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Host
Stewart McLaurin
Guest
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford
Date
10/19/23
Duration
44 minutes

It was a homecoming decades in the making. Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, had the unique opportunity to bring Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford, back to the only place she called home before living in the White House. The Fords moved into the Alexandria, Virginia home in the 1950’s while he served as a U.S. Congressman from Michigan. It was in this home that Susan and her three older brothers grew up, celebrating birthdays and Christmases, swimming in the backyard, and eating family dinners. It was also here that Susan answered the phone when President Richard Nixon called to offer her father the job of Vice President. Little did they know that this home would also essentially be the White House until the Nixon family vacated the other one after the president resigned. It was an emotional trip down memory lane for Susan who had not returned to the landmarked home in years. While it is a private residence, the current owners were kind enough to welcome Stewart and Susan for a very special episode in which Susan shares personal stories of her time in the White House and her role in carrying on her parents’ legacy.

The Association’s Official 2023 White House Christmas Ornament features decorations inspired by the handcrafted decorations used in the White House during the Ford administration. You can purchase an ornament at this link.

Episodes

Stewart McLaurinhost

Stewart McLaurin, host

President of the White House Historical Association

As President of the White House Historical Association Stewart McLaurin leads the nonpartisan, nonprofit in its mission to preserve, protect, and provide access to White House history. As a lifelong student of history, Stewart is an avid reader and storyteller. His first book, White House Miscellany was published this past year and he authors a quarterly column in the White House History Journal. Drawing on his own experiences, relationships, and knowledge he provides listeners with a front row seat to history at the White House.