Bronze statue of Gerald Ford dedicated in Capitol

By Ken Thomas

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate leaders dedicated a bronze statue of President Gerald Ford on Tuesday, remembering the former lawmaker as a man of integrity who helped the U.S. heal from the Watergate crisis.

Ford, the nation's 38th president, was feted by lawmakers, friends and family members in a ceremony under the dome of the U.S. Capitol. He was credited with providing steady leadership after the resignation of President Richard Nixon, capping a lifetime of public service in the Navy, Congress and ultimately, the White House.

A break-in at Democratic party headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington was eventually tied to Nixon and forced him to resign in 1974

Ford is the only president in American history who was not elected either president or vice president. He represented western Michigan in Congress for more than two decades before Nixon chose him to serve as vice president to succeed Spiro Agnew. Ford became president when Nixon resigned.

Ford died in 2006 at the age of 93.

"When things went terribly wrong, Gerald Ford stepped into the role he had been preparing for his entire life without even knowing it," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as Republican. "And today few would disagree that he was just the man we needed for the job."

Published: Thu, May 5, 2011

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