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Record Group Number: 000102
Series/Collection Number: .S 926
Creator: Florida. Governor (1967-1971 : Kirk)
Title, Dates: Legal files, 1967-1971.
Amount: 9.00 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Subdivided into (1) County school board files, arranged alphabetically by county; (2) Subject files, arranged alphabetically; and (3) Reports.
Terms Governing Use:
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:     The series contains the legal files from Governor Claude Kirk's administration from 1967 to 1971. The records include transcripts of hearings, reference notes, published reports, meeting agendas and minutes, investigative reports, and correspondence. The series documents the legal activities of the Kirk administration in many areas, including school integration and forced busing; crime prevention and law enforcement; obscenity and pornography cases; oil and gas leases; and Kirk's "War on Crime," which included investigations and suspensions of various public officials. Of particular interest are the records related to the Florida Inter-Agency Law Enforcement Planning Council and the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.

Finding Aids: Box listing available.
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Crime prevention Florida
Law enforcement Florida
Pornography Florida
School integration Florida
African Americans Education. Florida
African Americans History 1964- Florida
Civil rights Florida
Minorities Florida
Race relations.
Added Entries Kirk, Claude R., 1926-