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tv   Reel America A Time to Heal - Gerald Fords America  CSPAN  June 30, 2021 10:32pm-10:55pm EDT

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august, 1974.
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her husband and wife share their deep concern about a nation's crisis. nothing changes were happening in washington d.c., changes that promised to transform their lives overnight. >> president nixon stuns the country today by admitting he held back -- >> he acknowledges that with the transcript say is, as mr. nixon puts it, at variance of what he told the american people on other occasions. >> rumors of president nixon's imminent resignations swept washington on the world today. >> president nixon reportedly will announce his resignation
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tonight. >> hi, gerald are forward to solemnly swear that i will faithfully execute the office of president of the united states. the office of president of the united states. >> and well to the best mauve military >> preserve protect and defend >> preserve, protect, and defend. >> the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the united states. >> so help me. cobb >> so help me god. >> congratulations mister president. >> my fellow americans, hour-long, national nightmare is over. i have not campaign either for the presidency or the vice presidency. i have not subscribe to any
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partisan platform. i am indicted to know man. and only to one woman. my dear wife. i have not sought this enormous responsibility, but i will not sure can. >> gerald ford brought to the oval office devalues first learned in a very different place. grand rapids, michigan. born in 1913, he had lived a typical small time american life, his community was his classroom. . >> grand rapids when i was growing up was a community that engendered family values. my parents, my mother and my stepfather had indoctrinated me and the importance of the family. but the whole community had the same viewpoint. >> the world first noticed gerald ford as a football
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player. strong for his age and enthusiastic competitor and a team player. attending the university of michigan at ann arbor, he would eventually become the wolverines most valuable player and entertain offers from the pros. but he had already decided that his future lay in the courtroom, not a great iron. you left ann arbor for yale in the fall of 1935. hard to coach boxing in football, it wasn't long before for the faculty offered coach forward and opening in their law program. he was ready for the challenge and the 1941, gerald ford graduated in the top third of his clause. returning home to grand rapids, he opened a law practice with his friend, philip buchanan. but their plans were interrupted by foreign dictators. and gerald ford went oft --
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off to war. for almost two years, the aircraft carrier would take him across 40,000 miles of the pacific. his experience and ten major battles with change his perception of the world and his nation's place in it. he had seen too much of the world to believe that it would go away or that america could bury her head in the sand. >> i always felt that i was a moderate conservative republican. i felt very strongly that the united states had to have an international foreign policy. >> for the internationalist josé -- and his uphill challenge of isolation is incumbent. at stake was michigan's fifth district and the future of his party and his country. the red, white and blue quonset caught people's attention and they listened to the energetic
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young lawyer and war veteran as he stomped the whole district, taking on the republican establishment. when the votes were counted in november, 1948, ford had won the first of 13 terms in congress. and that's not all he won that year. betty bloom or warren would bring a grace and a spirit to life they would share through the long years of politics. from his first day on capitol hill, congressman ford relished the work. and the course of 25 years and the house of representatives, the people's house, the man from grand rapids would earn the confidence of five presidents. although forwards easy and persuasive manner made him a valuable member of the republican team, in 1965, he again took on the establishment. this time, defeating veteran gop leader, charlie attic.
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he was a republican spokesperson with the national audience. each week, he and senate leader ever turks and took the democrats to task. for eight years, ford worked hard to make the republican minority into a force to be reckoned with. and, to realize his own personal dream. to serve as speaker of a republican house. but events ruled otherwise. in 1973, vice president spiro agnew resigned in disgrace. once more, for its life took nine expected turn. >> my fellow americans, i proudly present to you a man whose name i will submit to the congress of the united states for confirmation as the vice president of the united states, congressman gerald ford of michigan.
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>> the new vice was a reassuring figure whose obvious integrity hated republican candidates and a beleaguered president. but each day brought new revelations of wrongdoing in the nixon administration. the watergate scandal was coming to a climax. by the summer of 1974, nixon's impeachment was before the house. >> all those in favor please signify by saying hi. >> i. >> hi. >> it was a time of anxiety for the american people. >> for the vice president, it was a time of anguish. he didn't know if the president would dig in and fight more resign. on august 9th, 1974, it was settled. . on the south lawn of the white
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house. a painful ceremony unfolded. >> returning to their new home, nixon successor reassured his wife. we can do it. soon, he would reassure the nation. >> for gerald ford, there was no transition period. no time to settle into the world's most demanding job. >> when i took the oath of office. and went back to the oval office. my desk was piled high with documents. we had economic crisis, we had uncertainty with our allies and our adversaries. we had a lack of public trust and the government. i finally came to the conclusion that i had to get
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rid of mr. nixon's past problems. and spend 100 percent of my time on the problems facing the american people as a whole. and the only way to do that was to pardon mr. nixon, get all his problems out of the white house so that my concentration could be on the economy, diplomatic problems, military problems, including how we can end the conflict in vietnam. there were some in the congress who said that i have made a deal with mr. nixon in order to become president and return, i would grant him a pardon. that was a total, inaccurate fabrication. the only way that i could put it on the record, under oath,
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was to respond to a request by the house committee and the judiciary to go up to capitol hill and lay out the facts. so, at the request of the chairman of that committee and the chairman of the subcommittee, i went up to capitol hill and testified under oath that there was no deal, that the decision was made strictly on what was best for the american people. >> on the third floor of the white house, it is a husband and father first before he is president. >> betty's contribution to history during her time at the white house and after was her total dedication to openness, frankness. her real strong belief, equal
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rights for women, her handling of her breast cancer surgery. >> cherry and betty ford were committed to honesty. it was their legacy from grand rapids. i would be either example for america. their children became adults before the eyes of the nation, living in the most famous stanley's private house in the land. the forwards endure publicity and controversy on the strength of an abiding law. always a skilled negotiator, the president employs his talents a long way from the halls of congress. >> when i became president, i found that mr. nixon had made a commitment with mr. brush nerve of the soviet union that he would have a meeting with him to negotiate relations between the soviet union and the united states. when i was in the congress, i was one of the experts on
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military funding, military programs, including program that we had in the united states where nuclear weapons across the board. so when i agreed to take carrie at the commitment i was fully prepared because of this background to sit down and negotiating table with this is him to down at the table with argue how him to the argue how to two nations could mutually nations good mutually reduce the nuclear threshold. it was a major challenge i think turned out to be a very successful negotiation. >> another bold stroke, ford took american policy to the doorsteps of the communist china and eastern european countries. >> the helsinki accord was the final blow to communism, marxism behind the iron curtain.
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a get mr. brush enough and the other communist leaders to agree that human rights as i write for people on a worldwide basis. was a major accomplishment. no question the ford administration had a major impact on the collapse of the soviet union and warsaw pact allies. >> he would also invite many leaders to the white house. these became the elegant moments when the length between nations between many millions of people who will never meet are focused on the relationships of a few individuals. the affords of grand rapids became the host and hostess of an entire nation. as president, he had the pain of ordering the evacuation of saigon. and the pro pleasure of presiding over our greatest
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national celebration, the american bicentennial. >> july for 1976 was a heyday across the land. in every community, every city from san francisco on the west coast, to new york city on the east coast. i'm sure the american people recall vividly the tall ships of new york harbor. the various other celebrations in philadelphia, and in washington d.c.. it was a magnificent expression of america, of our happiness, democracy under a constitutional government that work. >> gerald ford's own future would be advanced that summer by the republican convention. but only after he had beaten back a divisive challenge in the primaries from conservative champion ronald reagan of
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california. >> mister chairman, delegates to this republican convention, i am honored by your nomination and i accept it. we will wage a winning campaign and every region of this country, from the snowy banks of minnesota to the sandy plains of georgia. >> bradley trailing democratic candidate jimmy carter in the polls. ford knew he had his work cut out for him. >> he was a very good governor, and he had broad views, on a number of national and international problems and challenges. but again, it was a race of an outsider against the establishment in the nation's capital. and because of watergate,
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because of the war in vietnam during the kennedy johnson nixon period, outsiders had some advantage. they could be very critical of the national scene because they had not been a part of it. >> betty ford and the rest of the family would all pitch in. together, they reached out to touch the nation. the president had yet to receive the mandate that comes a victory at the polls. it was a goal he hoped to obtain we. election night, 1976. >> that's the way it stands. electoral votes president ford 137, carter 270, to more than he needed to be the next president of the united states. >> then at the end, he fell short by less than two percentage points. yet he had one far more than he
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had lost. on a crisp january day in 1977, the new president's first words expressed profound gratitude to the man from grand rapids for healing a divided nation. in two and a half years, gerald ford has restored the presidency to the people of the united states. and it is no exaggeration to say that he gave us back our government. in a season of doubt, he restored our faith in our leaders and in ourselves. >> when i look back, i think the american people, whether everybody agreed with my policies or not, they knew they had a new leader with a different point of view who restored integrity and trust and their national government. >> he had always been an optimist, and saying goodbye to washington, his home for an eventful quarter century, he would characteristically look to the future with hope and
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with confidence. >> my fellow americans, i once asked you for your prayers, and now i give you mine. may god guide this wonderful country, its people, and those we have chosen to lead them. may our third century be eliminated by liberty and less with brotherhood, so that we and all who come after us maybe the humble servants apiece. a man. good night. god bless you. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> a century ago on may 31st, 1921, racial tensions in tulsa, oklahoma led to an armed mob of white men marching on the cities predominately african american greenwood district. the rest of a young black man for his interactions with a white woman in a downtown office building triggered the
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unrest. over the next day, the neighborhood known as black wall street would be the scene of shootings, looting, and arson. while official totals are the number killed at 36 historians now believe the toll was as high as 300. 35 blocks at the city were left in ruins. on thursday, beginning at 8 pm eastern on american history tv, we explore the consequences of that day's events. >> american history tv on c-span 3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend. saturday at 6 pm eastern on the civil war. elizabeth and william courts of the university of virginia's now center for civil war history on their project black virginians in blue. african american union soldiers fighting for emancipation. saturday at 8 pm eastern on lectures in history. university of california
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riverside professor on the lives of women during the american revolution and the early republic. and sunday, at 6 pm eastern on american artifacts, the arrival of the reconstructed friendship at the 18th century port of yorktown, virginia. designed after the french vessel that brought major general mark off i it back to the united states in 1780. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span 3. on lectures in history, the king university president teaches a class on the causative issues that arose during the presidency of richard nixon and gerald forward. he focuses on the watergate investigation and questions of control over nixon's secretly recorded white house tapes. as well as issues around for the pardon of nixon. the keen university movie classes online due to the coronavirus pandemic, video of the class is courtesy of the


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