Re. MatthewsMal s
Statement On New
Post Office Here
o the Citizens of St. Augustine
and St. Johns County: / /- 2 /
Many of you have written to me concerning the plans for the
ew Post Office, and I am sending this letter to the St. Augustine
record for publication so that you may be fully informed.
As you know, in 1962, Congress passed legislation creating the
St. Augustine Quadricentennial Commission. This is a National Com-
mission and its functions shall be to develop and to execute suitable
plabs for the celebration in 1965 of the 400th Anniversary of the
founding of -St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest permanent and con-
tinuous settlement in the United States.
The legislation as passed by Congress provided that two Mem-
bers of the Commission shall be Members of the House of Repre-
sentatives. I was honored by being appointed one of the Members
of the Commission representing the House of Representatives, and
the other Member is the Honorable William C. Cramer, from St.
Let me say at the outset that the Members of the Commission
have travelled at their own expend* to a number of meetings, and
have been most active in formulating plans for the Celebration of
St. Augustine's 400th Birthday.
Our Commission has hoped that there can be developed- 5 Ex-
hibition Centers representing the 5 Governments involved in St.
Augustine for these four-hundred years; namely, Spanish, British,
Latin American, United States and Florida. It is hoped that each
Center, constituting one or more restored buildings, can be adapted
for exhibition purposes and could serve as a focal point for programs
projected by the Commission in cooperation with the Governments
involved. These would include Music Festivals, major Painting Ex-
hibitions, and similar appropriate cultural activities. Insofar as the
Center established by the United States Government is concerned,
we have tried unsuccessfully to obtain a direct Federal appropria-
tion and will not be able to get one. Acting under the suggestion of
the entire Quadricentennial Commission, I went to the Post Office
Department to see if it would be possible for us, in some way, to
obtain the use of the present Post Office Building for our permanent
United States headquarters. The Post Office Department recognized
the importance of our Celebration, since, I repeat, we are celebrating
the 400th Anniversary of the founding of the Nation's oldest city,
and they believed that because of this historical importance, that
my request should be given every possible consideration.
After considerable investigation, the Post Office Department
has stated that they believed they could build a new Post Office
for St. Augustine, and now they are in the process of investigating
the several sites thathave been offered. The Post Office Depart-
ment will notify me when they have decided on the site, and I shall
make that information available immediately to the citizens of St.
Augustine. Let me say here that I am quite sure the Post Office
Department is not going to build a Post Office for St. Augustine
if the people do not want one.
I am sure I am speaking for the Commission when I say we
have no personal involvement in this matter. Our main desire is to
e of help to the people of St. Augustine and St. Johns County in
promoting this beautiful area, and at the same time, we have an
obligation to the Congress in seeing that we are fulfilling our re-
ponsibilities in organizing activities that will commemorate appro-
riately the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of our Nation's
As a personal note, may I say that I have felt that what we are
planning would be of tremendous benefit to our business interests in
that it would naturally promote greater tourist interests in St. Au-
gustine and the area, and I have felt.that in cooperation with the
other groups in St. Augustine working for the continued restoration
and beautification of the City, that we could insure the continued
attractiveness of the neighborhood living which is so markedly a
St. Augustine characteristic.
Let me say in closing that my interest as the Congressman of
this great area is solely an unselfish one of trying to do everything
I can to be of maximum service to our people. I hope with all my
heart that my stewardship in this matter will merit your approval.
With kindest regards, I am
Sincerely, your Congressman
D. R. (BILLY) MATTHEWS, M. C.
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just send t nominate
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Or, he could forget all about
Two other nominations were
not acted on. They were sent by t
President Johnson to the Sen- R
ate Monday, only hours before
S Congresradjourned. '
They were Sheldon S. Cohen,
36, prominent Washington, D.C.
tax lawyer, as chief counsel for t
the Internal Revenue Service,
San Tyler Abell, soally prom-
J iierh- wasingtonian, to be
.. assistant postmaster general in
Charge of facilities. t