Today is the 50th anniversary of Gerald R. Ford being confirmed as Vice President of the United States.  Nominated in October 1973, Ford went through months of House and Senate confirmation hearings and interviews before Congress voted to confirm him.  

Gerald R. Ford and members of the press at his Vice Presidential confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules Committee on November 1, 1973.
Courtesy David Hume Kennerly / Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library 

In November 1973, Ford responded to an article request from the National Enquirer with the following: “What the Vice-Presidency Means to Me.”

In this article, Ford wrote:

I have asked myself the question: What makes you, Jerry Ford, qualified to be Vice President of the United States?  My answer is that I believe I can be a ready conciliator and calm communicator between the White House and Capitol Hill, between the re-election mandate of the Republican President and the equally emphatic mandate of the Democratic 93rd Congress.  …My platform is always to support truth and intelligent compromise.

On November 27, 1973, the Senate confirmed Ford’s nomination by a vote of 92 to 3, with the House following suit nine days later by a vote of 387 to 35.  Shortly after the House vote, the new Vice President was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Gerald Ford takes the oath of office as 40th Vice President of the United States, in a ceremony administered by Chief Justice Warren Burger and witnessed by Betty Ford, President Richard Nixon, and a joint session of Congress on December 6, 1973.
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

After taking the oath of office, Vice President Ford remarked that “In exactly eight weeks, we have demonstrated that our great republic stands solid and strong upon the bedrock of the Constitution.”

Gerald R. Ford Vice Presidential Papers, Box 127.  “Dec. 6, 1973 – Remarks, Swearing-In as Vice President.”
NAID: 7580998
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

And with this, Ford became the first Vice President chosen under the auspices of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.  

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Author: Brooke Clement