Gerald Ford (1913–2006) became the thirty-eighth president of the United States following the resignation of Richard Nixon. Ford served as a Republican congressman from Michigan for twenty-five years. In 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned over a scandal concerning his behavior as governor of Maryland. Upon Agnew’s departure, President Richard Nixon named Ford to the vice presidency. Ford’s time as vice president was short, however. In August 1974, Nixon resigned over his role in the Watergate scandal, and Ford was sworn in as president. A month later, he granted Nixon a full pardon. He also granted conditional amnesty to Vietnam draft resisters. Ford’s early presidency was defined by these controversial acts. Ford turned his attention to growing inflation and foreign affairs. His administration faced scrutiny over the economic recession of 1974–1975 and the end of the war in Vietnam. In September 1975, Ford was subject to two separate assassination attempts. In 1976, he won the Republican nomination for the presidency but was defeated by Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter in the general election.

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