President Kimball and President Ford

“President Kimball and President Ford,” Ensign, Sept. 1976, 89

[President Kimball and President Ford]

President Spencer W. Kimball was in the nation’s capital as the United States began its bicentennial July 4th celebrations. He met with U.S. President Gerald Ford and presented him with a statuette representing a pioneer family group. The statuette, by Utah artist Edward J. Fraughton, was based on the full-sized statue in the Brigham Young memorial gardens in Salt Lake City. The presentation was made in the Rose Garden at the White House following a private meeting between the two presidents. Following the presentation, President Ford was surrounded by Primary children from the Washington D.C. Stake who so claimed his attention that his schedule for the day was delayed twenty minutes. Prior to his visit to Washington, President Kimball stopped in New York where he made a presentation to Mayor Abraham H. Beam on the steps of Federal Hall, where President George Washington took the oath of office in 1789. Located in the heart of the city’s financial district, the presentation brought traffic to a halt as people crowded to see President Kimball and hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir participated in a number of bicentennial programs including concerts in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Washington. In Washington the choir sang at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at the Capitol Center, and then joined an estimated one million visitors at the Washington Monument in a nationally televised birthday salute to America. In other activities, President Kimball dedicated the Washington Temple Visitors Center, and Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve, a member of the nation’s Bicentennial Executive Committee, presented a medallion and a statuette to the states of New York and Massachusetts. (Photography by O. Wallace Kasteler.)