It was a private moment between two aspiring statesmen.
On the evening of May 19, 1976, President Valery Giscard d’Estaing of France visited President Gerald Ford in Washington. Giscard, a calculating centrist, had come for a state visit. Ford, the former Michigan congressman, had succeeded the disgraced Richard Nixon. Both men were new to their high offices.
In the limousine ride to the state banquet at George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Giscard asked Ford about a sensitive issue: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 13 years before.