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Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in Grand Rapids in Honor of Late Betty Ford

First Lady Rosalynn Carter speaks at a news conference this morning in Grand Rapids. (Photo: Russ Hines/Townsquare Media Grand Rapids)

Rosalynn Carter can readily identify with Betty Ford.

They served as first ladies at The White House in back-to-back terms in the 1970s.

Today, Carter, the wife of former President Jimmy Carter, is in Grand Rapids in honor of the 96th birthday of the late Ford, the spouse of former President Gerald Ford.

Betty died in 2011 and President Ford died in 2006. Both are buried on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. Ford served in Congress before becoming vice president and president, replacing resigning President Richard Nixon in August 1974 and losing a re-election bid to Carter in 1976.

Carter is leading a discussion this afternoon at the Ford Presidential Museum with the Fords’ son, Steve Ford, on Betty Ford’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in the 1970s and how she helped change the public dialogue about women’s health.

At lunch at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, Carter is discussing the friendship among the United States’ first ladies.

The events are coordinated by the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.

On Friday, Carter is reportedly appearing at The White House with First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama‘s spouse, and Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden. They are making an announcement with former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole about supporting caregivers of wounded U.S. military personnel and veterans.

Carter has long been supportive of and worked on efforts regarding family care-giving and mental health.

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