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
Cold War Negotiations — Ronald Reagan writes to Leonid Brezhnev
The contents of this letter focus on Natan Sharansky, a former Jewish refusenik. The Soviet Union charged Sharansky with spying for the United States in 1977, and sentenced him to thirteen years of hard labor in Siberia.
President Reagan wrote this letter to General Secretary Brezhnev asking for the release of Sharansky. In 1986, he was released from the Gulag Soviet prison camp. Sharansky immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Knesset, and is currently a political analyst.
-from the Reagan Library
Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.
Ronald Reagan was born on this day, Feburary 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois.
Ronald Reagan was first called “Dutch” as a baby by his father who affectionately said that he looked like “a fat little Dutchman.” As a toddler, the nickname lasted because of the “Dutch boy” haircut, once popular for little boys, that his mother gave him.
Photo: Ronald Reagan (with “Dutch” haircut), Neil Reagan, and parents Jack and Nelle Reagan. Circa 1916-1917.
Happy 103rd Birthday Anniversary for Ronald “Dutch” Reagan!