1975 May 26

President Ford Puts Foot in Mouth on “Brown”


President Gerald Ford made comments to the press on this day indicating that his administration might seek a reconsideration of the Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954),which declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional. He was immediately repudiated by his own Attorney General, Edward Levi, and he backtracked from his statement. Ford’s comment was prompted by the national controversy over the busing of students to achieve racial integration of schools.

When Edward Levi was nominated to be Attorney General, he pledged to be politically independent and promised to resist even pressure from the White House (see January 27, 1975). This was only one incident where he kept his promise.

Learn more: James T. Patterson, Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and its Troubled Legacy (2001)

Read: Gerald Ford, A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford (1979)

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