Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Presidents And Vulcain - Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the third President to receive a Vulcain Cricket from the Paajanens, and the first to be presented directly by Keijo Paajanen, when President Ford visited Helsinki in 1995 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Helsinki Accords.

Photo provided by the Paajanen Family Credit Heikki Savolainen  ABC Studiot Oy
Gerald Ford was, in many ways, a bit of an accidental president. A standout college football player at the University of Michigan, he was sought after to pursue professional football with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, preferring to attend law school. He took a job at Yale coaching both boxing and football and his law school application was Initially turned down as he was coaching full time. He proved his mettle with a summer program at Michigan Law and was finally accepted to Yale Law.

A very brief stint operating a law office in Grand Rapids, Michigan was interrupted by his military service and World War 2. In 1949, he threw his hat in the ring and became a member of the US House of Representatives (Congress) serving from 1949 - 1973. 

And that might have been the end of it, but this where the old saying that in America, anyone can grow up to be President. A journeyman congressman from Michigan's 5th congressional district, fate intervened and the current Vice President, Spiro Agnew resigned under a dark cloud, and President Nixon sought congressional advice as to who might replace him. The nearly unanimous choice was Ford. He barely had time to order his new Vice President of the United States stationery when fate would step in one final time, and President Nixon would resign, moving Gerald Ford from congressman to President of the United States in less than 1 year.

Not bad for a journeyman. 

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