At 3:30 p.m., after speaking to the World Affairs Council, Ford emerged from the Post Street entrance of the St. Francis Hotel in Union Square, then walked toward his limousine. Before boarding the vehicle, he stopped and waved to the crowd that had gathered across the street.
In 1974, then-Vice President Gerald Ford attended the opener in Cincinnati and saw Hank Aaron tie Babe Ruth’s career home run record with No. 714. Johnny Bench (5) and Pete Rose (14) were on the 1974 Reds.
Moore was standing in the crowd 40 feet away from Ford when she fired two shots with her .38 Special revolver. The first shot missed Ford’s head by 5 inches and passed through the wall above the doorway Ford had just walked through.
Bystander Oliver Sipple heard the sound of the first shot and dove at Moore, grabbing her shooting arm before she pulled the trigger a second time. The second shot struck John Ludwig, a 42-year-old taxi driver standing inside the hotel. He survived.
Outgoing President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty pose with newly inaugurated President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn on Jan. 20, 1977. (AJC file)
Credit: AJC file
Credit: AJC file
San Francisco Police Capt. Timothy Hettrich grabbed Moore and wrested the gun from her hand. Many other officers immediately joined in, while Ford’s Secret Service team pushed him into his waiting limousine where the Secret Service and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld covered him.
The limousine raced to San Francisco International Airport, where Ford boarded Air Force One and, after being joined by the first lady, flew back to Washington.
Moore pleaded guilty to charges of attempted assassination on Dec. 12, 1975, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. On Dec. 31, 2007, at 77, Moore was released on parole.