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President Gerald R. Ford

Educational resources to teach about the 38th president

Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library


Gerald Rudolph Ford’s tenure as the 38th president of the United States of America was defined by his steady character, political integrity, and decision-making skills. Ford’s political career began in 1948 when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he served for 25 years. He was selected as the House minority leader in 1965 and maintained that position until 1973 when Richard Nixon named him vice president. Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as president of the United States on August 9, 1974, after the resignation of Nixon. During his term, President Ford made many notable decisions including granting aid and asylum to refugees of the Vietnam War; signing the Helsinki Accords in August 1975; and advocating for the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which was passed by Congress in November 1975.

Use the educational resources on this page to teach about Gerald R. Ford and the important events of his time. The resources include a full-length documentary, an online interactive, educator guides, stand-alone lessons, media spotlights, and geostory timelines.

Gerald R. Ford: A Test of Character

Teach about the life and legacy of the 38th president with this documentary film and accompanying educator guide.


Stand-alone lessons that encourage students to think about the trade-offs and outcomes of policymaking

Ford signs the Final Act

Presidential Decision-Making: Helsinki Accords  

Students deconstruct President Gerald R. Ford’s decision to sign the Helsinki Accords with the Soviet Union and NATO allies in 1975.

Ford Speaks to the Press

Presidential Decision-Making: The 1970s Energy Crisis  

Students take on the role of advisors to President Gerald R. Ford in drafting the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.


An online activity that puts students in the shoes of Gerald R. Ford

You Decide: Presidential Decisions

You Decide: Presidential Decisions  

In You Decide: Presidential Decisions, students take on the role of president of the United States and make complex decisions based on real situations faced by President Gerald R. Ford during his 1974-1977 presidency: the signing of the Helsinki Accords, the condemnation of South African apartheid, and Operation Babylift.


Explore major events in Ford’s life and presidency with our GeoStories.

Gerald Ford's Rise to the Presidency

Gerald Ford's Rise to the Presidency  

From humble beginnings, Gerald R. Ford worked hard to make his way to becoming the 38th president of the United States of America.

The 38th President of The United States

The 38th President of The United States  

Gerald R. Ford inherited a presidency that had lost the trust of the American people and faced national and international challenges such as inflation, unemployment, and the end of the Vietnam War.

Photo Gallery

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