On this day, July 8, 1975, Ford Officially Announced his Candidacy. During the primaries, President Ford faced a strong challenge by Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. He prevailed, and chose Senator Robert Dole of Kansas as his running mate.
Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter presented another tough contest in the general election.
As November 2 neared polls showed that President Ford had succeeded in narrowing Carter’s large lead. The race had been neck and neck throughout the campaign but the election returns revealed that Carter pulled ahead to win with 297 electoral votes to Ford’s 241.
President Ford called his opponent to offer his congratulations and, since his voice was nearly gone, Betty Ford read his concession statement to the nation.
During the balance of his administration President Ford worked on the 1978 budget, delivered his final State of the Union speech, and strove to facilitate a smooth transition.
On January 20, 1977, President Carter began his inaugural address with a special recognition: “For myself and for our nation I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.”
Pictured: President and Mrs. Ford wave to the crowd at the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 19, 1976.
-from the Ford Library
On November 7, 2000, Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the United States Senate for the state of New York. Her election had several firsts - she was the first female Senator from New York and the only First Lady to run for public office. Clinton was sworn in on January 3, 2001 and she served as both a Senator and First Lady until January 20th.
Photograph of President William Jefferson Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton Applauding during Election Night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, New York, 11/07/2000
Kennedy vs. Nixon - The First Televised Presidential Debate
By 1960, television was fast becoming the primary means by which to reach people. That year, Senator John F. Kennedy introduced a powerful new factor into American political campaigning when he challenged Vice President Richard M. Nixon to debate the issues in a series of joint television appearances. Knowing that he was the front-runner, Nixon’s advisers cautioned him against accepting the challenge, but Nixon, confident of his debating skills did accept. The political confrontations that followed were the most historic since the Lincoln-Douglas debate of 1858.
Approximately 70 million Americans- at the time the largest political audience in U.S. history- watched on the night of September 26 as the candidates for the Presidency faced each other on television for the first time.
Image: First televised Presidential debate with candidates Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, broadcasted from the WBBM television studio in Chicago, Illinois. 9/26/60.
-from the JFK Library
The First of Three Debates
President Gerald Ford and then-former Governor Jimmy Carter re-started Presidential Debates in 1976. The first Presidential Debates were between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960, but did not continue until Carter and Ford faced off. Presidential Debates have continued ever since.
Shown here, President Ford and Jimmy Carter meet at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia to debate domestic policy during the first of the three Ford-Carter Debates. September 23, 1976.
President Harry S. Truman at Union Station in Washington D.C. after returning from a campaign tour. 10/2/48.
In 1948, Truman’s opponent was Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey, governor of New York. Conventional wisdom held that Dewey would win; the Republicans gained seats in the Senate and House in the 1946 elections, and voters’ feelings on Truman seemed lukewarm at best. Read more
This image is from an original slide sent by Lige Stewart of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
-from the Truman Library