September 16, 1924 - August 12, 2014
Today, we honor the singular Lauren Bacall, who died yesterday at the age of 89. She was involved in one of the most infamous incidents of Harry S. Truman’s Vice-Presidency.
On February 10, 1945, Mr. Truman attended a stage show for servicemen at the Washington Press Club canteen, and sat down to play the piano. During his performance, someone boosted Ms. Bacall onto the top of the piano, and she sat there seductively while Mr. Truman played and photographers snapped away. Mrs. Truman was not amused.
-from the Truman Library
“He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most—from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.” —President Obama on the passing of Robin Williams
Life after the White House
Upon returning to private life President Ford and Betty split their time between Rancho Mirage, California, and Beaver Creek, Colorado.
President Ford reflected on his public service in his memoir “A Time to Heal,” published in 1979. Although he was considered as a potential Vice Presidential nominee for Ronald Reagan during the 1980 election and even thought about another bid for the Presidency that year he declined to run for either position. Ford continued to actively participate in the political process and to speak out on important political issues.
In 1981, the Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were dedicated. President Ford participated in conferences at either site dealing with such subjects as the Congress, the presidency and foreign policy; Soviet-American relations; and humor and the presidency.
Over the years Ford lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities on topics including Congressional-White House relations, federal budget policies, and domestic and foreign policy issues. He attended the annual Public Policy Week Conferences of the American Enterprise Institute, and in 1982 established the AEI World Forum. He hosted this international gathering of former and current world leaders and business executives to discuss political and business policies impacting current issues for many years in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.
The former President received numerous awards and honors as well as many honorary Doctor of Law degrees. Two are of particular note. In 1999 President Clinton presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and observed that “President Ford represents what is best in public service and what is best about America.” The following year the John F. Kennedy Foundation presented him with the Profiles in Courage Award for putting the nation’s interest above his own political future with the pardon of Richard Nixon.
Pictured: President Clinton awards former President Ford the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony on August 11, 1999.
-from the Ford Library