Grand Rapids was buzzing with excitement back in 1981 leading up to the September 18, 1981 dedication of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

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TownSquare Media

It was a star-studded event! The town was playing host to many celebrities and dignitaries that were here for the event. Those on the guest list included President and Mrs. Reagan, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President José López Portillo of Mexico, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sunao Sonoda, and former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

Bob Hope served as master of ceremonies. A Bob Hope Special for NBC was also taped during the festivities. DeVos Performance Hall was the venue for the special. The television program aired on NBC on October 22nd, 1981. The list of entertainers that took part in the television tribute to Gerald Ford included Pearl Bailey, Debby Boone, Foster Brooks, Glen Campbell, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Orlando, Mark Russell, and Danny Thomas. Here is more information on that special from

Here is a video of the opening segment of that special. It features the University of Michigan Marching Band...

The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum just reopened recently after a $13 million renovation.

If you'd like more information on visiting the museum, here is the official website.

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