commission staff member and author of History Will Prove Us Right: Inside the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,published in 2013.  Then-Congressman Gerald Ford was one of the seven members of the Commission, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson.

Of the many books written about the Kennedy assassination, Willens'  book is the only one written about the Commission by someone who was part of the three-person management team that supervised the largest criminal investigation ever conducted in the United States.  His book is based on extensive personal journal entries made during the course of their investigation, and provides a unique perspective that illustrates the Commission's processes and deliberations.  The program, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the issuance of the Warren Commission Report on September 25, 1964, held a full house audience in rapt attention as Mr. Willens detailed the thoroughness of the Commission's work.


Dr. Allida Black

Dr. Allida Black
April 24, 2014

ANN ARBOR-- In honor of Mrs. Ford's birthday, on April 24, the Library hosted Dr. Allida Black speaking about "Outspoken Women:  What Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford Taught Us About Leadership."  In a dynamic and riveting presentation to a full house, Dr. Black profiled the parallels and differences in the political influence these two remarkable first ladies had on their husband's public policy initiatives and their re-election efforts.  She also discussed how each of them re-defined themselves and took on new public roles after leaving the White House.  Describing both first ladies as "special gifts" and models for our country based on their political and personal courage, Dr, Black's broad knowledge and passion held the audience spellbound.


Jim and Scott Cannon

Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life
March 25 and March 26: Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor

The Museum and the Library held back-to-back programs featuring James Cannon's long-awaited second book on President Ford, “Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life,” which was released posthumously in May 2013 during President Ford’s centennial year. James Cannon served as Ford’s White House domestic policy adviser in the Ford administration.

In a moderated discussion by Professor Barry Rabe of the UM Ford School of Public Policy with Cannon’s sons, Scott and Jim, the group talked about James Cannon III, his dedication to journalism and the political arena, and their shared admiration for the accomplishments of President Ford. 


Peter Baker

Peter Baker
Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
Thursday, February 20, 2014


ANN ARBOR -- Peter Baker, senior White House Correspondent for the New York Times, recounted the Bush years, focusing on the personalities of Bush and his Vice President, Dick Cheney and their relationship with each other and with others in the Administration. Baker addressed the wide-spread opinion that Cheney was actually the driving force in the Bush administration, making the case that Cheney's influence, while decidedly strong early on, was less significant than many had thought and that by the end he was largely sidelined and marginalized.


Yanek Mieczkowski

Yanek Mieczkowski
Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ANN ARBOR -- On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, The Gerald Ford Library hosted author Yanek Mieczkowski, who spoke about his new book, Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige. 

The book captures the critical Cold War moment in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world's first satellite. Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency suddenly changed. Mieczkowski took the audience through a comprehensive story of Eisenhower's reaction, including his refusal to panic. Ultimately the President guided America's space program, although in a sharp political conflict with John Kennedy, over sending men to the moon and improving America's global prestige. 
















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