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Exhibit Closes: A Heartbeat Away: The American Vice-Presidency

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Grand Rapids, MI

Sunday, June 9, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum has created an original temporary exhibit, A Heartbeat Away: The American Vice-Presidency, to honor the 50th anniversary of Ford’s historic Vice-Presidency. On December 6, 1973, Ford became the nation’s fortieth Vice President. Neither elected nor having sought the office, he was the first to become Vice President under the provisions of the 25th Amendment. With Ford as a starting point, the exhibit will explore the history of the office from the nation’s founding to the present.

To better understand the contours of the office, the exhibit will highlight the stories and experiences of specific Vice Presidents, focusing on those who, like Ford, unexpectedly rose to the Presidency. It is in these moments of political change when lawmakers and the American public have reflected on the office, asked questions about its function, and sought to better define what a Vice President should be. For instance, the exhibit will tell the story of how John Tyler stepped into the Presidency following the death of President William Henry Harrison, despite the protestations of Harrison’s cabinet. Although Henry Clay insisted on calling Tyler “His Accidency,” his actions set a precedent that has continued to this day. As we reach the twentieth century, Vice Presidents from Harry Truman through Kamala Harris will be examined in more detail, touching on how each has shaped the office.

For more details, visit the Museum website at

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.