1. King: A Reflection on the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (February 13, 2015)

    01:02:29

    from Gerald R. Ford / Added

    12 Plays / / 0 Comments

    The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, in conjunction with Black History Month, hosted “King” in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. King featured a spoken word piece by playwright/librettist Sandra Seaton, spirituals performed by tenor George Shirley with pianist Stanley Waldon, and special musical tribute by Wally Tett and Daniel Washington. The performance was underwritten by Foundation Trustee Hank Meijer and Liesel Meijer. They provided opening remarks which included highlighting Gerald R. Ford’s legacy involving Black History Month. Black history awareness was expanded from a week to a month in 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial celebration as President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” King, a mixture of poetry and brief reflections, remembers Reverend King as an individual with human limitations who nevertheless answered the call to leadership. His life serves as a model for all, especially the young, to believe that anything can be achieved with a dream and the will to lead. The work, divided into four sections, “Nobel-man,” “Chicago,” “Bottles and Rocks,” and “Memphis 1968,” takes us on the journey of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he struggled to bring civil rights to the United States.

    + More details
    • Vice Admiral David Architzel, USN (Ret.) "The Evolution of the Aircraft Carrier: Moving forward from Nimitz to Ford" (January 1

      01:22:21

      from Gerald R. Ford / Added

      14 Plays / / 0 Comments

      In conjunction with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum's aircraft carrier exhibit "Taking the Seas", Vice Admiral David Architzel, USN (Ret.) provided a lecture on the evolution of the aircraft carrier. VADM Architzel is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and a career naval aviator who accumulated over 5,500 flight hours. Architzel previously served as Commanding Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71 and before his retirement, he served as Commander Naval Air Systems Command. VADM Architzel was involved with the conception and development of the new Ford Class of US Navy Aircraft Carriers and the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78. VADM Architzel presentation was a re-scheduled event from when USS Gerald R. Ford Commanding Officer Captain John Meier's lecture was canceled previously due to weather. Architzel's lecture focused on the importance of the US Navy on the world stage and the need for a strong naval presence in defending freedom. VADM Architzel listed the naval strategic principles which were identifying who we are fighting against, operating forward far from the continental United States and last is to be ready for the call to fight. The US Navy's presence, VADM Architzel noted, serves as a sea-based strategic deterrent and forges trust with allies. Defining the modern presence was part of the development and change to the Ford Class of aircraft carriers. As technology has advanced, the Ford Class will seek to advance with the trends as well as advancements with military strategy. VADM Architzel's presentation highlighted the mission of each class, the advancements that achieved its goals and also reasons why new classes were development to ensure continued US Naval dominance of the seas. VADM Architzel featured the Ford Class advancements with the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 serving as the first in this new class of carriers. Upgrades include new radar, re-positioned island, underwater protection features and updated elevators.

      + More details
      • Captain John Meier "Creating a Culture of Excellence" (November 19, 2014)

        01:15:56

        from Gerald R. Ford / Added

        24 Plays / / 0 Comments

        Captain John Meier, the first Commanding Officer of the USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78 Aircraft Carrier, presented "Creating a Culture of Excellence" at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library as he assembles the first crew of the Ford. CVN-78 is the first ship of the new Ford Class of Carriers. Former Commanding Officer of the Michigan ROTC Unit US Navy Captain Rick Vanden Heuvel (Ret.) introduced Captain Meier and highlighted the Ford's advancements compared to previous aircraft carriers. Capt. Heuvel also acknowledged that the mere presence of this new ship will change world events and policies by simply being a part of the US Navy. Captain John Meier is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and is a former aviator, with over 4000 hours of aircraft flight. Capt. Meier was joined at the Library by members of CVN-78 who are originally from Gerald R. Ford's home state of Michigan. He also touched on Trustee Susan Ford Bales' involvement in the construction and completion of the ship as well as the various technological advancements of the Ford. Captain Meier described the ship's patch and its symbolism which included: 38 stars around the outside circle, 26 of them gold for the USS Monterey CVN-26, the ship Gerald R. Ford served on during World War II; the compass' due north fleur-de-lis is in honor of Ford becoming a boy scout and later an eagle scout; and the ship's motto "Integrity at the Helm" is a reflection of Ford's life and what he hopes the ship and crew will emulate as members of the USS Gerald R. Ford. Capt. Meier believes the biggest challenge he faces is bringing his new team together and he believes that starts from the start. How they welcome their crew will help indoctrinate them into the culture he is working to establish. Captain Meier "would rather take great character sailors and then build on the work part as character is the foundation" that he wants to build his team upon. He also is committed to procedures that are fair and similar for all sailors, as Captain Meier wants everyone to be treated the same.

        + More details
        • Richard Norton Smith "On His Own Terms: The Life of Nelson Rockefeller" (November 12, 2014)

          01:22:21

          from Gerald R. Ford / Added

          19 Plays / / 0 Comments

          West Michigan warmly welcomed back Richard Norton Smith as he discussed his new book "On His Own Terms: The Life of Nelson Rockefeller" at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Smith is the former Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, he was a eulogist at funeral services for Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford, and also served as a White House intern during the Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. Nelson Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States. He was appointed following the resignation of then-President Richard Nixon and Ford becoming the 38th President. Nelson was the 49th Governor of New York, having served from 1959 - 1973. He previously had served as Under Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare during the Dwight Eisenhower Administration and Assistant Secretary of State during the Franklin D. Roosevelt. Smith believed Nelson Rockefeller was a "very complex man who was very good at hiding his true feelings", an obstacle that required Smith needing 14 years to attempt to solve the question of who Rockefeller was. On a personal note, Smith spoke on Rockefeller's love of art, as Rockefeller had a large at collection but also worked to allow for public access to the arts throughout his life. Smith believed that his book was not a political book, as Rockefeller was not a conventional politician. Smith believed he was equally parts of both his mother's and father's families. Nelson Rockefeller was the grandson of the founder of Standard Oil, John Rockefeller, but also the grandson of powerful U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich. Smith believed that the duality of his family history greatly contributed to the complexity of who Rockefeller was as a man and what he would accomplish throughout his life. Smith discussed more than just family history, but also insights into Rockefeller's personality, his love of art, his love of people which helped him become a great campaigner, his belief that the purpose of government was to convert problems into opportunities, he also believed that the government must support culture and the arts. He worked as Governor to help the citizens of New York, he led the movement for clean water, seat belt safety laws, update divorce laws, push for state minimal wages, legalizing abortion and much more, many of which were first in the nation laws for a state.

          + More details
          • Ken Gormley "President Ford's Pardon of Richard Nixon: A 40-year Retrospective" (October 21, 2014)

            01:04:29

            from Gerald R. Ford / Added

            2 Plays / / 0 Comments

            The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan welcomed law professor Ken Gormley as he reviewed the historic points leading up to President Gerald R. Ford announcing former President Richard Nixon's full pardon. Benton Becker was scheduled to join in person, but he provided remarks via video and Gormley spoke on behalf of Becker's first-person pardon point of view. Foundation Trustee Benton Becker served as Special Counsel to President Gerald R. Ford and was the Lead Counsel at then-Congressman Gerald R. Ford's Congressional Hearings in both the US House and US Senate during his confirmation as Vice President. President Ford selected Becker to travel to California and negotiate the terms of Richard Nixon's Pardon with the former President, a decision he made because of Becker's unknown name amongst members of the Washington, D.C. press corps. Ken Gormley is Dean and Professor at the Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, PA and is an expert on Watergate. Gormley is the author of "Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation", which details President Nixon's attempts to fire Cox from his position as Watergate Special Prosecutor as Cox was uncovering the truth behind the White House involvement in Watergate and cover-up. Tom Brokaw, via taped remarks, spoke on the time period of 1974, the turbulent times surrounding Watergate, Nixon's guilt, Nixon's resignation, Ford's decision to grant the pardon, along with Ford's and Nixon's lasting legacies. Gormley began his remarks touching on the impressive Nixon re-election in 1972 and the subsequent details that unfolded regarding new evidence on the Watergate Incident. As the details of Watergate continued to unfold, Nixon's Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned because his own corruption scandal. While the nation was reeling from the cultural times of the early 1970s, Congressman Gerald R. Ford became Vice President and then 38th President of the United States becoming the nation's first President never to have been elected President or Vice President. Gormley reflected on how Gerald R. Ford believed that the Nixon pardon was the only course to take because the country would never be able to move on from Watergate and the former President would be in the news daily throughout the lengthy public trail. Leading up to the pardon, President Ford dealt with the Nixon tapes, Nixon's White House Staff continued allegiance to their former boss and the Watergate Special Prosecution. Via video tape, Benton Becker described the setting at the Nixon compound in California and the pardon negotiations. Becker stated that the Nixon team refused to accept the pardon as that would be an admission of guilt. Becker informed Nixon that if he does not accept the pardon, President Ford will not offer it again when he is indicted and found guilty. Nixon accepted the pardon and understood the legal precedence that an acceptance of the pardon was an admission of guilt via the decision in Burdick v united States. On September 8, 1974, 30 days after Nixon's resignation, President Ford surprised the nation with the pardon announcement, a decision that would only years later be understood as the correct decision of the country.

            + More details
            • President Ford and the Rule of Law Panel Discussion (October 20, 2014)

              01:10:20

              from Gerald R. Ford / Added

              12 Plays / / 0 Comments

              The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation hosted a "President Ford and the Rule of Law" panel discussion at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This Constitutional Symposium was the first held on October 20, 2014 of three panels and was held in conjunction with other similar panel discussions throughout the country. The panelist included Ken Rosen, President & CEO of the National Constitution Center who served as the moderator; Mark Wolfe, Senior United States District Judge who also served in the Ford Administration as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General & Deputy Attorney General; and Mike Gernhardt, Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of the Center Law & Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Mike Gerhardt commented that although Gerald R. Ford was only President for approximately 900 days, he still had a tremendous Constitutional legacy. Ford's impact began with him becoming President through the 25th Amendment, the first President not elected to the Presidency nor Vice Presidency. Though Ford served without the Electoral Mandate, he achieved several accomplishments. Gerhardt felt some of his crowning achievements included restoring integrity to both the White House and the Department of Justice after the turbulent times of Watergate and charges of corruption; his appointment of John Paul Stevens as Justice of the Supreme Court; and also the Richard Nixon Pardon. Judge Mark Wolfe worked for President Ford's Attorney General Edward Levi, and Deputy Attorney Generals Laurence Silberman & Harold R. Tyler Jr. He felt honored to be invited to speak at the Gerald R. Ford on Ford's legacy. Wolfe commented that President Ford hired Levi to "protect the rights of the people and not the President that appointed you". Attorney General Levi believed that the Department of Justice was not to do its work partisan-minded. President Ford agreed. In two short years they together eliminated the cynicism from the DOJ and the Executive Branch because of their honesty. Gerhardt also spoke on how President Ford appeared before Congress to answer questions on the Nixon Pardon, the first time in history that a sitting President appeared before a Congressional Committee to provide answers.

              + More details
              • President Ford and the Pardon of Richard Nixon Panel Discussion (October 20, 2014)

                01:21:44

                from Gerald R. Ford / Added

                14 Plays / / 0 Comments

                The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation hosted a "President Ford and the Pardon of Richard Nixon" panel discussion at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This Constitutional Symposium was the second held on October 20, 2014 and held in conjunction with other similar panel discussions throughout the country. Ken Gormley, Dean of the Duquesne University School of Law and is an expert on Watergate served as moderator of the panel. He was joined by Jill Wine-Banks and John Logie. Wine-Banks was the Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, the only female on the Trail Team, whose prosecutors were gearing up to indict and prosecute former President Richard Nixon. Logie, former Mayor of the City of Grand Rapids, was part of the law firm that researched and reviewed court precedents that were provided to President Ford as legal standing in the decision to pardon Nixon, before he was even convicted. Tom Brokaw, via taped remarks, spoke on the time period of 1974, the turbulent times surrounding Watergate, Nixon's guilt, Nixon's resignation, Ford's decision to grant the pardon, along with Ford's and Nixon's lasting legacy. Steve Ford provided remarked on behalf of the Ford family on his father's legacy, reflecting on what August & September 1974 meant to the Ford Family and also introduced the panel. Jill Wine-Banks described that the Special Prosecutors Force had no doubt that they could convict Nixon, based on the enormous amounts of compelling evidence of his guilt. Wine Banks' investigation uncovered Nixon's hush money payments, the White House misusing the CIA to try to stop the investigation, Nixon encouraging perjury amongst his staff, the Nixon tapes and much, much more. She also reflected on the moment they learned of Ford's pardoning Nixon and possible legal avenues they could take against it in the future. Gormley touched on Benton Becker's legal review of Presidential powers to grant pardon, regarding the 1915 decision in the case Burdick vs United States, involving President Woodrow Wilson's attempt to pardon a man that had not gone to trail and refused to accept it. The Supreme Court ruled that an acceptance of a pardon was an admission of guilt. Gormley presented Benton Becker's own words as he negotiated with Nixon on the pardon. Becker, via taped remarks, detailed the moments with Nixon, when the former President and his staff finally accepted the pardon, after first opposing it for days. John Logie discussed Ford's White House Legal Counsel Phil Buchan asking his law firm to detail the actual scope of Presidential pardon powers and to not speak of it to anyone. Over a single weekend, the firm worked backwards from a conviction all the way to someone who had not been accused by the court, such as Nixon. Logie and the firm detailed that indeed Presidential powers to grant such a pardon were unlimited.

                + More details
                • Our Constitution Works: President Ford's Date with Destiny Panel Discussion (October 20, 2014)

                  55:48

                  from Gerald R. Ford / Added

                  21 Plays / / 0 Comments

                  The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, the Grand Rapids Economic Club and the National Constitutional Center hosted "Our Constitution Works: President Ford's Date with Destiny" on October 20, 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Doug DeVos, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Trustee, National Constitution Center Trustee and former Chair of the Grand Rapids Economic Club hosted the event. Steve Ford, son of Gerald & Betty Ford, illustrated his father's belief in the pardon decision by retelling the story in which he personally asked his father about the pardon. The panelists included former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975; former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Paul O'Neill, who served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management & Budget for President Ford; and Ken Gormley who replaced Professor Benton Becker, President Ford's lone representative chosen to travel to California and meet with Richard Nixon regarding Ford's offering to pardon the former President. Gromley is the Dean of the Duquesne University School of Law and is an expert on Watergate. Justice John Paul Stevens reflected on President Ford's legacy, what he believed were Ford's reasons for selected him to serve on the Supreme Court, his opinions on various court decisions and this thoughts on the current state of the U.S. Constitution. Secretary O'Neill described his first-hand account of who President Ford was, having spent 15-20 hours a week in the White House with Ford. O'Neill mentioned that President Ford was probably the last President that could answer any and all questions on his budget proposal, and how that was just one example of how deeply focused President Ford was to the details at hand. He marveled at Ford's focus on doing his very best in improving the lives of all Americans throughout difficult economic struggles. O'Neill concluded his remarks with "Gerald R. Ford was the President we always wanted and we didn't appreciate him when we had him". Gormley, who spoke on behalf of Becker, provided the audience with some of the insights into the pardon and how it came to be. Gormley touched on Ford's absolute belief that a Nixon trial would drag down the country and the White House for possibly years. Ford believed that the with a Nixon trail, the country could not move on from Watergate and his White House could not focus on fixing the issues at hand. Gormley highlighted the Nixon tape issue and President Ford's crucial decision to halt those tapes from being removed from the White House. Becker participated in researching the legality of a Nixon Pardon but also that the legal precedent of a Presidential pardon acceptance, in and of itself, was an admission of guilt, even without a conviction.

                  + More details
                  • Howard Willens "History Will Prove Us Right: Inside the Warren Commission Report" (September 23, 2014)

                    01:30:30

                    from Gerald R. Ford / Added

                    6 Plays / / 0 Comments

                    In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Commission Report on September 25, 1964, Howard Willens spoke at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Willens is the author of "History Will Prove Us Right: Inside the Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy". Willens' book is the only one written on the Commission by someone who was part of the management team that supervised the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history. Elaine Didier, Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, introduced the speaker and provided the audience with a framework of the Warren Commission and its Report. Didier stated that shortly following the assassination of President Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson established a Special Commission to investigate the murder. The Warren Commission included its Chairman, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren; two U.S. Senators, Richard Russell, Jr. and John Sherman Cooper; two U.S. Congressmen, Hale Boggs and Gerald R. Ford; a former head of the CIA, Allen Welsh Dulles; and a former head of the World Bank, John J. McCloy. The Warren Commission also included 23 staff attorneys, which worked the day-to-day investigation operation, which included 32-year old Justice Department lawyer Howard Willens who was one of three attorneys that supervised the investigation. Willens graduated from University of Michigan in 1953 and Yale Law School in 1956. He began his career with the Kirkland & Ellis law firm in Washington, D.C. and soon was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1963 he was appointed as Assistant Counsel for the Warren Commission. Willens remarks gave first person insights into the Warren Commission and detailed President Johnson's request to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to investigate the facts of the assassination. Johnson had hoped that the FBI investigation plan would be appropriate but was altered with the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. With Oswald murdered there would be no trail, and thus Johnson established a Presidential Commission to silence the conspiracy theorists, handle the public crisis and minimize the competing investigations into one focused approach. President Johnson worked to create the Commission and seek honorable members to help mitigate competing interests. The Commission then set to build out the staff, begin its mission and understand how they would proceed with their investigation. Willens spoke on the Commission's plan which included investigating the background of the days leading up to the assassination, Oswald as the assassin, Oswald's U.S. contacts, possible motives, Oswald's time in the U.S.S.R, Ruby's connections, U.S. Secret Services role and security measures.

                    + More details
                    • 9/11 NEVER FORGET mobile exhibit arrival at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (September 9, 2014)

                      04:26

                      from Gerald R. Ford / Added

                      15 Plays / / 0 Comments

                      West Michigan was honored to have the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation's "9/11 NEVER FORGET" mobile exhibit as part of the September 11, 2014 Scout Salute at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. The traveling exhibit arrived via convoy with Grand Rapids and Kent County First Responders, motorcycle groups including Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder, Axemen, Warthogs and also Boy Scouts of America from the President Ford Council. FDNY Battalion Commander John LaBarbera, joined by FDNY Battalion Chief John Carroll (Ret.), represented the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and together they take the traveling exhibit throughout the country. LaBarbera was honored to have the opportunity to bring the exhibit to Grand Rapids. The mobile exhibit tells the story of the 342 firefighters, including Stephen Siller, that made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11 and honors their sacrifice as well as the sacrifices of our veterans. In 2013, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation created a traveling exhibit as a tribute to all those who sacrificed on September 11, 2001.  The 9/11 NEVER FORGET traveling exhibit is also a tool to educate America’s youth about the historic events of that day.  The memorial provides interactive education; including artifacts, news and video recording, and live tours from FDNY heroes. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is committed to ensuring WE NEVER FORGET and that America’s youth understand the sacrifice of many on that day. The Boy Scouts led the West Michigan community in a day-long "Scout Salute" at the Museum on September 11th to pay respect to all those who died during the terrorist attacks. The Day of Remembrance has been held each year from sunrise to sunset since September 12, 2002. The exhibit was opened to the public September 10-11.

                      + More details

                      What are Tags?

                      Tags

                      Tags are keywords that describe videos. For example, a video of your Hawaiian vacation might be tagged with "Hawaii," "beach," "surfing," and "sunburn."