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Did you know that President Ford signed legislation to ensure Veterans Day wouldn’t fall on Monday every year?
Since World War I the United States traditionally commemorated Veterans Day on November 11, which had formerly been recognized as Armistice Day. The “Monday holiday” law passed in 1968 established a uniform holiday schedule for the Federal Government but as a consequence moved the observance of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October.
Although the official Federal holiday was observed on Mondays for several years many people continued to hold commemorations on November 11 as well. In September 1975 President Ford signed into law S.331 officially designating the original date as Veterans Day.
“I believe restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 will help preserve in the hearts and lives of all Americans the spirit of patriotism, the love of country and the willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good symbolized by this very special day,” President Ford said in his signing statement.
-from the Ford Library
What is it like to photograph the most powerful person in the world? Four Presidential photographers share their stories on Wednesday, October 30, at 7 p.m.
A panel moderated by Dee Dee Myers, who served as White House Press Secretary during President Clinton’s first term, includes veteran Presidential photographers David Hume Kennerly (Gerald Ford), David Valdez (George H.W. Bush), Sharon Farmer (Bill Clinton), and Eric Draper (George W. Bush).
The panel will discuss their photographs and their personal recollections of photographing the Presidents.
Presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association and the White House Correspondents’ Association.
This program is generously supported by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc.
Bullet Proof Coat
This beige coat worn by President Gerald R. Ford was designed not only to keep him warm and dry but also to protect his life.
This coat came with a bullet-proof vest liner along with more standard features like the six front buttons, adjustable sleeve cuffs, and pockets accessible from the inside. The zip-up bullet-proof vest is made of Kevlar and is covered with cloth identical in color to the coat. Together both pieces weigh 6 lbs., 15 oz.
A label sewn onto the front of the vest provides cleaning instructions and gives an issue date of October 1975, the month after President Ford survived two assassination attempts during separate trips to California.
-from the Ford Library
President Gerald Ford escaped the first of two assassinations attempts within a month on September 5, 1975, when Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s gun failed to fire during the president’s trip to Sacramento.
John F. Kennedy, Jr. sits in the pilot’s seat of the Presidential helicopter during a weekend trip to Camp David in Frederick County, Maryland.
Photo Credit: Robert Knudsen/JFK Library.