the gerald ford birthsite in omaha

After visiting Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska, I dropped in to El Museo Latino, which was quite shabby and hardly worth the $3.50 admission. No photography was allowed, which seemed ridiculous. I saw black and white photos of Latino people who came to Omaha and you could listen to their stories about why they made Omaha their home, but I didn’t take the time to listen to them. I enjoyed the beautiful Huipil, ceremonial clothes, or traditional garments worn by indigenous women from Central Mexico to Central America. The loose-fitting tunics were woven by Guatemalan women and were vibrant and lovely.  I was disappointed I couldn’t take photos.  The other exhibits were yarn weavings.

The surrounding neighborhood seemed to be a Latino neighborhood. I was in and out quickly.

I then went to the Gerald R. Fort Birthsite and Gardens, dedicated in 1976, and expanded in 1980 to include the Betty Ford Rose Garden. Former First Lady Betty Ford and Former President Ford visited Omaha July 14, 1980, for the Betty Ford Rose Garden Dedication, which took place on Gerald Ford’s 67th birthday.

There was just a garden here as the house burned down in 1971. No one was at the site (visits were by appointment only), but I could walk around the garden which was quite pretty.


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center

Gerald R. Ford Jr. (July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) served as the 38th president of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. Before his accession to the presidency, Ford served as the 40th Vice President from December 1973 to August 1974. Ford is the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office by the Electoral College.


President Gerald R. Ford

In December 1973, two months after V.P. Spiro Agnew resigned, Ford became the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment (which deals with issues related to presidential succession and disability) by President Richard Nixon. After the subsequent resignation of President Nixon in August 1974, Ford immediately assumed the presidency. His 895 day-long presidency is the shortest in U.S. history for any president who did not die in office.

As president, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, which marked a move toward the easing of strained relations in the Cold War. With the collapse of South Vietnam nine months into his presidency, U.S. involvement in Vietnam essentially ended.

Domestically, Ford confronted many of the same challenges faced by other Presidents.  The country was in a severe recession with high unemployment and inflation rates, plus energy shortages and high gasoline prices. Many citizens felt angry and forgotten.  Ford declared inflation “public enemy No. 1” and vetoed more than 50 spending bills.  He also announced his inflation fighting program which he called WIN – for “Whip Inflation Now.”

In one of his most controversial acts, he granted a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal.


Birthsite of Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States

In the Republican presidential primary campaign of 1976, Ford defeated former California Governor Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. He narrowly lost the presidential election to the Democratic challenger, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. Though remaining active in the Republican party, he was at odds with conservatives due to his moderate views on social issues.  In the end, he became close friends with Jimmy Carter, and after experiencing health problems, he died at home on December 26, 2006 (Wikipedia: Gerald Ford).

One of the presidential debates in 1976 was held October 22 at the College of William & Mary, with questions from moderator Barbara Walters of ABC.  I was a student at William and Mary at the time, and I stood with a crowd of people on Duke of Gloucester Street where I was able to shake hands with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter before the debate that night at Phi Beta Kappa Hall. I didn’t see Gerald Ford there.


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center


Gerald R. Ford Birthsite & Conservation Center

Also at the site was a sealing plate where documents, mementos and artifacts are stored.  They depict the way of life in Omaha and the U.S. in 1976. The documents were sealed in the bicentennial year. The seal is to be broken in 2076.


preserved documents from 1976

After visiting here, I went to visit the Joslyn Art Museum.

*Wednesday, September 4, 2019*


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

My photography intentions for my Road Trip to Nowhere included taking thematic photos; one of these is my ongoing theme of U.S. presidents.  I’ve done posts on Abraham Lincoln (on journey: indiana to illinois and lincoln’s boyhood home in springfield, illinois), William Taft (on journey: finding justice in cincinnati, ohio, and onward to springfield, illinois), and Theodore Roosevelt (things i learned in buffalo, new york and poetic journeys: o, teddy!).  This continues my theme of presidents.  Except Trump. I’ll never feature him.

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20-25 photos and to write less than 1,500 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, June 10 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, June 11, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first, second, and third (& 5th, if there is one) Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!