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Tag: rockefeller

Archives Spotlight: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum

Happy American Archives Month! Throughout October, we’re running a series of “spotlights” on the many locations that make up the National Archives. Have you done research at a Presidential Library?

Unlike the other Presidential Libraries, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library—located in Ann Arbor, Michigan—is geographically separate from the museum, which is in Grand Rapids.

Despite the 130 miles separating these two locations, they form a single institution and share one director, as well as artifacts, documents, and other exhibit materials.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor.

The library focuses on analysis and interpretation of history and policy. Ford and his cabinet’s 1974–77 Presidential papers make up the core of the 25-million-page textual collection and the 500,000-item audiovisual collection. Located on the North Campus of the University of Michigan, it features regular temporary exhibits that pull from the library’s collections.

Like all the Presidential Libraries and National Archives locations, the Ford Library is also a great resource for researchers. There are several oral history and artifact collections, extensive textual material, and some audiovisual materials. Research grants are also available: The Gerald R. Ford Scholar Award is given annually in honor of Robert Teeter, and multiple research travel grants are awarded throughout the year to defray travel, living, and photocopy expenses for researchers.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.

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Transcripts on the evacuation of Saigon

ford-at-national-council-meeting-a4238-30a

President Gerald Ford smokes his pipe at the National Security Council meeting on April 28, 1975, where it was decided to evacuate Saigon (Ford Library, A4238-30A)

Gerald Ford called April of 1975 the “cruelest month.”

Having inherited a Presidency and the closing act of an unpopular war, Gerald Ford convened his National Security Council in April 1975 to discuss the final evacuation of Saigon. The North Vietnamese were on the outskirts of the city. While there were once over 500,000 troops in Vietnam, now there were only a handful of civilian personnel, and the time had come to leave.

The decisions that brought America’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict to a close were tough, calibrated decisions, and few documents highlight this more than the minutes of that fateful National Security Council meeting on April 28, 1975. Forty-eight hours later, the last American would leave Vietnam.

Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (1/9)

Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (2/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (3/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (4/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (5/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (6/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (7/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (8/9)Minutes from the NSC meeting to evacuate Saigon (9/9)

These documents are part of the Gerald Ford Presidential Library. You can also view them here. The message mentioned in the minutes, and later sent by Secretary of State Kissinger to Ambassador Graham Martin, follows.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's Cable on President Gerald Ford's Decisions on the Saigon Evacuation, April 29, 1975

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's cable on President Gerald Ford's decisions on the Saigon evacuation, April 29, 1975.

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