Key Moments in the Life of Betty Ford

Friday, 08 Jul 2011 10:12 PM

 

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Key dates in the life of Betty Ford:

April 8, 1918: Elizabeth "Betty" Bloomer born in Chicago.

1920: Family moves to Grand Rapids, Mich.

1936: Graduates from Central High School in Grand Rapids; spends next years studying dance, working for a time in New York with famed choreographer Martha Graham.

1942: Marries salesman William Warren in Grand Rapids; the union ends in divorce.

Oct. 15, 1948: Marries Gerald Ford.

Nov. 2, 1948: Gerald Ford elected to U.S. House of Representatives. In Congress for nearly 25 years, including stint as House minority leader.

March 14, 1950: Birth of first child, Michael Gerald. The Fords' other children are John Gardner, born in 1952; Steven Meigs, 1956; and Susan Elizabeth, 1957.

Dec. 6, 1973: Gerald Ford confirmed as vice president after resignation of Spiro Agnew.

Aug. 9, 1974: Gerald Ford becomes president after resignation of Richard Nixon.

Sept. 28, 1974: Betty Ford undergoes mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Her openness about the disease helped encourage other women to get tested.

September 1975: Two attempts on President Gerald Ford's life, both unsuccessful, in California.

Nov. 2, 1976: Ford defeated by Jimmy Carter in quest for a full term as president.

Jan. 20, 1977: Carter is inaugurated; Fords leave the White House.

April 1978: The former president and their children persuade Betty Ford to seek treatment for abuse of medication, alcohol. ("I didn't say a word, just listened and cried," she wrote later.)

November 1978: Betty Ford publishes memoir, "The Times of My Life."

1982: Betty Ford Center opens at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

1987: Her book, "A Glad Awakening," about her recovery from substance abuse, is published; ABC-TV broadcasts "The Betty Ford Story," starring Gena Rowlands.

1991: Betty Ford is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

1999: Gerald and Betty Ford both presented with Congressional Gold Medals.

August 2000: Gerald Ford suffers small stroke while attending the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.

2005: Betty Ford steps down as chairman of the Betty Ford Center board.

Dec. 26, 2006: Gerald Ford dies at age 93.

April 2007: Betty Ford undergoes surgery for an undisclosed ailment.

Aug. 31, 2007: Attends ceremony in California for issuance of postage stamp honoring her husband.

___

Online:

Betty Ford Center: http://www.bettyfordcenter.org/

Gerald Ford library and museum: http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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