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Gov. Jerry Brown uttered a minor gaffe Thursday while speaking to the "Host Breakfast" that attracts hundreds of California business leaders to Sacramento each year - and therein lies an ancedotal tale.

After being introduced Thursday, he recalled attending the "prayer breakfast" during the first year of his first stint as governor in 1975. Although governors traditionally address the Host Breakfast, in 1975, Democrat Brown refused to commit to speaking. The mostly Republican organizers decided to one-up him by inviting the late President Jerry Ford in his stead.

Ford spoke to the event, but shortly thereafter, while walking to the Capitol to meet with Brown and address a joint legislative session, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a disciple of mass murderer Charles Manson, attempted to assassinate him.

Fromme pointed a semi-automatic pistol at Ford but a Secret Service agent spotted it and grabbed her while other agents hustled Ford into the Capitol for his meeting with Brown and his speech to the Legislature.

Asked about his "prayer breakfast" gaffe after Thursday's event, Brown replied, "Did I say that?" He acknowledged that his "dilatory response" to the 1975 invitation triggered Ford's appearance and subsequent events.



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