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Staff Favorites
from Collections at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum

Click on the title to read more detailed information.

Callaghan note For more than ten years the primary focus of my work has been archival processing and declassification review of collections that comprise the files of the National Security Adviser to the President (Henry Kissinger, succeeded by Brent Scowcroft) ...

Read more by Archivist Helmi Raaska ...

EBF at desk The Washington Post featured Mrs. Gerald R. Ford, then wife of a young Congressman, in an April 4, 1954 article.  The author described her as having “a penchant for ‘quiet’ suits and ‘slightly more talkative’ hats.”  As the country learned two decades later, Betty Ford was anything but quiet on a range of topics, including equality for women...

Read more by Education Specialist Barbara McGregor...

printing press

In 1776, the most famous American of the time, Benjamin Franklin, set sail for Paris as the ambassador to France from the world's newest nation, the United States.  Two hundred years later for America's Bicentennial, the French president, Giscard d'Estaing, presented an 18th century printing press to President Ford as a tribute to our 200th birthday...

Read more by Deputy Director Jim Kratsas...

Ford on Mackinac Island

I have been associated with the audiovisual department of the Gerald R. Ford Library for nearly 34 years.  When I’m asked to choose a favorite photograph, the decision can be quite difficult.  I have many favorites.  Is it a swearing in photo, a state arrival or dinner, the Bicentennial, a set of Norman Rockwellesque photos taken in New England, or one from the campaign?  There are far too many to choose from...

Read more by Photo Archivist Ken Hafeli....

Advice to GRF Advice to Gerald Ford

Ford Library archivists discovered this 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.

Read more by Archivist Bill McNitt...

Gold falcon Omani Falcon (1981.126)

This exquisite bird made of gold, diamonds, rubies, and silver, was given to President Gerald Ford when the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos Bin, visited the United States on January 13, 1975. Since the early 8th and 9th century, Falcons have played a major role in the Middle East. They stand as a symbol of rank and social standing. They were often used by lower classes to attain their food.

Netenyahu plaque

Yonatan Netanyahu Memorial Award (1989.29.1 a-b)

In June 1977 President Gerald Ford received the Yonatan Netanyahu Memorial Award from the American Friends of the University of Jerusalem.  The award, in the form of a bronze plaque, includes a relief picture of Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, an Israeli who played a major role in the rescue of Jewish hostages in Entebbe, Uganda on July 4, 1976.
Burnt Wood

Burnt Piece of 1814 White House (2003.3)

This small, charred piece of wood was removed from the White House during the renovation in the early 1950s.  The piece was believed to have been burnt in the 1814 White House fire started by the British.

Ben Franklin Benjamin Franklin Bust (2007.8.14)

In 1923 a young Warren Burger sculpted a bronze bust of Benjamin Franklin.  In 1969 Burger become Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and his bust of Franklin came to the attention of the Franklin Mint.  The Mint, headquartered in Franklin’s adopted home town of Philadelphia, cast twenty bronze and three silver copies of Burger’s work in 1987, entrusting them to the artist to give as gifts to whomever he wished.

1963 Barry Goldwater Michigan Fundraiser Wine Glasses (2007.345.2-5)

These glasses were used at a fundraiser for the 1963 campaign of Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.  The $100 per-plate-dinner gave attendees a chance to mingle with many of Michigan’s elite, including Governor George Romney and Congressman Gerald R. Ford.  The gathering was held in Ford’s home town, Grand Rapids, on November 24, 1963 at 7:30 p.m.


Pulley Plaque

Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

Oliver Wendell Holmes
From Old Ironsides 1830

On October 13, 1975 president Gerald R. Ford was presented with a plaque made from pieces of the naval warship the USS Constitution in celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States Navy. The plaque consists of a block of wood, an oval pulley, and a few copper pieces that were taken directly from the ship during her restoration in 1974.

Rock Jerry
This Bicentennial caricature of Gerald Ford was presented to future Vice President and Ford’s Chief of Staff, Dick Cheney, while he was on a trip to Philadelphia in September 1976.  The sculpture, created by artist Michael Manning, weighs approximately 70 pounds and is made of Pennsylvania river stone. 

soyuz model Scale model of 1975 Apollo Soyuz (1992.3)
A scale model of Apollo-Soyuz presented to President Gerald R. Ford by cosmonauts Aleskei Leonov and Valeri Kubasov in the Oval Office on September 7, 1974.
medallion Commemorative Medallion (1987.761 a-b)
This commemorative medallion was a gift to President Gerald R. Ford from Councilman Merle D. Gilliland and T. Mel Anderson, President of St. Mary’s College of California.
wolf skin coat Wolf-Skin Fur Coat (1999.10)
President Gerald Ford received a wolf-skin fur coat from his friend, Jack Kim, an Alaskan furrier, when Air Force One stopped in Anchorage to refuel.
cossack doll Polish Cossack Doll(1981.127)
The Polish Cossack doll, which stands approximately 22 inches high, was a gift of his Excellency Edward Gierek, first secretary of the Polish United Workers Party in Warsaw, Poland.
Bicentennial necklace The Bicentennial Jewel (1983.24)
The Bicentennial Jewel is made of white gold, diamonds, rubies and sapphires and is in the shape of the official 1976 Bicentennial symbol.
Roman vessel Roman Vessel (1989.1157)
The Roman Vase is made of hand-blown glass, and painted brown.