The Life and Times of Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977. The first crisis to test his presidency came sooner than he would have liked: less than three weeks into his term, he was suddenly faced with a constitutional crisis when Senator George McGovern announced his intention to break with Democratic orthodoxy and run for president as an independent rather than a Democrat.

Despite the fact that many had encouraged him not to run in the first place, McGovern’s decision to make his candidacy official put Ford in an extremely difficult position. On one hand, he did not want a potential McGovern candidacy—or any other third-party bid—to split the Democratic vote and allow Republicans to win another presidential election without putting up their own candidate.

On the other hand, he didn’t want to punish McGovern for breaking ranks by denying him access to federal government funding during his campaign. Entertaining offers from both parties, Ford ultimately decided that it might be better for both parties if he refused them all at once so as not to provide any of them with incentive or incentive.

In addition, refusing donations from candidates running for office outside of a major political party could also serve as a symbolic gesture of unity between Democrats and Republicans. As such, President Ford signed an executive order ensuring that no federal funds would go toward financing any third-party candidate running in either primary or general elections over the next two years.

1) The Watergate Scandal

The Watergate scandal was the biggest political scandal of the 20th century, touching almost every corner of the American government. It all began in 1972 when the Washington Post published a story detailing how five men connected to the Nixon reelection campaign had burglarized the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to steal the DNC’s private voter information.

At first, the burglars denied everything, but then one of them, E. Howard Hunt spilled the beans. He revealed that the break-in had been the work of a Nixon White House-instigated counterintelligence operation. But that was just the beginning.

It wasn’t long before the Post and New York Times published more stories detailing the White House’s involvement in other illegal activities, such as wiretapping members of the Democratic Party, intercepting mail sent to the DNC, and hiring private investigators to dig up embarrassing information on Nixon’s political opponents. The scandal was only just starting to take its toll on Nixon, who nevertheless managed to win reelection.

2) Ford Steps Down as President and Vice President Take Over

As Watergate dragged on, the public began to lose faith in the Nixon White House. The president had attempted to deny the scandal’s existence, but even the normally loyal Republicans had begun to turn against Nixon. The Watergate scandal had begun to threaten the Republican Party’s hold on Congress as well.

At the end of August 1974, Nixon finally gave in to public pressure and agreed to turn over the tapes that could prove his involvement in the break-in and other illegal activities. The tapes revealed the full scope of Nixon’s involvement, and the world learned that he had been engaged in a wide variety of criminal activities.

On the morning of September 8, 1974, Nixon appeared on national television and admitted that he had misled the nation and the American people for years. He resigned from the presidency effective at noon the next day.

3) Vice President’s Resignation

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned from office on November 6, 1973, less than two years into his four-year term as vice president. The vice president’s resignation was the result of bribery charges brought against him by the New York City district attorney’s office.

Agnew had been accused of accepting $ 110,000 in bribes from a New York City contractor in return for awarding lucrative government contracts to the contractor’s firm.

At first, Agnew tried to fight the charges, but after they were brought before the grand jury, he agreed to plead guilty and was given a sentence of one year of “informal probation” that did not require him to pay a fine or serve any jail time. His resignation from the vice presidency effectively allowed Gerald Ford to replace him on the Republican ticket.