Gerald Rudolff Ford Jr, the 38th president of the United States, survived two assassination attempts in the same month. Ford served as president from 1974 to January 1977. Ford was named Leslie Lynch King Jr at his birth on July 14, 1913, but later on, his mother changed his name to his stepfather’s name, Gerald Rudolff Ford.
Ford’s Political History
Ford joined active politics in 1946 and started campaigning for the post of the congressman for Grand Rapids in 1948 under a Republican ticket. Ford won the seat, and he went on to hold the seat from 1949 to 1973. Ford was appointed to the Warren Commission by President Lyndon Johnson on November 29, 1963. The commission was meant to look into President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Ford was tasked with preparing the biography of the assassin.
Ford acted as the minority leader in the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1973. On October 12, 1973, Ford was nominated for the post of vice president after Spiro Agnew resigned due to criminal charges against him. Ford was sworn into the vice president's office on November 6, 1973, after a majority vote in the House of Representatives.
Ford as President
Ford’s vice-presidency was short lived as he was sworn in as the US president on August 9, 1974; this was after the resignation of Richard Nixon as president. Ford became the first and only president who had not been elected by the people for either post of president or vice president. Ford served as the vice president under Nixon from 1973 to 1974 when he assumed the presidential office. On August 20th of the same year, Ford appointed Nelson Rockefeller as the vice president.
Ford pardoned Nixon for the crimes he may have committed while in office and this is one of the decisions that were controversial in his term of office. He mentioned the pardon at a television broadcast on September 8, 1974. It was felt that Ford had struck a deal with Nixon in which the pardon was in exchange for Nixon's resignation which would allow Ford to ascend to power. The pardon is believed to have cost Ford the presidency in 1976.
Assassination Attempts on the President
The first assassination attempt on Ford was on September 5, 1975, in Sacramento. Lynette Fromme, one of the followers of Charles Mason, aimed a handgun at Ford. As she was about to shoot she was intercepted by a secret service agent, Larry Buendorf, and she was arrested, convicted, and got a life sentence. On August 14, 2009, Lynette was paroled.
Seventeen days after the first assassination attempt, there was a second attempt on Ford’s life. Sara Jane Moore, who was a part of spectators, pointed a revolver at Ford as he was leaving St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Moore managed to fire a single shot but missed, and she was intercepted by a retired marine, Oliver Sipple, who seized the gun and sent the second shot into a wall. Moore was imprisoned and after 32 years in prison was paroled on December 31, 2007.