About Our New Website Design

In the summer of 2004 the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum website began to undergo a total visual re-work under the direction of archivist Bill McNitt and the Library and Museum staff. Ford family friend and former White House staff member Bill Brockett, of foto-grafics.com in Kalispell, Montana, is producing the new site. Technical expertise and advanced coding was provided by David Maria of Eagles Consulting in Boise, Idaho. Much of the new site has been completed and is now available for public viewing, but the bulk of the Library and some of the Museum pages are still being converted to the new design so you may see pages from both the old and new websites until the conversion is complete.

A personal note from Bill Brockett -

Bill Brockett talks dog training with President Ford On the first day of July of 1974, I arrived at the White House to serve on the Military Staff of President Richard M. Nixon. Specifically, I worked for the White House Communications Agency, a multi-service unit that provided communications support to the President, Vice-President, Secretary of State and senior White House staff. Just over a month later, at the age of twenty-four, I stood in the Oval Office for the first time and watched the President of the United States walk in, sit down, and announce to the country that effective at noon the following day he would resign the Office of President. Thus began an incredible journey...

By October of 1974, through an extraordinary set of coincidences and circumstances, I had added a side job to my responsibilities at the White House, that of training President Ford's new golden retriever, Liberty. Following his arrival by helicopter on the south lawn from attending the Army-Navy football game, the President was walking toward the White House when he caught a glimpse of Liberty and me standing in the Rose Garden. He immediately turned and walked straight over to me, gave me a firm handshake and said, "How are you, sir". Thus began an incredible friendship...

I could literally write a book about the experiences I had during the following two years and especially about the kindness and thoughtfulness of the Ford Family towards me, but this is not the proper forum for that. I will simply take the liberty to say that Gerald and Betty Ford were and are two of the most decent human beings I have known or ever expect to know. Over the years we have remained friends with most of the contacts being between the Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales, and myself. During a conversation with Susan in the summer of 2004, I volunteered to re-design the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum web site. Thus began an incredible undertaking...

It is important to say that by no means have I done this alone. At times I wondered if we would ever be able to do it at all or if the project would ever come to a successful conclusion. Many people have donated time, expertise, guidance and encouragement. I will attempt to list all of them below, and hopefully will not miss anyone. Although this web site is owned by the United States National Archives and Records Administration, I consider it my gift to the Ford Family. So, Mr. President, Mrs. Ford, Mike, Jack, Steve and Susan...enjoy!

Bill Brockett
Kalispell, Montana

Special Thanks to the Following People:

Brenda Brockett - Design review and lots of timely encouragement

Susan Ford Bales - Ford Family representative

Dennis Daellenbach - Former Library and Museum Director for helping with the initial stages

David Maria - Eagles Consulting, Boise, Idaho - For the advanced site coding, the navigation system, and many, many donated hours...Thanks!

Bill McNitt - Ford Library Archivist

David Horrocks - Ford Library Supervisory Archivist

Penny Circle - Chief of Staff - Office of President Ford

Donald Holloway and Kenneth Hafeli - Library and Museum Photos

Bob Gamble - Interim Director - Gerald R. Ford Foundation

Fletcher Burton - LBJ Presidential Library for access to the University of Texas web server

The Gerald R. Ford Foundation - Travel expense reimbursement

Silent Thunder Models - Presidential Seal Photo

Greg Willard - Input during initial design phase