In July 1913 the owners of a lovely Victorian house on this location in Omaha, Nebraska celebrated the birth of their grandson, Leslie King, Jr. but not long after the baby’s parents divorced and a future US President and his mother moved to Michigan and began a new life, with it the little boy got a new name, Gerald R. Ford, Jr., named after his stepfather. In 1971 the house burned and was razed then three years later Ford was inaugurated. Shortly thereafter James Paxson purchased the property on which these gardens are built. When we were in Omaha in 2008, we visited this Gerald R. Ford, Jr. Birthsite and Gardens on a Sunday morning and thought there was a museum here. This time we’re here again on a Sunday morning and we’re not so sure there in fact is a museum other than the kiosk with several displays about Ford’s life and career and some great audio clips. It was good to spend some time here and ponder our own memories of Ford’s inauguration and the sense of relief and hope that we experienced as the Nixon era ended and President Ford told us, the American people, in his inaugural address, “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln.”

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