Yellowstone Forever

August 26, 2009

President Ford was a Yellowstone Ranger

Gerald Ford as a Yellowstone ranger, 1936Gerald R. Ford holds a special place in the heart of the National Park Service family; he is the only American President to have served as a park ranger in the National Park Service.

In the summer of 1936, Gerald Ford worked as a seasonal park ranger in Yellowstone National Park. Ford later recalled that time as, "One of the greatest summers of my life." According to his supervisor at Yellowstone, Canyon District Ranger Frank Anderson, Ford was "a darned good ranger."

While serving in Yellowstone, one of Ford's assignments was as an armed guard on the bear-feeding truck. The National Park Service no longer feeds the bears, but Ford always remembered that duty and often regaled his family with stories about the bear-feeding truck.

During his summer in Yellowstone, Ford also worked at the Canyon Hotel and Lodge where he greeted VIPs, and performed early morning checks of the makes, models, and license plate numbers of vehicles parked in campgrounds.

During his time in office, President Ford added eighteen new sites to the National Park System, including Boston National Historical Park (MA), John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (OR), Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (OH), Canaveral National Seashore (FL), and Valley Forge National Historical Park (PA).

Photo: President Ford in Yellowstone National Park, summer of 1936.  NPS photo.



All active news articles