Gerald R. Ford, the thirty-eighth president of the U.S., lived here from age eight to seventeen (1921-1930). Of all his boyhood homes, Ford remembered this one most vividly. In his autobiography, Ford recalled that he and his friends used the garage behind the house as a social club. “We learned to play penny-ante poker . . . it was a great hideaway because my parents wouldn’t climb the ladder to get to the second floor--or so I thought.” Ford served Grand Rapids in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1949-1973.In 1973 President Richard M. Nixon nominated Congressman Gerald R. Ford vice president. He was confirmed by a vote of the House and Senate. Upon Nixon’s resignation in 1974 because of Watergate, Ford ascended to the presidency. At his inauguration Ford said, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule.” Ford ran for reelection in 1976, and was narrowly defeated by Jimmy Carter.
Plaque via Michigan History Center