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89. Gerald R. Ford Museum

March 30, 2011

The Gerald R. Ford Museum is a gem on the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids. The Museum is a great place for a walk down memory lane, to educate your kids or just enjoy the grounds on a nice summer day along the river. The history, the interactive exhibits, the displays, etc. are done is just so amazing that it made me a bit ashamed to admit it took me over 9 years in the Grand Rapids area to visit this wonderful museum. This is a big city museum that many big cities wish they had and its right here in Grand Rapids.

The Gerald R. Ford Museum galleries feature hands-on, interactive, video, and holographic displays that make visitors “participants” in history. The exhibits enable visitors to travel by video with President Ford and Secretary Kissinger to various hot spots around the globe; take a holographic tour of the Ford White House; and experience a day in the Oval Office through a sound and light show. A Watergate gallery includes a six-minute, multi-screen history beginning with the June 1972 break-in — plus the actual burglary tools on display. An interactive Cabinet Room allows visitors to take part in Presidential decision making.

Open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.


$7.00 for adults

$6.00 for senior citizens and military service members

$5.00 for college students with ID

$3.00 for youth ages 6-18

Free for children under the age of 5

Free parking is available.

The core of the Museum’s program are the permanent exhibits, which highlight of the lives of President and Mrs. Ford. Galleries include:

1970s: Gerald Ford’s America

Constitution in Crisis

Young Jerry Ford

Leadership in Diplomacy

The Oval Office

The Cabinet Room

and others…

Temporary exhibits draw from the rich holdings of the entire Presidential libraries system, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, and others.

The Museum also organizes special events, hosts naturalization ceremonies for new citizens, and opens the grounds to the community festivities and fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The Museum Store sells items relating to President and Mrs. Ford and other Presidents and First Ladies, along with other souvenirs.

Where the Ford Library offers an analytic approach to our past and our government, the museum provokes emotions that stimulate learning, reflection, and a sense of democratic citizenship. For visitors, the presidency is theirs to see and touch (almost), to use, and to hold accountable.

The Ford Presidential Museum opened in September 1981. It is part of the Presidential Libraries system of the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency. Unlike other Presidential libraries, the Ford Museum is in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Library is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The library and museum are a single institution sharing one director.

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