Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum could be among the first victims of possible govt. shutdown

Apr 8, 2011

The Gerald R. Ford presidential museum and library would be among the first places people in Michigan would see affected by a possible federal government shutdown.  

On a normal Saturday in April, a few hundred people visit the Ford presidential museum in Grand Rapids.   But, if Congress can’t reach a budget deal by midnight tonight, the Ford museum’s doors will stay locked over the weekend.

Elaine Didier is the director of the Ford museum and library.  She says it’s disappointing that people could be turned away.  

“It’s very disruptive.  It’s very disheartening.  We have a staff that I’m blessed to say love what they do….are very committed to what they do…and who want to be at work." 

 Didier says it’s not just casual visitors who’ll be turned away.   She says academic researchers, including one flying in from England this weekend, will not be able to access the records of the nation’s 38th president.   A federal government shutdown would also affect national parks in Michigan, and other federal agencies.