President Ford sat down with journalists Walter Cronkite, Bob Schieffer, and Eric Sevareid for an hour-long interview airing live on CBS on April 21, 1975.
At the time CBS requested the interview in mid-April President Ford had already done interviews with the other two major networks. The President had also personally promised Walter Cronkite an interview during a meeting in February 1975. Rather than being the sole anchor Cronkite was joined by longtime CBS commentator Eric Sevareid and White House correspondent Bob Schieffer.
No restrictive ground rules were set on the topics that the journalists could introduce. Members of the Economic Policy Board, National Security Council, and Domestic Council provided briefing materials on questions that could be posed.
With the recent resignation of South Vietnamese President Thieu in the news, Cronkite and Sevareid began the interview with questions about the situation in Vietnam. Schieffer followed up by asking President Ford about a possible evacuation effort. From there they moved on to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s role in shaping foreign policy, the investigations into CIA activities, and Middle East peace talks. Towards the end of the hour they shifted to domestic concerns about the economy and President Ford’s political prospects for 1976.
Read a full transcript of the interview.
A Presidential love letter to Libraries during National Library Week. Pictured here is President Ford’s 1976 message honoring libraries and librarians.
"In the finest American tradition, our public libraries offer all our citizens a chance to improve themselves and to broaden their horizons."
On April 14, 1975, President Ford, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger met with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss aid to Cambodia and Vietnam.
President Ford had addressed a joint session of Congress on April 10, requesting $722 million in military aid and an additional $250 million for economic and humanitarian aid. At this meeting he restated that the money was needed to stabilize the military situation in order to provide opportunity for negotiations between North and South Vietnam and to permit evacuation.
At the request of the Senator John Sparkman, the Chairman of the Committee, Secretary Kissinger and Secretary Schlesinger provided updates on the political and military situation in Vietnam. The senators then discussed their views on providing support for an evacuation and sending additional military aid.
View the entire memorandum of conversation.
Image: President Ford meeting with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss aid to Cambodia and Vietnam in the Cabinet Room (White House Photograph A4041-24A).
Country roads take John Denver to the White House
Denver, then considered to be the most popular singer in the world, was in the area as part of a nationwide tour. He played four concerts at the Capital Center, one of which Susan Ford attended.
The signer met with President Ford in the Oval Office on April 14, 1975. During the meeting President Ford and Denver discussed the upcoming American Bicentennial, as Denver had been appointed as a youth advisor to the Colorado Bicentennial Commission. They also had another connection through Colorado as both enjoyed skiing there. Denver lived in Aspen, and President Ford often hit the slopes while vacationing in Vail.
-from the Ford Library
The Silver Buffalo
On April 9, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford received the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Robert W. Reneker, National President of the BSA, presented the medal when the President addressed approximately 2,000 youth delegates to the 1975 National Explorer President’s Congress on the South Grounds of the White House.
According to the BSA, “the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to youth is awarded to those persons who give noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth. This award is Scouting’s highest commendation of the invaluable contributions that outstanding Americans make to youth. The service must be national in scope and can be independent of, or directly through, the Boy Scouts of America.”
President Ford’s Silver Buffalo Medal is suspended on a red and white ribbon and housed in a clear presentation case along with printed remarks on the President and a booklet listing previous recipients.
Our own Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, will introduce President Carter tonight at the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas.
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is hosting the summit on April 8, 9, and 10.
You can watch the panel discussions and keynote address live on their website: http://www.civilrightssummit.org/updates/
The keynote speakers include President Barack Obama and three former Presidents: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on the evening of April 10.
Learn more about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in our new Google Cultural Institute exhibit, which includes videos, letters, telegrams, meeting minutes, and high resolution photos.
Image: LBJ signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Serial Number: A1030-17a Date: 08/06/1965. Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.