President Ford Had Unique Connection To Indianapolis 500

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

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Listen To President Ford On IMS Radio Network

President Gerald R. Ford, who died Dec. 26 at age 93, made two presidential firsts connected to the Indianapolis 500.

In 1979, Ford became the first U.S. president to attend "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and became the only president to serve as the grand marshal of the 500 Festival Parade. During his visit to Indianapolis, Ford became the first U.S. president to be interviewed on the IMS Radio Network.

Late IMS Radio Network reporter Bob Forbes interviewed Ford from the Master Control Tower after being escorted to Ford by the Secret Service. Ford said it was his first visit to the Speedway but indicated he had watched and listened to the race on TV and radio.

Ford served as the 38th U.S. president from 1974-77. His funeral was Tuesday, Jan. 2 in Washington, with burial scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 3 in Grand Rapids, Mich.