from Collections at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum
Advice to Gerald Ford from Hubert Humphrey
I have been working on archival processing and reference in the Gerald R. Ford Papers and related Library collections since 1974 (several years before the Library actually came into existence). Over the years I have read or examined many of the 25 million pages of documents in the Library. Deciding on a single document to share with you wasn’t easy.
My selection dates from a period of great transition for Gerald Ford – when he left the House of Representatives and gave up his dream of becoming Speaker of the House to join the executive branch as Vice President of the United States (and presiding officer of the Senate). While preparing for the congressional hearings on his nomination, Ford requested advice from experts on possible approaches to his new position. In this three page memo dated October 10, 1973, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey (a Democrat, but a long-time Ford friend) shares his thoughts and observations on the Vice Presidency. Attached to the memo is a note indicating that “… Humphrey wrote this strictly for Jerry’s use. Does not want it in the record.”
After reading the memo Ford gave it to his aide Robert Hartmann who filed it with other documents relating to the confirmation process under the 25th Amendment. Ford Library archivists discovered it during the processing of Vice Presidential Papers in 1981 to prepare them for opening to researchers. If you come to the Library, you can find this document in the folder “Opening Statement: Experts View on Vice Presidency” in Box 242. (PDF)
This is but one of the thousands of historical documents with which we, as archivists, get to work while preparing textual collections for research or interacting with researchers as they visit the Library or correspond with us. Recent years have seen the emergence of a new task for archivists – that of making the Library’s holdings available in digital form on the Internet. If you would like to view more documents from our holdings, please check out the Ford Digital Presidential Library.