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Betty Ford

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Big Bird 1976 Betty Ford

Betty Ford (1918-2011) was First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977 during the presidency of her husband Gerald R. Ford.

On December 14, 1976, Ford hosted the annual White House Christmas party, with special guests Big Bird, Loretta Long, Will Lee, Sonia Manzano, and Northern Calloway, sharing the stage with the Ford's daughter Susan and Santa Claus.

Big Bird and other stars of public television's Sesame Street and Santa Claus kept youngsters from some 80 nations spellbound at the annual White House Christmas party for children o fthe diplomatic corps. Mrs. Betty Ford was host to more that 400 children Tuesday. Many wore the traditional dess of the homelands. Mrs. Ford read a Christmas poem and was warmly applauded, but the youngsters, ranging from 5 to 11 years old, gave their biggest ovation to the Sesame Street performers.[1]


  1. "Big Bird a Big Hit" Deseret News Salt Lake City, Utah, December 15, 1976

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