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Vital American Holidays

[ 84 ] September 19, 2013 |

Happy Gerald Ford Stuck in an Elevator at the University of Pennsylvania Day!

Evidently, UPenn also has urinals sponsored by donors, so it has a number of things for me to visit next time I am in Philadelphia.

Among the other presidential moments that should be become a national holiday are:

Vomit Day–Celebrating the January 8, 1992 moment George H.W. Bush vomited in the lap of Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa
Pretzel Day–January 13, 2002, when George W. Bush nearly choked on a pretzel. We could even get some corporate sponsorship for this one.
And of course whatever day in his presidency Rutherford Hayes’ beard grew to its longest point.

Comments (84)

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  1. joe from Lowell says:

    9/19: Never forget!

  2. Hogan says:

    Ford was there for the dedication of a conference room named after Thomas S. Gates, a Penn trustee and former defense secretary whom Ford appointed as envoy to China. The room disappeared three or four renovations ago.

  3. Ronan says:

    Or was the elevator stuck with Gerald Ford?

  4. rea says:

    Half the houses of prostitution in the country used to have “Warren G. Harding slept here” signs . . .

  5. FridayNext says:

    I have some questions. Is it the exact elevator car that he was trapped in? The shaft? Have they replaced any of the mechanical workings of the elevator, and if so how much of the original workings can be replaced before you can no longer say it is, in fact, the original elevator in which Ford was trapped?

    Or is it the geographic location that is important and how it fits in with UPenn’s narrative for this event regardless of whether this is the actual elevator (car/shaft/pulley or whatever) in which he was trapped?

    I smell a dissertation….

  6. Roger Ailes says:

    This would make a great Leo DiCaprio picture.

  7. Craigo says:

    It’s not a day, but there is apparently a province called “Presidente Hayes” in Paraguay. It was unfortunately named that in honor of his arbitration, and not his facial hair.

  8. Warren Terra says:

    This seems like a target-rich environment. There’s the Dubya-wrong-door incident, the Dubya-shoes incident, Ford falling down the stairs, an unknowable number of Reagan memory lapses, Obama killing that poor fly, etcetera, etcetera …

  9. Malaclypse says:

    Tragically, this event was a mere day away from my 18th birthday.

  10. synykyl says:

    Was this incident caused by an elevator malfunction or by human error? ;-)

  11. Cheap Wino says:

    We definitely need a federal holiday to celebrate the day George Bush tried to give Angela Merkel a back rub.

  12. joel hanes says:

    I am looking forward to someday signing the guest book in the George W. Bush Memorial Library.

    And to visiting Dick Cheney’s grave, and saluting his effect on American politics in the manner that Byron urged all men to salute Castlereagh

  13. elm says:

    In the basement of the dorm I lived in at the University of Chicago, there was the unofficial “Gerald R. Ford Memorial Bathroom” (so named years before he actually died), where the President apparently used the facilities on a trip to the university. It was also known for having the largest cockroaches on campus.

  14. Manju says:

    Pretzel Day–January 13, 2002, when George W. Bush nearly choked on a pretzel. We could even get some corporate sponsorship for this one.

    Relapse Day.

  15. Mike Schilling says:

    Ford was actually trapped on an escalator.

    • Warren Terra says:

      Hey, it happens. I’ve been trapped on an escalator.

      (Yes, I do know the “trapped on an escalator” joke. In my case, someone collapsed at the foot of a downgoing escalator, and so for several minutes I had to ascend the escalator to hold my place while someone assisted the sufferer).

  16. Prodigal says:

    Alert Secret Service Agents seized the elevator and wrestled it to the ground.

  17. Warren Terra says:

    It just occurred to me how ludicrous the “temporarily” is, in that inscription. What was the alternative? Might he still be trapped there?

    • Hogan says:

      You’ve obviously never used the elevators in that library.

    • Vance Maverick says:

      Beat me to it. Perhaps they meant “briefly”.

    • Lee Rudolph says:

      Well, another alternative (evidently not the case, but perfectly possible) is that he did remain there for the rest of his life, but ceased to be trapped there by—for instance—having it declared his legal residence (or the Philadelphia Auxiliary White House, etc.).

      • Snarki, child of Loki says:

        Could someone please check Ford’s tombstone to see if it says “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia” ?

      • ajay says:

        “No, ma’am, this is not a lift with handles. It is the Ford Presidential Palanquin, and I am perfectly happy inside it thank you very much.”

  18. cpinva says:


    damn, I think I just hurt something.

  19. FridayNext says:

    Does that mean we all have to learn Somali?

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