The S.S. Mayaguez Crisis — This Week in 1975
President Ford briefs the Bipartisan Congressional Leadership on the seizure of the American merchant ship S.S. Mayaguez on May 14, 1975.
The Mayaguez had been seized in international waters off the coast of Cambodia on May 12. Over the next two days President Ford and the National Security Council closely monitored the situation, ultimately deciding to use air strikes and send in Marines to rescue the boat’s crew.
President Ford received word that the Mayaguez and its entire crew had been safely recovered shortly after 11:00 p.m. on the 14th, and at 12:30 a.m. he made the official announcement to the press.
In accordance with the War Powers Act, on May 15 President Ford sent a letter to the Speaker of the House and president pro tem of the Senate regarding the Mayaguez incident. Read the President’s account of his actions here.
-from the Ford Library
On May 11, 1976, President Ford signed the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization and Priorities Act of 1976. First proposed in June 1975, this legislation established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
This May 8 decision memo from James Cannon to the President outlines the main provisions of the bill. In addition to designating the director of the OSTP as the President’s adviser on science and technology this legislation also called for an intensive study of the way the government utilized science and technology to solve problems. From President Ford’s remarks:
“Those of us here today share a very strong view that science and engineering and technology can and must continue to make great contributions to the achievement of our goals.”
-from the Ford Library
Iconic Presidential Photos
The Presidential Libraries are now on Pinterest. You’ll find some of the most requested images from the holdings of all 13 Presidential Libraries.
We’re pinning the historic moments, meetings with world leaders, Air Force One, First Ladies, and much more. You’ll find a fair share of White House pet pics too.
Take a look and let us know what else you would like to see!
Photos: Lyndon B. Johnson gives Senator Richard Russell the “Johnson Treatment.” 11/7/63.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower Meeting the Troops Prior to the Normandy Invasion. 6/5/44.
The Big Three — Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference. 2/9/45.
John F. Kennedy points to a reporter at a news conference. 11/20/62.
Gerald R. Ford in the Oval Office. 3/25/75
President Ford ordered the final evacuation of Saigon in the evening of April 28, 1975. Over a 16 hour period helicopters removed U.S. and South Vietnamese personnel from the roof of the American embassy.
The Secretary of State received this final message from the Saigon embassy on April 29.
-from the Ford Library
White House Reunion at the Nixon Library
Although Presidential Library dedications are not the only settings for Presidential camaraderie, the ceremonies offer rare opportunities for the rest of us to see these men interact with each other.
When the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum first opened as a private facility on July 19, 1990, it marked the first time that four Presidents were seen together at a public event. The ceremony featured speeches from then-President George Bush, and former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan.
Seventeen years later, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum officially became a part of the Federally operated Presidential libraries system. On July 11, 2007, a ceremony was held to announce the partnership between the Richard Nixon Foundation and the National Archives.
Photo: The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum dedication. July 19, 1990. Courtesy of the Richard Nixon Foundation.
A Quick History of Presidents and Presidential Library Dedications
It’s not often that all the living U.S. Presidents are together at one time, but on April 25, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated to the American public. Although many dignitaries from around the world will attend, all eyes will likely focus on the gathering of men who have called the White House home.
In addition to George W. Bush, guests of honor will include current Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, and former Presidents William J. Clinton, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter. Read More
-Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Richard Nixon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library dedication. 11/4/91.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower looks at a key to his Presidential Library at the dedication ceremony. 10/31/59.
-The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
On Sept. 19, 1974, President Gerald Ford issued Presidential Proclamation 4315 — Johnny Horizon ‘76: Clean Up America Month, 1974.
In anticipation of the Bicentennial celebration, Ford signed Proclamation 4315 and joined Johnny Horizon - the vintage Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior symbol - in his promotion of environmental stewardship:
To date, thousands of schools; churches; youth groups; chambers of commerce; conservation, civic and commercial organizations and millions of private citizens have joined in partnership with Johnny Horizon ‘76 in a wide range of projects to create environmental awareness and to beautify America.
Our most precious environment is the area in which we live-our city streets and rural towns-and this is where each individual can effectively exercise his responsibility. This has been exemplified by the many action projects which have been undertaken thus far across our country.
A Presidential love letter to Libraries during National Library Week. Pictured here is President Ford’s 1976 message honoring libraries and librarians.
“In the finest American tradition, our public libraries offer all our citizens a chance to improve themselves and to broaden their horizons.”
Meeting to discuss the situation in Vietnam
President Gerald R. Ford meets with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Army Chief of Staff General Frederick Weyand, and Graham Martin, Ambassador to Vietnam. 3/25/75.
The Ford Presidential Library has many resources on the events leading up to the Fall of Saigon and the impact on the Ford administration including: