A bronze statue of former President Gerald Ford was unveiled at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. on May 3, 2011.
The National Statuary Hall Collection consists of 100 likenesses, representing notable people from each state’s history. As each state is alloted two statues, the 38th President joins that of Lewis Cass, Michigan’s second territorial governor. Ford takes the place of Zachariah Chandler, a former U.S. Senator and mayor of Detroit. Chandler’s statue has found a new home in Constitution Hall in Lansing.
Ford is the only U.S. president from Michigan. He is also the only president to have never been elected to that office or of the vice presidency. He took over as commander-in-chief after the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
On the proper right side is inscribed a quotation from a tribute by Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Speaker of the House during Ford’s presidency: “God has been good to America, especially during difficult times. At the time of the Civil War, he gave us Abraham Lincoln. And at the time of Watergate, he gave us Gerald Ford — the right man at the right time who was able to put our nation back together again.”
Michigan History, July/August 2011.