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Record Group Number: 000102
Series/Collection Number: .S 2319
Creator: Florida. Governor (1967-1971 : Kirk)
Title, Dates: Petition for a new bridge, circa 1967.
Amount: 1 v.
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Biographical/Historical:     Claude Roy Kirk, Jr. was born in San Bernardino, California on January 7, 1926.  He received a B.S. Degree from Emory University in 1945, and a law degree from the University of Alabama in 1949.  In 1956, Kirk moved to Jacksonville, Florida when he became president of the American Heritage Life Insurance Company.  As the Republican nominee in 1964, he unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate.  In 1966 he defeated Democrat Robert King High for the governorship, becoming the first Republican governor of Florida since Reconstruction.

    Kirk's administration was surrounded by controversy as the Democratic cabinet and the legislators opposed many of his proposals.  He began his term by hiring a private agency, the Wackenhut Corporation, to investigate organized crime in Florida. In 1968, he refused to submit to a statewide teacher walkout and the legislature was forced to negotiate a settlement.  In 1970, he opposed a court ordered forced busing program for school integration in Manatee County schools.  Kirk achieved his greatest success in the area of conservation by creating the Water Pollution Control Commission, organizing a statewide wilderness system, and halting the Cross Florida Barge Canal project.  Also during his term, the 1885 Florida Constitution was revised and many state agencies were reorganized.  Kirk appointed Ray Osborne to the reinstated Lieutenant Governor's office.

    Kirk was defeated by Democrat Reubin O'D. Askew for the governorship in 1970.  After his term, he retired to private business in Palm Beach.  He unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat in seeking the nomination for Governor in 1978 and in 1988 for United States Senate.

Summary:     This series consists of a petition signed by St. Johns County residents asking for the construction of a new bridge across the Matanzas River to replace St. Augustine's Bridge of Lions. The petition provides reasons for construction of a new bridge, and lists each concerned citizen's signature and address. The request is addressed to Governor Claude Kirk, St. Johns County Commissioners, the State Road Board of Florida, St. Johns County Legislative delegates, and St. Augustine City Commissioners.

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Subject Access Fields: Road Board, State.
Bridges Florida
Petitions. aat
Registers (lists) aat
Saint Augustine (Fla.)
Saint Johns County (Fla.)
Added Entries Florida. State Road Board.