When you go over the list of the most memorable presidents in U.S. History, the name Gerald R. Ford is likely to escape your attention. Ford, who is the only person to have become President without ever being elected, carries the legacy of having pardoned President Richard M. Nixon for his part in the Watergate scandal.
One thing that cannot escape your attention, however, is the fact that President Ford survived not one, but two assassination attempts during his short term of office. The second came just 17 days after the first. And both attempts were made by women!
This week, the second woman to have tried and failed to kill President Ford Sara Jane Moore, 89, has been re-arrested for violating her lifetime parole. She had served already 32 years in a federal penitentiary for her crime and was released in 2007.
Ms. Moore, a practicing Jew, had traveled to Israel in January without the permission of her parole officer. After becoming ill there, she stayed longer than anticipated so her return was delayed. She was arrested on February 22nd when she finally came back to the U.S.
Moore, now 89-years-old, is expected to face the judge next week to answer to the charges of parole violation.
Ford began his rise to the presidency in 1973 when then-Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in October of that year for ‘financial misconduct.’ President Nixon selected a relatively unknown Congressman from Michigan, Gerald Ford, to be Agnew’s successor.
Then, ten months later when the pressure from the Watergate scandal became too much, President Nixon also resigned in August of 1974. That left a little more than two years of Nixon’s second term that Ford, who had now inherited the office, would be responsible for finishing.
Soundly defeated by Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election, Ford quietly faded into the woodwork to live out the rest of his life in relative peace and solitude. He died in 2006 at the age of 92.
But in between his historic assumption of the office of president and his departure in January of 1977, a lot of excitement occurred. And it's safe to say that President Ford was lucky to escape with his life!
The first assassination attempt occurred on September 5, 1975, in Sacramento California, when Charles Manson devotee Lynette ’Squeaky’ Fromme came within two feet of the president and raised a semi-automatic pistol and took aim. She was never able to get off a shot, however.
Secret Service agents were able to block Mr. Ford from harm and wrestle the gun from the diminutive would-be assassin’s grip.
Then, just 17 days later, came the second. Also in a California city, this time San Francisco. This time, the attempted assassin was Sara Jane Moore, a 45-year-old woman who was in the crowd outside where the President was passing.
If it hadn’t been for the quick actions of a bystander, Moore would likely have been successful in her efforts to kill Ford.
Fox News, reports, “In her attempt, Moore fired and missed at Ford from across the street from the St. Francis Hotel, where the president had just left. Her aim was disrupted by a former Marine, Oliver Sipple, who was later credited with potentially saving Ford’s life.”
Moore was released on ‘lifetime parole’ in 2007 after serving 32 years for her crime. Then, three years later, she opened up in an interview on the Today Show in which she explained her motives, citing the division in this country over the Vietnam War.
“It was a time that people don’t remember. You know we had a war . . . the Vietnam War, you became, I became, immersed in it. We were saying the country needed to change.
“The only way it was going to change was a violent revolution. I genuinely thought that [shooting Ford] might trigger that new revolution in this country.”
“That’s the one regret that I have - that it was not successful.”
"PROGRESSIVE LIBERALS ARE THE PROBLEM: Sara Jane Moore, tried to Kill FORD. 'Am I sorry I tried? Yes & no. Yes, because it accomplished little except to throw away the rest of my life. No, I’m not sorry I tried, because at the time it seemed a correct expression of my anger'.”
“Wow, y'all. And who even remembers that there were TWO attempts to assassinate Gerald Ford? I remember him as one of the blandest and least offensive Presidents of my lifetime.”
To see actual news coverage of both attempts on President Ford's life, watch the video, below.