“I PROPOSE FURTHER RESTRICTIONS ON SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIALS”: SCARCE AND IMPORTANT ORIGINAL TYPESCRIPT OF FORD’S NEWS BRIEFING ON CRIME PREVENTION, JUNE 19, 1975, WITH SUBSTANTIVE ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS IN HIS HAND
FORD, Gerald R. Remarks for Crime Message Briefing. Washington: White House Editorial Office, 1975. Original typescript, consisting of a cover sheet and six one-sided pages. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6500.
Original typewritten final version of President Ford’s opening statement for his press conference regarding the Special Message to Congress on Crime, with substantive autograph emendations incorporated into the text. Copy belonging to speechwriter Paul A. Theis.
Gerald Ford served as President during one of the most volatile periods of American history. He was faced with the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and the military withdrawal from Vietnam. On top of that, the nation was experiencing run-away inflation, 7.5% unemployment, a crisis in energy, and an increased rate in crime. On June 19, 1975, Ford held a press conference to announce his proposal to Congress of a “program for curbing crime and ensuring domestic tranquility.” This final version of his remarks contains substantive autograph changes by the President, especially regarding the legal rights of victims: “For too long the law has centered its attention more on the rights of the criminal than on the victim of the crime. It is high time we reversed this trend and put the highest priority on the victims and potential victims of crime.” On the question of gun control, Ford positions himself as “unalterably opposed to federal registration of guns or gun owners. I do propose that the Congress enact legislation to deal with handguns for criminal purposes. I also propose further federal restrictions on so-called Saturday night specials.” The former owner of this original typescript, speechwriter Paul Theis, came to the White House from the Republican National Congressional Committee, where he directed public relations activities. He served as Executive Editor in the White House Editorial Office from 1974 to 1976, which included heading up the White House speechwriting unit. Theis oversaw the production of about 12 major speeches per month for Ford.
A bit of paper-clip rust on a few sheets. A historic presidential document in near-fine condition.