Ford tells Nixon: ‘Take these guys’

President Ford, National Archives photo

[I hear from teachers who want lesson plans dealing with Gerald Ford. Here’s one I came across from the National Archives.]

Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign in late 1973 in lieu of being prosecuted for bribery. The 25th Amendment allows a president to nominate a new vice president in the event of a vacancy. It was passed after the assassination of President Kennedy, when heart-attack victim Lyondon Johnson held office for over a year with no vice president, but it had never been used. With more than two years to go on his second term, Nixon was encouraged to fill the office.

Eventually Nixon picked Gerald Ford, putting Ford in line to become the first U.S. president to hold the office without ever having been elected to either the presidency or vice presidency, though that was unknown in the fall of 1973. What Nixon needed was someone who could pass the “advice and consent” test of the U.S. Senate. He got a letter from the Republican leader in the House, Gerald Ford, a long-time Michigan congressman, who named several others.

Whose names did Ford suggest to Nixon?

That letter is the focus of a lesson plan suitable for high school U.S. history or government classes, which comes with images of the letter and suggested activities from the National Archives.

The National Archives has lesson plans for all eras of U.S. history.

One Response to Ford tells Nixon: ‘Take these guys’

  1. You might be interested in the Presidential Timeline under development.

    “The Presidential Timeline Project brings together the Learning Technology Center, in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin, and The National Archives’ eleven Presidential Libraries to create a web-based resource providing access to the growing store of digitized assets from the Libraries’ collections. The goal of the project is to make these primary and secondary source materials readily and freely available to students, educators, and adult learners throughout the world via a single unified and intuitive interface.”

    For more information, check out the project web site and blog: Should be pretty exciting when it’s done!


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