Rare Gerald Ford Presidential Letter Written After His "Tough and Traumatic" Defeat By Jimmy Carter

November 6, 1976

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Rare Gerald Ford Presidential Letter Written After His "Tough and Traumatic" Defeat By Jimmy Carter
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 876

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      Background

      The tragedy of life, it’s been said, is not that a man loses, but that he almost wins. Jerry Ford’s 1976 loss to Jimmy Carter was by so small a margin that it took most of that night and the following morning to determine the winner; it wasn't until 3:30 am (EST), that NBC was able to call the election for Carter. The winning margin was 2% of the popular vote, and the electoral vote, the closest since 1916. First it was even, then a cliffhanger, then, for the loser, an agony.  Here Jerry Ford, just a few days later, writes about the defeat: it is, incredibly, a letter of thanks.

      First, Betty & I thank you for the thoughtful, beautiful, and very generous letter. Your words meant so much to us at a tough and traumatic time. Second, you will never know, because words are inadequate, how much I appreciated your wonderful support. Betty & I are most grateful. You are stamp collectors, Dick & you, so I am sending each of you two of the enclosed with special signatures. Thanks again - you are really a superior person and a friend whose many kindnesses I will never forget.  You and your family have our love and best wishes…

      The friend to whom Ford wrote was Congresswoman Edith Green of Oregon. A long-time member of the House, she was against the Vietnam War, for Women’s Rights, and aptly called “Mrs. Education” for her advocacy of federal aid to higher education. Not surprisingly, she was a Democrat – but in 1976, she supported her old friend, Jerry Ford.



      Autograph Letter Signed (“Jerry Ford”), as President, 2 pages, quarto, The White House, Washington, November 6, 1976. To “Dear Edith” [Hon. Edith Green]. Exceptionally rare as president in autograph.
      Accompanied by Bicentennial stamps signed by Gerald Ford.
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      all pages and transcript

      Page 1/2

      Page 1 transcript
      THE WHITE HOUSE
      WASHINGTON

      11/6/76

      Dear Edith:

      First, Betty & I thank you for the thoughtful, beautiful and very generous letter. Your words meant so much to us at a tough and traumatic time.

      Second, you will never know, because words are inadequate, how much I appreciated your wonderful support. Betty & I are most grateful.

      You are stamp collectors, Dick & you, so I am sending each of you two of the enclosed with special signatures.

      Thanks again - you are really a superior 

      Page 2/2

      Page 2 transcript
      THE WHITE HOUSE
      WASHINGTON

      person and a friend whose many kindnesses I will never forget. 

      You and your family have our love and best wishes.

      Most appreciatively,

      JERRY FORD