President Ford’s legacy turns into interactive tool

Associated Press

Grand Rapids — The Gerald Ford Presidential Foundation and the National Geographic Society have teamed up to showcase the former president and Michigan congressman’s legacy through an interactive, online resource.

The interactive library follows a collaboration between the two organizations for the documentary “Gerald R. Ford: A Test of Character,” which debuted last year on the National Geographic Channel.

“This partnership with the National Geographic Society is an important milestone for teaching the country’s next generation of leaders,” foundation program director Clare Shubert said. “We are excited to be able to share these free resources with educators and anyone wishing to learn more about Ford’s ability to build trust, unite a nation and gain respect from world leaders.”

The learning tool and documentary were funded by the foundation, along with help from friends of the Fords, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

The website took months to develop. It allows people to learn about Ford’s character and legacy. It includes important events in Ford’s life, the full version of the documentary, educational guides and stand-alone lessons.

“Our family is grateful for the research, time and dedication that went into creating these historic resources that have been diagnosed to inspire our nation’s next generation of leaders,” said Steve Ford, the former president’s son.

The 38th president was a Republican congressman from Grand Rapids before becoming vice president. He took over as president following Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation. The website says that during his term, Ford granted asylum to refugees of the Vietnam War, signed the 1975 Helsinki Accords and advocated for the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

Ford lived in California for decades until his death in 2006.