Reviews of a Revue
The Fords invited actress-singer-dancer Ann-Margret to entertain guests after the dinner honoring the Shahanshah and Empress of Iran. Known for her work in musicals and movies including Bye Bye Birdie and Tommy, she had also traveled to Southeast Asia on a USO tour to entertain troops stationed there.
Ann-Margret’s debut White House performance was based on her night club act. Her musical numbers included “I Won’t Last a Day Without You,” “Swedish Lullaby,” and a “Salute to the Bicentennial.”
Press reaction to the entertainment was mixed to negative. The Fords took it in stride. “We certainly didn’t please all of the people all of the time. We thought it was great, for instance, to ask Ann-Margret,” Betty Ford wrote in her memoirs. “Well, Betty Beale came out with a column in the Washington Star that ripped us up and down for having made that choice.” Other commentators called the Vegas-style revue tasteless and deemed it too low-brow for the White House and its royal guests.
Harvey Rosenthal makes a final adjustment to President Ford’s tie at the end of a fitting at the White House on October 30, 1974.
Rosenthal began fitting clothes for Ford in the late 1960s. “We’ve been trying to change his image,” he stated in an interview in August 1975, noting that both he and Betty Ford had been urging the President to “go conservative” with his style.
His efforts to update President Ford’s wardrobe included substituting plaid suits and splashy ties with more subdued items. “It has to be plain blue, plain gray, brown. I try to make him look like a president,” Rosenthal said.
-from the Ford Library
A Fashion Friday salute to one of the staples of 1970s menswear — the leisure suit.
President Ford wore this one to a surprise drop-by at a spaghetti dinner for reporters and staff who traveled aboard Air Force 2 with him when he was Vice President, hosted by New York Times correspondent Marjorie Hunter, on October 18, 1975.
-From the Ford Library
Congressional Golf, Seventies Style
President Gerald Ford and Representatives Les Arends, Tip O’Neill, and John Rhodes show their individual styles on the Andrews Air Force Base golf course during the third annual Congressional Golf Tournament. September 16, 1974.
President Ford signs the Final Act
In the summer of 1975, Gerald Ford traveled to Helsinki, Finland to join the leaders of 30 other nations to sign the Helsinki Accords. The accords, or “Final Act,” was the result of two years of negotiations.
While U.S. participation was heavily criticized at home from both the left and the right, Ford believed it was his most significant foreign policy achievement. The agreements reached at Helsinki are widely credited as the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union and their reach into Eastern Europe.
Photo: President Ford and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev raise their glasses in a toast after the Signing of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Accords) . Also present are Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko (left), possibly Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin (far left), and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (right). 8/1/75.
Diana Vreeland was born on this day, July 29, 1906.
Vreeland, was a prominent fashion journalist and the developer of the show. The show featured the clothing and accessories of ten women noted for their individuality and the impact they had on American style. Those profiled included dancer Isadora Duncan, artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, and entertainer Josephine Baker. Sculptures, paintings, and photographs supplemented the garments on display.
After the tour Mrs. Ford greeted the Museum and Costume Institute staff who created the exhibit and built the displays.
"…affirming the right of girls to play Little League baseball."
Located in President Gerald R. Ford’s legislation case files is a recommendation to approve the bill H.R. 8864 and amend the Federal charter of Little League Baseball, allowing girls to play.
All About White House State Dinners
The pleasure of your company is requested for the latest Tumblr from the National Archives - State Dinners with President and Mrs. Ford.
It’s everything you ever wanted to know about the planning and process of State Dinners - from invitations, seating charts, and entertainment, to the President’s briefing notes and private “Memcons.” Check it out!
President and Mrs. Ford hosted the first state dinner of his administration on August 16, 1974, just a week after he was sworn-in following Richard Nixon’s resignation. Given the recent change in administrations President Ford had been asked whether he wanted King Hussein’s already scheduled visit to be postponed.
"Of course not," he replied. He had met King Hussein on several previous occasions, and in fact had hosted a state dinner for him in President Nixon’s absence the previous spring.