Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks to Reporters Following Assassination Attempt in Sacramento

September 05, 1975

LET ME say very emphatically that I think the Secret Service and the other law enforcement agencies that were on the job were doing a superb job, and I want to thank them for everything they did in this unfortunate incident.

I also wish to express to the people of California my gratitude for the very, very warm welcome that they have given me in the State of California. I would not, under any circumstances, feel that one individual in any way represented the attitude on the part of the people of California. I just thank the Californians for being so friendly and so hospitable.

Let me add, with great emphasis: This incident under no circumstances will prevent me or preclude me from contacting the American people as I travel from one State to another and from one community to another.

In my judgment, it is vitally important for a President to see the American people, and I am going to continue to have that personal contact and relationship with the American people. I think it is vital, and I intend to carry it out.

REPORTER. Mr. President, can you give us any idea what you saw or felt personally at the time?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not sure that I ought to describe what I saw beyond the fact that I saw a hand coming up behind several others in the front row, and obviously, there was a gun in that hand. I then saw almost instantaneously very quick and very effective action by the Secret Service in taking care of the matter.

Q. Your own thoughts, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I was very thankful. I was very thankful to the Secret Service for doing a superb job. But once I saw that they had done it, I thought I'd better get on with the rest of the day's schedule.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 12:46 p.m. at the Senator Hotel.

Earlier, as the President was walking from his suite at the hotel to the State Capitol, he passed through a crowd of onlookers, one of whom pointed a .45-caliber pistol at him. Lynette Alice Fromme was taken into custody by Secret Service agents. On November 26, 1975, in the United States District Court in Sacramento, she was found guilty of attempting to assassinate the President.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks to Reporters Following Assassination Attempt in Sacramento Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under





Simple Search of Our Archives