Ford statue headed for Capitol Hill

March 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 15 (UPI) -- A statue of the late U.S. President Gerald R. Ford will replace a 19th-century Michigan politician in Statuary Hall in the Capitol, officials said.

The bronze statue of the 38th president, who died in 2006, will be unveiled in May, the Detroit News reported Tuesday.

Each state is permitted two statues in the hall in Washington. The House voted 396-0 to add the statue of Ford -- the only president to hail from Michigan – to Congress' official collection, the News reported.

The Ford statue will replace Michigan's statue of Zachariah Chandler, who served as mayor of Detroit, U.S. senator from Michigan and secretary of the Interior, and was instrumental in founding the Republican Party, the News reported.

The Chandler statue most likely will be moved to the Detroit Historical Museum, the News said.

The other Michigan contribution in Statuary Hall is a statue of Lewis Cass, who was the state's second governor, a U.S. senator, secretary of State, secretary of War and ambassador to France, the newspaper said.

Ford was serving as House minority leader when he was appointed to succeed disgraced Vice President Spiro Agnew during the Watergate scandal. He then succeeded Richard Nixon as president when the scandal forced Nixon to resign rather than face impeachment, and subsequently spared Nixon from possible prosecution by pardoning the former president.

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