Rosalynn Carter honors Betty Ford at luncheon

FILE - In this March 7, 1994 file photo, former first ladies Betty Ford, left, and Rosalynn Carter talk prior to speaking about the need for comprehensive mental health and substance abuse benefits as part of any national health care reform package, at the National Press Club in Washington.  (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)
FILE - In this March 7, 1994 file photo, former first ladies Betty Ford, left, and Rosalynn Carter talk prior to speaking about the need for comprehensive mental health and substance abuse benefits as part of any national health care reform package, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Rosalynn Carter visited Grand Rapids Tuesday to honor the 96th anniversary of the birth of fellow former first lady Betty Ford.

Rosalynn Carter talks about Betty Ford during an April 8, 2014 luncheon to honor the late first lady.
(Rosalynn Carter. April 8, 2014)

The wife of the late President Gerald Ford died in 2011.

Tuesday, Carter participated in a luncheon discussion about friendship among America’s first ladies. She discussed her close friendship with Betty Ford, saying the pair had a similar interest in shining light on health issues that had been taboo, like substance abuse and mental health problems.

It was one of two events planned for Tuesday at a Grand Rapids hotel and the Ford Presidential Museum. There was also is a panel discussion at the museum later in the day about the impact of Betty Ford’s breast cancer diagnosis on women’s health in the 1970s.

Gerald Ford died in 2006. He represented Grand Rapids in Congress before becoming vice president and president.

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