When Richard Nixon resigned as president, Gerald Ford stepped up and became the 38th president of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977. Ford is famous for his pardon of Richard Nixon and more importantly, for his participation in the Helsinki Accords, several agreements which were meant to improve the relationship between the Soviet Union and the West and improve the conditions of people living under the Soviet regime.
Ford was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was interested in becoming a lawyer, which led him to a career in politics. Ford was known for his strong values and his leadership during some tough economic times is the main reason he appears so highly on this list. He is also the only person in American history to serve as both vice president and president without being elected.
America’s 39th president, Jimmy Carter, was raised on his family’s thriving peanut farm. While he was expanding the family business, Carter began to care deeply about the civil rights movement. This led to his career shift into politics and his eventual presidency, which took place between the years 1977 to 1981. While in office, Carter founded the Department of Education and the Department of Energy and also spearheaded the Camp David Accords, which ultimately led to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Carter received high marks from C-SPAN for his pursuit of equal justice for all and his moral authority while dealing with numerous international crises during his term including the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Energy Crisis of 1979.
Unfortunately, the people of the United States were not as impressed by the way in which Carter dealt with these events, and his approval rating went down steadily, leading to his losing the next election in 1980 to Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. Carter’s efforts were eventually recognized, and he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for the work done by The Carter Center, his NGO.
Carter’s Peace Deal
The 39th president helped negotiate a groundbreaking peace agreement in the Middle East. He sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Saddat to create a deal that was meant to ensure a lasting peace.
Israel agreed to give the Sinai area back to Egypt, after conquering it in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and in return Egypt recognized Israel’s right to exist. The leaders of both countries received the Nobel Peace Prize for this endeavor.
Ford’s First Assassination Attempt
President Ford had only recently been appointed commander and chief when Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme tried to end his life with a Colt M1911 revolver.
Luckily the gun didn’t actually fire, and the secret service apprehended the shooter and safely evacuated the president. Soon after, it was revealed that Fromme was part of Charles Manson’s nefarious cult.
Ford’s Second Assassination Attempt
Only 17 days later, another woman tried to take out President Ford. Her name was Sara Jane Moore and she was reportedly mentally unstable. She pulled out a gun and tried to shoot the president but an ex-marine who was at the scene moved her arm and went on to restrain her.
Unfortunately, the bullet did hit a taxi driver but luckily he survived. Read on to find out who is the next president on our list.