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When Gerald R Ford took the oath of office on August 9 1974 he declared I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts It was indeed an unprecedented time He had been the first Vice President chosen under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment and in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal was succeeding the first President ever to resign Ford was confronted with almost insuperable tasks There were the challenges of mastering inflation reviving a depressed economy solving chronic energy shortages and trying to ensure world peace The President acted to curb the trend toward Government intervention and spending as a means of solving the problems of American society and the economy In the long run he believed this shift would bring a better life for all Americans Fords reputation for integrity and openness had made him popular during his 25 years in Congress From 1965 to 1973 he was House Minority Leader Born in Omaha Nebraska in 1913 he grew up in Grand Rapids Michigan He starred on the University of Michigan football team then went to Yale where he served as assistant coach while earning his law degree During World War II he attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy After the war he returned to Grand Rapids where he began the practice of law and entered Republican politics A few weeks before his election to Congress in 1948 he married Elizabeth Bloomer They have four children Michael John Steven and Susan As President Ford tried to calm earlier controversies by granting former President Nixon a full pardon His nominee for Vice President former Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York was the second person to fill that office by appointment Gradually Ford selected a cabinet of his own Ford established his policies during his first
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