Interview with H. J. Friedman, May 18, 1973

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Interview with H. J. Friedman, May 18, 1973
Friedman, H.J. ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
History of Florida Education Oral History Collection ( local )


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Florida Education' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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HFE 3a

subject: H.J.F. 2A ^-.( / .. ,,

interviewer: Arthur White


W: Can you recall the details of the February 29 confrontation

between Kirk, Christian, yourself and Chuck Perry were there?

That was when they had the fight in the office.

F: Okay, now, I wasn't in on that. That was done, I'd say, that


W: All right, don't worry.

F: That was downstairs in the....

W: -r this is it, it 4--s recorded in the newspaper that....

F: -i-ay-, Frank c__PI/_ / was outside the door and heard it.
WV, / (//'r
F; But I wasn't in there.

W: The newspaper recorded that you came out.

F: I came out of our office, that was after....

W: All right, what happened?

F: Okay, we were in Christian's office.

W: Okay.

F: But the confrontation took place)(static on tape) the fight took

place in the governor's office, or downstairs in Perry's.,..,

W: And he didn't like that, he was excluded.

F: Right. My only involvement was that when Christian came back to
HfA vlV-
the office, we wereasome kind of a meeting in there, and I had
-11c, pe^ We, > Leve-
a, __\_ _6_q. out there, and I went out and told them

that (break in tape) okay, I went out and told them something

or other. I forgot, I wasn't, I wasn't in the, in fact, I forgot)

refresh me what the meeting was about, what were we doing in

there? We had the doors closed.

HFE 3a 2


A KL /CK1T #0W Ol
W: 4b9YUYv A 2'were preparing the final compromise, you had worked 4- ro

the legislative aides with the other cabinet members that they

would agree with it and Kivk'S Mvav\ showed up and said that he

hadn't been in on the negotiations and you can't go through this

without us seeing this andAvoices became heated, some shouting joi 1

, on in there. d Perry came out with his arm around, with his
arm around Christian and said, "I apologize for losing my temper

there butAshould include the governor," or something like that.

This, this confrontation, February 29....

F: VV p that didn't take place, A4 that didn't take place in my

presence in Christian's office, at least if it did, I don't


W: All right, you told me about some of ('tC Ji\ ,v l i 6
F:^or TtOK, knowJ-h
F: Yeah. hat w .-.- -y-,at, well there was an argument, you know,aK-[

/l--a,, with the governor.

W: Okay.

F: Oh, wait a minute, you talking....

W: Don't worry about it, it's only for me.

F: Trying, trying, still trying to remember, I'm still trying to

remember who was in the office with us. I remember Frank Capadin

and all the newspaper guys sitting outside.
W: Who's Frank Capadin?

F: Capadin, he's the Tribune guy who wrote the stories you read.

Did you read a Tribune story?

W: I wrote, I read twenty stories.

F: "okay. And I got a blank as to what we were doing in there.
W: You were discussing th.s-resolutions for the compromise. Something

HFE 3a 3


W: about professional negotiating, they/encouraged this, state

department would work towards....
1o/No NTo tO W-l) r PO/Nl9 To HELPR
F: I think we were4running, did we run To FTback to work?

That kind of stuff, we I/P/V'7 T
/oT c// 'ISTT/,-
W: Christian really was hot. I mean, a / AChristian was hot,

Perry was hot, the governor was hot.

V: Okay, we went over =-he-, we took over the, okay, let me, let me

focus on a whole bunch of stuff that you don't have then during
that period of time./l The law, I guess it was a law, ad a little
used piece of law everybodyAforgotten2 gave the commissioner of

education the responsibility to call meetings. In fact, he was the

only one who could call an emergency meeting, the governor couldn't

call it. And we exercised it and we organized the board of education,

cabinet members without his invol-p,we'd call the meetings and
"HIAJ -4kfi 7TH/-<.
make 4+em-come, you know, t y kind of li4-....

W: You, you wouldn't include the governor at all?

F: Well, we'd include him, but we were exercising so uh, we wouldn't

check with him in advance, you know, we would just go ahead and

call the meetings.

W: Why'd you do that?

F: Because he wasn't a cooperating member, you know...

"Christian, Christian took over. Christian was the school leader.

in that period of time. We had some trouble with some members

of the cabinet.

W: Who'd you have trouble with?
T 7/nj -ho tevyrC(.
F: SSr /Lbn/) Bud Dickinson was worried, uh, most of the trouble

we had was with the state treasurer Broward Williams at the time.

HFE 3a 4


W: Why'd you have trouble with him?

F: He was, kept y -iugi tetl\lv MS 6 5fVYV76LiwCoolidge and the

garbage strike nd he was worried about the, politics and q bigZr

at battle with the cabinet was Christian always saying ye*-know,
,I i'1r T !si r
the hell with politics you know, good governed good politics.
/0) pV wtllf 7- 'LL ,TA e I/
;e was right, tih' politicsAeeek-care of itself. And we did a lot

of this stuff, as I remember now, in Tom Adams office, I'd

forgotten about that.

W: Tell me about Tom Adams. L /H, HFARRS(O 1 ,

F: A lot of his work was done....

W:,,. Gives-Tom Adams' credit.

F: Okay, a lot of this resolution hammering out was done with
sac t' :1:,j T' Y-yfe"
Johnny C,. and myself and Jim ArT 7, JfsSA bout that, and T- or -

u.)Do e vW,.aa t Y- s in Tom Adams conference room. We'd go, we'd
go around there to meet and 4e-P lunch and work and talk and

then we'd check with the people out in the state, you know,

legislators, and that kind of thing. Sorry, I'd forgotten

about that.

W: I'm interested.l..ow

F: That's 4nqw we did the aides stuff, right around Tom Adams office,

I forgot all about that. Olko .

W: All right now, who was there, the aides? Now what's this aides

business? What happened with the aides, and who are the aides,

and how's this....
1^m +.: nm l rm -yY +o w-n en LP
F: Wll, T ad -awe with Jim A thelf representing
and:4 cIti'" b Lrc_,
Tom Adams, you know, W : and I don't remember who

the other people were, who represented Bud Dickinson, and....

HFE 3a 5


W:A /here were aides for each cabinet member. Give me....

F: To keep in touch, right.

W: Now these aides worked, they'met daily, is that correct?

F: Uh puh.

W: How often did they meet ? Did they....

F: AW* didn't meet but a couple of times, -a-d we got, for a long time,

it was- strictly Christian all by himself.

W: What did he do by himself, did you...?

F: You know, he did, when he, he the decision to keep schools open

we know was Christian moving first. Uh, okay, it was his problem,
it was a school problem. Traditionally, the members of the cabinet
-7- %WAR,
would swing around, you know, it's your main problem, you're the

expert, and they'd just naturally let him lead.


F: You know. Okay, Christian normally is an aggressive man anyway.

He's very direct. You know, he wants to act, which is why we did

so well in that thing, because he just, you know, he acted. And

he just moved in and took the leadership position. And we had

trouble with the cabinet, the cabinet was more reticent, generally/

to go as far as fLWP'P9want to go. They were more, they were more

worried about the politics of, of looking like they were pro teachers.

Now they, you know, they were sympathetic and understanding,

and you know, they, they didn't have....

W: This is, you're talking in relationship to the compromise now?

F: Yeah.

W: Not in relation to keeping the schools open.

F: No, to the, to the compromise. The school open bit was a normal

HFE 3a 6


F: reaction 4B everybody, every good red-blooded American takes

you know, keep the school open, no problem there, but when we
started working t the area of trying to settle it, then you

deal with subtleties, and /f1iAYCS! Okay, that point, there

were people who were afraid, I remember some, I remember Broward

Williams) especially) was afraid of looking like pro-labor or

too pro-teachers. But Christian was ,Ahe didn't thatAconcern

him. And 4 had to push and prod, you know, just like we lost

the board members at the end. We went to that big meeting at

Hyden Burns Auditorium and the board members wouldn't go along

with the compromise.

W: Tell me about this, I don't knowA what's this?

F: You don't have anything about that? We had a, called a meeting

of the school board members,'FLE Sneri;cnce,.At some stage in

the compromise, at some stage near' the end, and met; in.Hayden

Burns Auditorium and Christian presented what he ',the-proposal,
the reason to take them back/land they didn't support it.

W: The cabinet waildn't?

F: That didn't show up in the clippings? Not the cabinet, the

school board members didn't go along with it.

W: The school board members didn't go along with it.

F: That didn't show up?

W: It might have, I've looked through most of them, it's ...

F: I remember he and I walked, we went down../E? -oF781

W: ....certain ones were missing, and I didn't get to look.T /ou vl /flL..

F: Y-e they didn't support his, now our, Christian's position

was temperance, you know....

HFE 3a 7


W: You ought to take, take them back.

F: Not vindictive. Keep the schools open.

W: But that was part of the deal.

F: Keep the schools open, kepfp= t eir---- open, but save education,

you know, no point destroying people. They're trying, they did

what they thought they had to do, it's over, they were wrong, come
on back and4build it up again. That was his basic position.

Had we had the governor's support, it would have b-een somewhat
easier. A/See the governor was an irritant, and acting as an

irritant, other members of the cabinet, the school board members

knew they had somebody to, you know, to, an ally.
15 TrM-
W: AWhy ve* you think they did that? To go along with 'the governor?

F: No, but there was somebody out there taking their position, they

didn't you know, they weren't completely lone. I, you know,

psychologically, as long as you know somebody out there thinks

like you, it strengthens your position.

W: Uh huh. Okay, what about this fight? You kept telling me about
a fight you w-en tell me about the strike. What fight was this,

was this the fight I just told you?

F: Yeah, must be the same one.

W: What do you remember about it/, 7hat I didn't remember.?

F: Christian being so damn, being mad and coming back to the office,

he was so angry, so that's the same thing, he was so angry that

when I walked in the office and he said, you know, "Let me be by

myself for a while." And I left and he was just.....Claude Kirk
C-TIhn py m. Yu k=L
had, he was Jai- "telA -ssct=r "Christian personally mad. You know,

HFE 3a 8


F: you, have you, you ought to interview Claude Kirk, ye-knew,

^,4nt A A'o^T But he used to get Floyd just burning up mad,

inside angry. And he came back over, just boiling one day, I thought

he was going to hit somebody.

W: Now this is Christian?

F: Yeah.

W: He was so mad. What day was this, what happened?

F: I don't know.

W: You don't know what happened?

F: /One of those arguments with Kirk.

W: Just one of them.

F: I'm going to leave you hanging, maybe, maybe Johnny remembers better.

W4 Who?

F: Maybe Johnny Saey remembers better thTegh7Hn

W: All right.

F: You know, because you get,..frankly, why we're doing this thing

because so much of this stuff has woven into one day after another

I forgotten what we dtP I'd forgotten about the, all that time

we4- at Tom Adams'Soffice.

W: This gets into the, government by, by aides, by cabinet aides.

F: That's a standard thing,Ahappens now more than ever. Uh, you

can't, in preliminary stages of anything, it isn't always good
business o tie up the principe-, the cabinet member or the

governor. See, you know, for days and days of stuff when somebody

who knows how he thinks can go through that kind of stuff. You
THAT 7- 7/THf PAFi, JLO y /ou HAVE ro
know, it's ar business .-ema-ed-t-epeace talks.A t/i argue

about the circle, the shape of the d- =, it's a waste of time

HFE 3a 9


F: for the, the head man. You know, other people can do that. They

know what the argument is. And you don't bring the big man in

until you get to final decision making. So a lot of the work

was done by the aides.

W: Well, how did the teacher strike effect the ongoing government

around here in terms of aides, an-din terms of every, how did it
,effect everything, did the aides meet more often, did they

concentrate more on the teachers and on education than--was

typical, of the cabinet relationships? Ff{'KS L/ V I gives

me the idea that the cabinet aides met more frequently, and who

was the cabinet aide for education? You were?
T7."',- FI'ORr^.L./ rft-f tYAs
F: WXIl, we didn't have, it wasn't(\no formal.,,.

W: Did you handle most of this yourself?

F: No, we had Johnny and I, and everybody, you know, it was all in

together. There was no formal kind of a meeting, and how many

members, I don't remember, cause 1_ was just on the outside

of it. But you.had a whole bundh of meetings, but there was

no reaT-'-formaT o setup.

W: Was it more meetings than usual because of the strike with other

cabinet aides?

F: Well, I can't, I couldn't, it wouldn't prove anything, I can't

I can't hgQeas/C ld against anything.

W: Well, the problem is you have a crisis like this.

F: Yeah, the main subjectiof conversation in Tallahassee and all over

the state for those three or four weeks was education.

W Right. Well, did this change the role of..TH.

F: That's all anybody talked about, and all Christian had to do was

HFE 3a 10


F: walk into the press room and then wham, we had a big press

conference. Everything anybody said abbut education was news

during that whole period of time. We had press conference after

press conference. I got the press mad at me one day because

Christian didn't want to do a whole bunch of stuff on television
d t-oisf- seo-t (o r L
and I had to take the rap for it. A/hey gave me a -eta3-e

taft-)w-. (C0W 1 LckUClte I

W: What was this about, tell me about it?

F: Just, just something that, you know.

W: He wouldn't talk on television?

F: He didn't want to go back and do something all over again on

T.V. that day, he was tired and the T.V. people get paid by the

minute, you know, by time slot.rjgot angry, and I took the rap

for it. But from, to get back to your main question, education

and the strike dominated the newspapers, it dominated everybody's

action, that's all we did all day long.

W: What does this mean from an insider's point of view? What did this

dominance mean? What did it mean in terms of your routine, in

terms of the routine of cabinet aides, cabine meetings?

F: WellB you're kin-d of diseoriontea ^i -^b-_ tpc,) three weeks

that's all you do. No different than during legislature, you

move into a special package and do something, one thing for a

couple of months.

W: And all the cabinet did was talk about education then?

F: That was the main topic,.the main concern. We had meetings and

meetings and meetings. We had cabinet meetings, board of education

meetings, which normally you only hold once every week, now once

HFE 3a 11


F: every two weeks. It would be interesting to look up the records),. l

ftl we had ,three or four in the same week sometimes. And we
would call them, now that I remember, by letter and the last

letter would go to the governor, you know, and we never checked

his schedule to see whether he could be there. Uh, we just

operated without him.

W: Don't you think that hampered communications?

F: No, because he had, he didn't want to be a part of it. I can't

remember one single contribution the governor made constructively,

toward the solution of the strike. Not one.

W: We'll ask some of these questions then. How did the aides deal

with the strike, I guess you answered that.
&E- H F V/r
F: Well that that's not really the....

W: Well, you see, you have to make a case. You know the ordinary

routine of government, I don't know that. ave to make a case

that this thing did something in terms of the routine of the

office. I mean, people were screwing around. C F TR.A atmosphere.

F: Not really. People in the office, in the department who were
I4lf-i^-^ f ONLY A/BQVc7
act.-il.y involved, wa 4 =t three or four people, you see now,

you're dealing with the commissioner and his deputy, Johnny Seay,

uh, myself and two or three other people who are going to get

real angry when I can't remember who they are. You're dealing with

a handful of people. I think we had our attorney was involved all

the time. Who was our attorney then? Rufus?

W: Erkslaven (?) said that the number of aide meetings increased under

this stress of thi teacher's strike.

F: Well, it still wouldn't be significant.

HFE 3a 12


W: Well, none of this is significant, you've got to create an

atmosphere, you're fitting in a puzzle. In other words, there's

small pieces and big pieces. This is a small piece. You can,

as you're developing a paragraph, you can say that state government

was just completely overcome by the concern with the teacher

strike Aides were meeting daily, you know what I mean?

F: No question, that you can see,'c'an say that. You know, fine,

you know, the board of education met on a, you know... 0F// T ,.
W: I've got to document so your interview would do it.

F: Yeah, well I don't know if it's daily, but they, we met, you

know, lots of times.

W: More than usual?

F: Yeah, I think so. You're right about the dominating, that,

that was the dominant th-i4--, that's all we did, we came in in the

morning, well what happened at night, what's the latest, 'you


W: Wll,4 dominant is apparent/lthe topic sentence. Now I've got to

develop a paragraph, I've got to tell how, how did this, you

know, I've got to show color within the scheme.

F: Wh, but you know, what you've got to understand is that the

government went on and the public educationAstill going on.

A lot of people in the department were not involved.

W: Yeah, 130 people, only four or five were involved.

F: You see, it's not a thing that you share, you know, youe't rgaa
o Cq'f have
have to,A f staff meetings you sar .r/now we had our Monday

morning meetings and we would share with our top staff every

Monday about where we were. But it's not a thing that you involve

HFE 3a 13


F: lots of people in. It was basically, you know,Atop level

commissioners operation.

W: Okay.

F: My involvement, you know, was a P.R. kind of thing.

W: Oh. How do you think you're doing, is it coming back at all?

F: What?

W: The strike and the atmosphere.

F: Y/ah, a little bit, yeah.

W: Okay.

F: You want to give me a truth serum?

W: (chuckles) It's kind of interesting) /he '68 billjpassed>

You had one for the senate and one for the house. You said you

developed them?

F: Department of education. We developed)',.i.

W: Who was at, who were the principle people involved?
F: Okay, we asked-Bob Mann was in the house, and Lawton Chiles and

Wilbur Borden, senate. Both came to us and asked us to develop

bills for them with large amounts of money in them. Uh, our man,

I guess Fred Schultz, you know, you always weant -te&=c ev.

Griseat leaving out somebody. Butfhe department cooperated with

the house and senate both in working -e legislation.

W: Who actually authored it? Who made up the bill?

F: T771F Oif^Q^t

W: The amounts of money?

F: The amounts of money were set bylegislators, they said we want

to do this.'

W: Who was the legislators?

HFE 3a 14


F: You know, like Wilbur Boyd i for instance said, and this you

can't really use, you know, he said, "I want a pay raise bill
T wA1YT 7-O
for the,Aput enough money, give us an outside number." an3ukrm
T'PON'T A'A'"/W D'l It h v\
like4$15 0,d'Q.0 extra money. He said "I want to do better for
the teachers than the F.E.A. did) /Work out a program that's

better than the F.E.A. raise/ so that they got to support us."
t'//AT's 'r'OAa WrtN 7
W:A AZ-!using that/ that's good stuff. 0 Pho said that?
IT w4t/r
F:4 Wilbur Boyd, who was chairman of the education committee.

W: So they wanted to top the F.E.A., comparing it with 1967?

F: No, what's, I think what the F.E.A. request was, I rpatB the

F.E.A. was asking for something. They had a request for a teacher

pay raise, and the senate bill was deliberately designed to

exceed the F.E.A., which I think we did. Uh, that part is in

house dealing with legislature, and well, too much of that

can't be used because uh, that exposes.the technique, now, too

much of that can't be used. I

W: Exposes the technique? What do you mean? That's what I intended

to. Pa.

F: No, but the way which we operate with the legislature can't

be too germane. TO TH/IS

W: It's germane because it, how, Itgot to work this out, Howard, -T '-2',

F: I mean, you know, if you're going to deal with the strike you

got to deal with, that's a secondary deal. The real significant

part about the legislative part is that the house and senate both

were, were really, they were determined to provide lots of money
-t)&yci)X5 VIc
for education in that special session. )Xt/7a question about it,

you know, the bars were down, they wanted to go and do lots of

HFE 3a 15


W1,' 01W'>. 7* .lK/ .-,
F: great things.A And we developed some great programs for them.

W: Okay, fA great programs came out of certain kinds of objectives,

and the objective was to bring the F.E.A. over so that they had

to support the bill and couldn't strike. The F.E.A. was strike-


F: They were doing....

W. Okay.

F: Education friends, people that were favoringceducation. We wee
t ytig to do things in the regular session.

W: That's a major concern.

F. Okay, now, nowihad the governor's commission report, you see, and

the governor's commission recommendation, and that gave them

the governor's edge, now, and the governor couldn't say any more,

you know, veto bills, veto bills, veto bill, like he did in

'67. And we had a governor's commission report, which was far

reaching, you know, okay, so they did in the special session

what they would have done in the regular session, ef they did,1T

I think,Abigger doses. And put together, asked us to put together

packages of education which met every conc(dvable need, and

weDv)A caught up on things that we hadn't done in years. Now, what

we did, we .framed it around the governor's commission report,

we went through the governor's commission report and tried to make

sure that everything the governor's committee had recommended was

in legislation somewhere so that the governor couldn't say, so

that we could say, this is your bill, you can't veto it, you see,

'cause here's the things you recommended.

W: So you were working both ends against each other, you were saying

HFE 3a 16


W: on the one hand that we concluded, Boyd wanted to say, I"veincluded

so'much money for education, I've topped the F.E.A. request, or

at least come close. So that draws them in.

F: No question about Wilbur, Wilbur wanted to do better than the

F.E.A. so that Phil Constans, with whom he had good relations, now,

Wilbur and Phil got along good, they, theX was always conversation

with thet. He wanted to do better just to, to, soAthey couldn't

strike. Not maliciously, just so that heawould have no reason
Yo-er see t-e- strike.

W: Well, yeah, you don't want the....

F: Well, Wilbur would have been pro-education, was pro-education

all the time.

W: The other side was to bring Kirk in by paraphrasing the strategies

of his own commission so he can't....

F: Right, using as much as possible things that his own commission

recommended, right.

W: (e f5 fIOA the house....

F: ife.6 SeCovA 'PAf s45my strategy, but don't put that in.

W: What was your strategy?

F: Well, that was, that was my idea, was to put the governor's committee

there. C(lh4 this was the legislative, this was the way the

legislature worked.
PoHyr You
W:A See how interesting that is?

F: Well, you can't do that because legislature's got-to be the legislature.
Y; yuR r oK- ....
It no-longer, it becomes theirs once you, once you....

W: I'm an educator, I've got to inform people how things work, I

can't spend my time covering.

HFE 3a 17


F: No, once it's theirs, it becomes their's.

W: Well, that's fine, but they've got to get their ideas from someone,

they Kdon't work in a vacuum, like you go downstairs, they're,

they're operating in a thousand areas of concern in this state,

they're not experts in any of those areas.

F: No, but this was, this was strategy. Anyway, go ahead, all right.

W: I've got some other ideas on strategy. Might as well give me

yours. Why was a ten mill limit placed on the house bill?

F: Okay, now, that, that's Fred Schultz's program. Fred Schultz,

who was speaker of the house, see, who was speaker of the house

that session, Fred Schultz, who was a strong education man from

Jacksonville ran for the senate, who was speaker of the house....

W: Turlington was speaker of the house.

F: Turlington was speaker of the house during, he was, Fred came

^a4/ him. Okay, Fred was a very powerful man. Fred has always

had an interest in low property taxes. The session earlier,

we had buttons that said,..what did I do with those things?

Homeowners relief. I had one till just lately. They wore little

buttons saying,:yo know, tax relief for homeowners. There

was a big movement on for lower property taxes. And the idea
j7/ f T T^X ^'y
was, what they did wasAutting in all this state aid in education;

to balance it off, they put in a, a cap on the amount of local

money you could raise for education. You with me? You know, You

"f some....

W: It was a twenty mill limit until you did that.

F: We had twenty mill and they dropped it to ten. And in every case

except for Hillsborough, there-was so much more money put in that

HFE 3a 18


F: it more than made up for the ten, you see, so we were, in addition

to providing new money for the school, we had made a state

committ2ent moving away from a property tax which was in individual

counties into a state general funding pool out of general revenue.

Like we raised the sales tax, didn't we raise the sales tax that


W: Y'ah, to four per cent.

F: W we gave property, so we gave people property g$j relief. It

was a good program. Okay,/jthe ten mills was an arbitrary number,

the ten mills was the number, you know,-you're dealing with people.

For some reason or another, the ten mill limit irked the heck

out of Phil Constans.

W: It was an excuse to go out.

F: Okay. In fact at one point, he said, Phil and I always kept open

doors and I used to say that he's programmed to do what he's doing,

4 AN/ HE ye got to do it and we kept friendly. At one point, he said,
AeS It TpF/Y
you know, that ten millsAno good. If -y'll go to twelve, we won't

walk. He said we're gonna walk at ten. And we were up there in

the lobby, and he said, twelve, we will stay, but at ten we're gonna
walk. So I went around to see Ralph and Fred and had an
informal meeting and just passed on the message, asp-og as P yo-
LETYou kba/lw WVHT rHY'RE SALY/M^l
-kmZ-t-he-same. And they said that for twelve, for ten, they're
gonna take a walk at ten, butAtwelve, they'll stay. Yeah, that's
what he wanted, I forgot about I'm a historian, that's the guy

doing the, a lot of the study about private schools in the legislature.

And if I remember correctly, Fred p4LA, you know, if they're gonna

walk, they walk, you know, that's it. But that, you know, the

HFE 3a 19


F: whole thing's kind of silly 9^a two mills, t-at n-&eLt make that

much difference. Whether, whether he just wanted to win something
Lavd -hAt Los2 -Ft ecetLte
or whether he knew they wouldn't change, Aq eehA-ae- y

to walk, you know, nobody'll ever know. Only Phil Constans can

tell you that. But I took him seriously and delivered the message

and said that at ten mills, they're gonna walk. Kh = y let

them walk. They felt they had done a hell of a good job, and

they had.
W: Christian came out forAincome tax ftate income tax.
^ / w
F: Christian has always said, you know, 4 that's really not related

to the walk out. He's always taken position;about income tax.

Never any, never had any hesitation....
7ZWAlq 7-
W: I'll relate it, because I'll say-t- the tax structure, here is

the stricture,Aof fifty states there's no tax structure so narrow,

I've got a lot of documentation.

F: Well, that, that, you're not involved inthe walk out though.

W: It creates an atmosphere of confrontation and inadequate financing.

e other words these teachers walked out of the culminating


F: You know, they walkedbut M, you know, if you want to be, you

want the red 'lCOA T7fills -oat with the, you know, re7

W: R ht. Well, I'll take it into consideration.

F: Take it into consideration. They were as weiq all are, the

product of their times, right? You know, downtrodden teacher.

You know, the poor lady with the long dress and nobody pays attention

to her, makes you go to church on Sunday. You know, she changed,

HFE 3a 20


F: you see. And all of the sudden in education in Florida we had

lots of men. The leadership switched, there were young people,

more young people involved with/leader position. Phil Constans

is one of them. Teachers have always been frustrated, you're

fastrated. Anybody in education is frustrated.because you, you

know, you never feel like you've got enough tools to do all the

things you'd like to do, and so you always got a certain amount,

if you're not frustrated, you're in the wrong business. You

know, if a teacher goes home at night and says, "I had a hell of

a good day," ye-ove- missed something. Because most good teachers

go home and say, "You know, I didn't do something for somebody."

Okay, but then they had the blacks to look at and there was a

K_'dmi_ theory of social revolution. The blacks prove, you know,

that militancy gets results. And I+hink that's primarily the

whole operation. And I think that the F.E.A. looked at what

blacks did subconsiously or, or you know, carefully, and they

felt the action, militancy, we're gonna do, we're gonna move. y ktov

/t's got nothing to do with the tax structure. Those things....

W: They're contributing factors.

F: ....those things were, were, you know, reasons, not causes.

Those a--nthings they pointed to you know, for, as crutches, but

they really weren't the pillars of the movement. They had nothing

to do with any of it. Because if you look at the money they did

W: Yeah, i-t be careful, right, they'r-e ready for confrontation.

F: You know, if they had gotten that money, and we had eeaaFz-that

money in 1967, and in '66, or '67 rather, there would have been

nothing, you know. The buildup had come, and then there was just

HFE 3a 21


F: no other way they could go.

W: Well, you've also got to makeAwhy the public would support them,

and you do that on a basis of what was given to them. Why they

thought they should go out anyway because of certain strictures

that they viewed. And all fifty state haven't had such an


F: Let me tell you a hint. No other.-state will ever have it since

Florida, because everywhere you go in this country, and everywhere

I went, and when you, when you CoMC-L gb T-to Johnny Seay,

ask him if he's got his notes on the report he made at Atlantic

City, the AASA, where he told them about the walk out, you know.

Everywhere you went, they want to know about Florida. And every

association over the country would tell us how stupid it was.

You know, how could you walk out with all that money against the

legislature, but you can't do anything about it. That was the

first and last state, and because it was, it was the last one

because it was the first-and it failed. No other state will do it.

The F.E.A. demolished every person in position of leadership of

the F.E.A. at that time is gone.

W: Yeah, I know it was a complete failure.

F: You know, that's why no other state has done it ;Si because it doesn't


W: Okay. You had some inside details on how Hayden Burns confeIrce

was planned with a fellow from Tampa whe -fas the apparent leader,

but how it was planned in this office.

HFE 3a 22


F: Yeah, well the conference of education was/Bob Gates, who worked

for the governor's office and for us, put together the conference.

We've had them before, whea they just stimulants to get interest

in education so that you can develop a program to go to legislature

with and build some support. The conference in itself wasn't

exceptionally significant or productive except for Christian's

speech but it did no more e no less than most of them do. I


W: Well, how's this meant, you say you always use a citizen as a front

on these things, how does that work?

F: Well, that's a bad word, not as a front. Everything, well up until

just recently, U(&qgtWtt up until the year round legislature Tor -

M_ C__ every major program in education which is every major

new program in education has always been enacted with citizens

carrying the ball leadership positions, and that doesn't

mean front. You know, if it wasn't any good, they wouldn't be

doing it. In '47 we had the citizen's committee, and in '52 4e

had a building committee. Every time we had, every time education

had a major new thrust to make, we always involved citizens in it.

It just made good sense. You know, we're, and we should have, because

now they're passing bills saying you have/every school has- to .

have a citizen's advisory committee. That's just how we stand on

operating procedure, and that conference was just no more, no less

than any other one.

W: Whosq, he was, this man's idea, what's his name? Bob Gates?

F: By0b Gates. I don't know, it was Christian's idea.

HFE 3a 23


W: Who'sg idea was it?

F: It was Christian's idea.

W: This conference was Floyd Christian's idea?
F: Christian's, it was Christian's idea for, for the Hayden Burns

conference, right. He asked Haydn. He, mayet ask him next time q aizr

aAAets V maybe, that may have been in Haydn's, in Haydon Burns's
campaign promise, pe-aesS and program. Christian was a

supporter of Hayden Burns. He was appointed by HaydXn Burns. Uh,

he suggested it, I don't remember, yeah, Christian suggested it.

W: Well it should be.

F: Yeah. Yeah.
l .ig tI. Do
W: I 'lA you remember any of the negotiations with the bi-partisan

committee, Schiltz's group?

F: Yeah, I met with them.

W: What happened?

F: These three gentlemen, the secretary of state's talking to him

down below uh....

W: What was it, what happened?

F: It's with Von Reid and everybody, and....

W: Can you think, can you remember anything significant about him?
t- E 71
F:A See, what'd we do? We, we had a lot of meetings. We excluded the

press, and, let's see, what'd we do? And we always reported progress.

Let's see, okay, we, those are the meetings, I'd forgotten those

too, those are the meetings that the F.E.A. went with. George

Dabs and Phil Constans used to meet. Tom Reed from the republicans,

didn't get there all the time. Uh, Fred Schultz, myself, somewhere WAJ
Ouht hae a lis those
_rAI- .hav.e a list of those people.pi, Ka0oeQ it SkoO akiptce.'

HFE 3a 24


W: Well, I T 0k41 I, that's not important.

F: I'm trying to remember, you know,4trying Je.Ba-i /Yhat'd

we do?

W: I, I want to know if you have any anecdotes about it, anything that


F: I'm trying to pjg7lsA what we met for, what'd we /lI'ft OY" .

W: What was Constants like as a negotiator? A lounger, or a...?
OK1q ',F kViv)ov.) viJ|ecf F: Let's see, that was the committee that led to...a''Uir/o8fc?-1,-1
That was the committee where tie 'major recommendation was that we,

that uh, Phil worked up his major agreement with the governor,

he was vey-pleased that we would move up the governor's, see, the

governor kept saying, "I got lt," Kirk kept saying, "I got a

committee working on it, you know?" That's right, the major goal,

major,THE INSTAP/Te, won, they were going to do it right awav, and

that and the finances was -fmaf out with Phil and Wade Hopping,

you know Wade Hopping's here, lobbying for a, for a child development

company, copration, he's upstairs doing all.during the week

lobbying,, lives here in town. You might zgr#h- to talk to him, he

was the governor's, Wade Hopping was the governor's man and all of

this stuff. He was the Kirk man) ,N'ly he wasn't very happy about

it because he knew when Kirk was wrong. Uh, that, that, I don't

remember any anecdotes out of that thing, except the relationships

were friendly7 Everybody was trying. All right, now, Christian

called that one too. He called a meeting in the Mott building,

Floyd did eve- hee-, House ef-senate leaders and the F.E.A. and --
A i///7 4t mo-t B i( //'Y N/V/,T $T^ supposed to be a secret meeting, but it got out,

to try to see what he could do to hammer out some agreement. Get,

HFE 3a 25


F: you know, just democratic leadership was what it was, I think,

to start with.A he Mott building story show/)any clippings anywhere?
W: They did say .that he/was his idea to have a bi-partisan committee.
T17 T I
F: We called PVq^ -W-h-i-44 called-1rm-, right. That was his own, that
", 0( 0yboI&A
wasn't mine, or ou-knew, Johnny Seay5, 4f PV e' gimmick. Most

of these things, that, for all truth, you know, most of the major

decisionsAwere made, were made by Christian, you know, got decisions

on his own. You know, when he went on television for instance,

answering Kirk when he and Phil Constans, he had a half hour


W: Right.

F:A I opposed it. You know, it was his own, he said yes, it, his
decision to go before the legislature in '68 and say "I'm not going

to run, put my name on a ballot, you know." When the job was

his. We did that one in secret, it was on the phone.

W: Tell me about that. What was so nuch fun about that?

F: Well, because nobody knew what it was we were doing.

W: What were you doing?

F: You know, he just came in one day and decided, "I'm going to

call his bluff." \l\!(, kool, ^ ^ ^ ,, that's not
7 I 7 "* Ut' _V tl N'- w -
right, he didn't say it that way. He came in one day, he called
WA^/T TO ,
me over there, and said, "This is what I'm-gea-do. When he does
( WotO hc^s 9OI"3 {
that, 1(k/4z probablyAgive me orders, you know.W And he

said, "I want to talk to the legislature." And he didn't know
1FVF9 l",TN Mo
it hadAbeen done before, aR-wet cabinet member had ever talked

to a joint assembly of the legislature before. It had never been

done before, or since. You know, he didn't know that was history

HFE 3a 26


F: because he had no legislative background. Says, "I want to, I'm
'wl ociR -O c4 -r
gonna offer to resign. Not to resign,Ato accept that ccovn ri'sM h

OlnManw/m to do away with my job. And then they got no reason why we can't
pass the bill." Now, it really wasn't a ruse, you know, it wasn't

really a trick, although we never did run it, it, you know, when

we had uh, Constan's revision, that never did get on the ballot

at all. Uh, and although I'm sure he was confident that we would

win anyway, that they would vote it down, he didn't really do it
as a gimmick,Ayou know, Kirk said that that was the obstacle,

he was saying, "Well, I'll remove it and let's get this school

money passed." Uh, this was, oa sound terrible if Christian

ever heard me, but he, Christian is basically a simple person,

he isn't very complex. He doesn't work out great big devious

plans, you know. You know, he sees things line for line as they

are now. And I think he came in one, slept one night, had a bad
TtPIs is
night or something, and didn't sleep and the next morning/Iwhat
VS Uv4LLY f yaf
happens, Pu-d--wth great ideas come first thing in the morning,

he'd come in my office right away and say, like on these T.V, I )

/X* 4 the T.V'. thing, he walk.- in one morning, aid emi-, "is'./''./
P/ARy /7 FREFD_ Ay___, I don't care what you say, we're going on television,"

you know, that kind of thing. .F.lft' he hadAnights, he'd come up with

great ideas in the morning. Well, how'd I get on that, where was

I going?

W: You were trying to talk about the idea that he was going to

address the joint session.

F: Right, okay. So he, he called Roy, Burl Pope, who was president
a0n 0o
of the senate,Atold him what he was thinking of doing, Burl said

HFE 3a 27


F: it was a great idea. That'sAthe -goE people who knew about it

at that time, and Burl then called me up then and talked to me

for an hour about ideas he had about what he dbgt to say, you.
p p/p rNo,/Ir ./so
know, most of which didn't do, but I c-ei4-- ns-e=y he'd recognize
zaxv in his speech. And it was interesting because we were working

all the legislative team was in my office with me, five or six

people worked together, and I had to write 'that speech, and I

couldn't tell/what I was doing, I said it's a secret, now you all

can't look, you know. Uh, think we had two days, I wrote it one

day, I looked at it the other day, it's not a very good speech.

I thought it was pretty good at the time, but it stinks, it's

written horrible, you know, like a school boy's speech. But it
in it
had the thingsAthat everybody wanted. Interesting part about

it is that we, they agreed, Jack Matthews and Burl and, and Ralph

agreed to the joint'session, and it wasn't until I went up there,

nobddy had seen the speech, nobody really knew what we were going to

say, ryu kno and I went up there with Christian and su. secretary,

we had all the speeches in our haridj, and I went in the speaker's

office., and Ralph and I forget who else was in there, four or

five guys, Henry VJYlal and a couple of people, and at that point,

I told them what he was going to do. they didn't really know what

he was going to say until/flunky me went in and said what we were

going to do. The membership didn't know. Democrats and republican,

it was very interesting to watch whbn Christian talked in the

house and made his speech, you know, talking in general about the

problem and stuff. The look on people's face when he said, you

know, that I am willing to have this put on the ballot and that kind
ofW --Tv --

HFE 3a 28


F: /ery interesting. At that point, it was, that point, it was very

dramatic, you know. I don't remember'what the headlines said, but

we looked great and everybody said "Stroke of genius." You know,

"You, you're elected forever, you know, wonderful idea, you know."

I got a lot of credit for it and I kept saying, "No, it wasn't my

idea, it was Christian's And it was. At that point in time,
/ I/
it,was, it was, broke a log jam, you see,/jremoved the one-phony
impediment that Kirk had thrown up and nobody iAMi how to get out of

it because nobody wanted to, we had to force that bill through,

the legislature. Our friend didn't want to vote for it.

W: Why?

F: Because they said it's wrong,Ayou know, and we shouldn't do it to

help this guy, you know.

W: Help what guy?

F: Help Kirk, you know.

W: Why was the bill helping Kirk?

F: Well, because it gave Kirk a chance at Christians' job.

W: Oh, I see.

F: See? And we had to fight our own friends,in fact, it didn't

pass unanimously, they gave it the roll call. But we had to fight

our own friends to pass a bill to get the people a chance to

do away with Christian's job. But he was king of the hill.during

this period of time, you know, Christian was top dog. Yeah, he

stood for every, see, all that kind of stuff made him the rallying

point in the battle against Kirk, you know, the contrast. We

became the focal point, which is why when we'd get into the strike

and that kind of thing, Christian naturally became the center

HFE 3a 29


F: of leadership because we were the center of the battle in the

beginning, we were the focal point of, Christian was the focal

point of all of Kirk's ire. They told me one day at a coc ail

party, Don Reed did it, and I went to one one night, that Bill,

William Sapphire whoinow, who's WKkEPASAspeech writer for Nixon,

who was the guy who did the confrontation thing with Khrushchev
-rTH-/ AP WHIo I /ow TNEI
and Nixon and the kitchen/ btaead-- I write for/ANew York Times

he wrote, William Sapphire, very well known. He was working for

Kirk at the time for the DrveFOPMcommission, and Don Reed told

me that his advice to Kirk was to pick out one cabinet member,

see, Kirk was taking onr cabinet, but just to pick out one and

to pick on Christian because schools are vulnerable, and just

let him have it, just zero in on him all the time. I believe it,

that's whatTheydid, you know, so Kirk, I mean Christian became the

target for Kirk but he also became the symbol of all these other

fellows who knew that he was really hitting everybody, you see.

Which also gave him a, a special ability to do that kind of....

hey Shelley, you need something?

St: No, just get a little rest.

F: You know Art White-' Art-White; Shelley Boone.

J 0:- Hell-oArt; how are you, good to see you.

F: We're doing the history project.

# : Doing a history project? Oh sure, sure.

F: We're doing the walkout. Were you here, where were you during

the walkout?

W: In Polk County somewhere.

A : I'll tell you where I was, I was saying are there teachers out.

HFE 3a 30


F 0S: What was Christian....

F: We're trying to put all this stuff together, and you forget

everything, here.P.P IT OA TH/ 1MI'F A/lP I/' T/'" 7-o

F t: ....and then I'll ask you a question, cause you were on the other

side, you were downstate, right? You know, right?

F: What was Christian doing during the walkout that, from what you

saw? Where, where was Floyd, where was, you know, Christian?

e a: Floyd's always on the side of the teachers, but he's also on the

side of law and order and, and contractesArelationship, and he

was p to, as we saw it down there, try to steer first, get the

governor to recognize the problems of the teachers at the same

time, get the teachers to recognize that a little patience would,

was in order on their side. And I don't know if this is what

you're looking for.

F: We're not looking for anything, we're just, you know, he's interviewing

me and then Johnny Seay, and people close, you know? Why do you

think the teachers walked out, I couldn't answer. Why do you think

the teachers actually walked out after all that money in that bill.

f?: Well, they didn't know what was in the bill. As a matter of fact,

we had leadership in our county that came on Friday and got up and

told the teachers that the bill provided for them as much or more

than they had asked for and over the weekend, the pressures from

F.E.A. got to him and he came back and retracted his story. So the

teachers didn't know what was in the bill, and they would not

accept, you know, the superintendents came up here and we got back

to our counties. And through John Clark, he got to some of the

HFE 3a 31


S.: local people,Atold them the bill gave them more than they'd asked,
-,, /4/-/OA?/
and it did. I was, I was chairman of iHF committee 7/ -42
YEF P/ 0 )-D &O w
the q h--I --d you Ireari" that?

F: That's right, when I was, I was 0 4 /7. ThI same year?

F#: P/4 / 1Y R//cH IS l;A7 [57 L 7 TiFA41',9 Air on my committee.
F: Oh, no.

gf: This is a dastardly thing. It was not the teacher's loss, political

uh, foul-up that was important. But a, it pitted husband against

wife, neighbor against neighbor. Pitted superintendents, and I'm

one of them who loved his teachers and fought for/j and was a teacher.

F: Did your wife walk out?

Bj 8: No, she didn't walk out. Uh, she wouldn't walk out now, she'll

fuss, but she wouldn't walk out on hercontract. But, uh....I would

think if I were writing about this thing, I think I could accurately

fTagt that the commissioner was caught between the people that

he considered to be his KI/ND people that he loved, and that's

the teacher. And -whi he knew to be what was right. And the fact!

Of TH7F fI/rAFA7 W-FtK they got the money they were asking =ol.
W: Most teachers take a position f F-aoppos/tion to Christian, seeing
C ULP/r -Hr
him as a e=o4- 0 1 P/ / they see him as a person trying

to do his duty, or what?

S ?: I really don't know.

F: F.T.E. you- can go -d /flo /J, fOOP'

P 4: There-was-little reference to Mr. Christian or the department of

education. In my county, all the time that the teachers were out

and we were trying to bring them back. And Floyd went on the

warpath for his districts that wanted to punish the teachers

HFE 3a 32


S.: and p P VtRyH/N HI -otl T(

.: and 9/9 Yr" get those teachers back in the classroom.

poES' 'riatA mean he endorsed what they did e-r he said they're our
VWF'P rre
teachers and they w.tedza- leadership and they were caught on the

leadership, ad-was bad leadership. But I really don't recall

any reference to him as a culprit or as a hero from the teachers"

point. 'Cause I was pretty deeply involved. Except they're

daily bringing more and more back into the classrooms and telling

my lifelong friends that you're my friend, you. But it was rough.

They were, they were so organized that every morning they'd have

a prayer meeting over in Lakeland. And my coaches as an example,

6n three days running, came as a group county-wide their leadership

did, said, we'll be in the classroom tomorrow, we're tired of this

thing. And before the days over, they'd get them back to the

prayer meeting, and they didn't show up the next. Three days running,

these people really firmly convinced themselves to be back in the
classroom the next day, wdi--they didn't show up, till finally

they did.

W: The rah-rah meetings.

S X: Yeah.

W: Kirk called those voodoo meetings.

end of side one

HFE 3a 33

tape side two


$1: A!.'iDennis wouldn't, wouldn't go with it. =-a, you remember what
it was,/,trying to remember what A/, what/wasAthe d- you know.

B /: I don't either.

W: Al said s that they shouted him down. I think it was special

negotiations./ That the hitch? He didn't say they were going to

go for that, but that the department would encourage the development

of a liason.

8 f: If was there and was really troubled.

F: I remember the details that we-were real....

? : See, several of us have been close to George, as close as you can

get, and that's not necessarily close. And that doesn't mean

anything. But he'd been an older person in terms of service in
my area of Florida, and I'd looked at-him and had some conversations

with him and worked with him on T V and everything so I

knew something about him before he came up here, and I knew some

of his feelings, and but the part I can't bring into focus with

the I UL4f^ .

W: Was that the, what was this meeting, February 28 or so?

F: I, uh, we called it.

W: Was this in relation to the compromise resolutions he had


F: Well, we were working up some compromise that the cabinet agreed

to or he was going to present....
W: Well, the compromise was jttsT to release $10,400,000 in hold-back

bonds for education.
F: You heed to talk to Pettigrew about that ,Ahe helped us work that

HFE 3a 34


F: out. Ditk Pettigrew did on that.

Sf: I can't help you on that meeting, I was there, and I remember
very vividly the rejection of 4-t as far as I know, it's the only

major issue that the superintendents were as adamant in their

rejection of the position of the commission. But I don't know

what the position was.

W: The only thing that was controversial was the idea of some sort

of professional negotiations, everything else was straightforward.

He helped try to get the teachers back....
[ : He usedT WOD aFEI~YNaffS/o/AL W'oLd
f: He used TE / OP ffFE55loNAL" W"never uses the word professional


W: No, he didn't use that word.
A oeo{>y WOVL-) EtIU
(: y", .....i..-w .A e use$ that phrase, 'cause I would have
said, you know, that phrase is obviously a CED-fL/Nphrase.

W: That's where, that's4where, thatSwas where they got clobbered,

when, all right, the cabinet meet'on February 29, Kirk accused

them of unionism....

F : e always did, you see, it's ONE fEAN WFstayed away from t.

W: Right, okay. Well you didn't use the word professional negotiations,

but that you would develop some kind of liason between the teachers

and the school board.

F/: We would have said something else.

f : Well, there were, there were some, there were some memoranda
pfnof TrF r9T WOVLP
that was being passed around to certain .....give you a clue.
ME7ET/-// oN TAP V.
W: I think I've got the medi+-. I've got the meeting on tape.

f : I've got to go home. I didn't mean to come in and interupt you,

I just wanted to tell you to have a good weekend.

HFE 3a 35


W: Nice meeting you, Mr. Boone.

F: You have the meeting on tape?

W: Yeah.


W: Dick Pettigrew. Give me your, who's he, and what did he have

to do with this...?

F: Speaker of the house, he's now a state senator.

W: He wasn't then speaker of the house, was uh, Turlington, Ralph


F: No, he was, well he was speaker after that, he was K- -E _t_-

just this last session.

W: All right, he's what, a republican or a democrat?

F: Democrat, liberal democrat senator.

W: From where?

F: From Miami.

W: All right, -4- south....
F: We just beat uim= -n a-- George Hallahan, he's a good clean man,

he was, worked with me in Leroy Collins campaign. He was campaign

manager. He....

W: Okay. What'd he do with the compromise?

F: Well, he's from Dade County, and Dade County had a stake here,

a real stare, and Pat Torn11lo was from Dade County, you know,

the ACT I rEOPLE and Janet Dean and everything, and 'UT 1

I remember him calling me on the phone, and I put him in touch

with, with Christian, and he helped work out the $10,000,000.

The money part, it was his, he had some idea, it may have been,

you know, that Tornollo told him something- atd he was, it was the

HFE 3a 36


F: first time when money was mentioned, I think was when Turlington,

when Pettigrew did talk about money. That was the first money

involvement. And whereIDthe $10,000,000 come from?

W: ITWas held back during the '67 session because of a budget


F: The budget commission held it back, the cabinet held it back.

W: Yeah, every area of government had so much held back.

F: Okay, well Dick may tell you more about it, but it may have been
that, that they said jIt=-wut some more money, you know, we

could work it out, and then we came up with the $10,000,000.
And Dick was involved wHF it, I think it was, I keep thinking

it was his idea about the money. All I was, was the messenger

boy, you know.
W: @F-. I think I've got that dw=;on tape, that's, it helps, very
)r HFL 8 -- tJAP T // I IcReloPh/ E oN,
interesting, yeAF=kWow. Get some fit
F: thad the begr-ad.

W: Yeah.

F: He drives me up a wall.

W: HUh. A'eh, e had the mike on. All right. Distortions in

reporting. I'm interested in this bureau that set, sent the data
w r v- Al T
downstairs on how many teachers were back and how many -aidE .

Tell me about that, it's not on the, you told me before, but you

didn't tell me on the tape.
F: Oh, Fat it's4simple, we just....

W: Who's idea was it?

F: Mine. That was, you know, it's no, no great big idea related to

any kind of X strategy dealing with the strike or walkout, it was

HFE 3a 37


F: just a normal information function which I perform all the time.

I anticipated that people were going to expect us to know what was

going on in schools. This has been a basic premise that I've

operated on for twenty-seven years in the department, you know.

That we're supposed to know what's going on even though we don't

always have channels to know what's going on because we have a

st, not a state system, we have a district system. But there's

certain things that the public expects you to know, and I just

anticipated that was going to be one. And so we wired all of the

superintendents and set up a reporting system where they would

call or wire us every day as soon as possible after noon or something

what the situation was in their county. How many teachers showed

up, how many didn't show up, that kind of thing. We took that

and put it all together, and Al would put it on the Xerox and

we'd bring it on down to the press room at 5:30 every day. And

that became the, for all practical purposes, the official report,

because it carried Floyd Christian' said today, you see, or the

Department of Education reported today, survey showed that. Because

newspaper reporters expected us to have that kind of information.

W: Pretty 0Aq/ IT.,,- .

F: We had a good credibility, you see. Uh, we were really disinterested

even though the F.E.A. might have thought at one point we were

management or, as the record proves, you see, but the school board

members didn't go with us all the way, we didn't have all friends

and we didn't-have all enemies. We were really a disinterested

party. And we went-et strike breaking only to keep the schools

open, we really had no vendetta against anybody, and people believed

HFE 3a 38


F: our figures even though in retrospect the figures came from

management which may have been not telling the truth, I don't

know. Of course, that would have been hard, because local papers

covered it, you see, the Tampa Tribune would be covering Tampa

schools so the superintendent who gave us figures, you know,

was always obligated to give us accurate figures because his

local newspaper was going to be reporting that same information.

Do you follow me? So we have good compilation and we had good
stable statistics, and our figures were better than the F.E.A.'s

I guess. F.E.A. always had more teachers out than we did, you

know, and the newspapers ignored the F.E.A. figures.

W: Did you, I can't find the compilation of those F.E.A. figures, po you
/fl HVH )V
F: II-t ', those were day to day stuff, you know, they would say

that's not true, there were more people out. They were mad at

us for doing that kind of thing. But it wasn't done to influence,

although it did influence, because things kept getting better,
you know, every time a teacher wa- in, the paper would say, you know,

Tf more teachers back on the job. It did have an influence on the

ultimate end of the strike. But that's not why we designed it,

IT W ASwe designed it because that's the way I operate, 'cause we still

do the same kind of thing. Informing the public.

W: Ending a strike, though; certainly would Paei-helpsetkeep the

schools open. I don't see why you wouldn't take the position that

you wanted to end that strike, break it. Why not?
F: wvfJa-tT never wese into the breakingsthe strike, breaking i-Lu,

The-commissioner wanted to end the strike, but he didn't want to
Tbr E 7I t d
break Tt, there are two different things.

HFE 3a 39


W: All right, he wanted to end the strike.
F: Yeah, he wanted eve-y-t-h-i-ng to get back to normal again.

W: Yeah, he didn't care how that worked out, even if the teachers

got all they wanted.
HF wouP HAV -E IVr
F: tTFg them all they wanted. No, he couldn't understand why they

would, well, no, that's not true. He, he was just like everybody

else, he couldn't understand what they were doing because he

knew they were wrong. We had gotten for them the biggest, we had

more money in that one session than we had, was more additional

money for schools than we had in the two years previously for the

for the basic program. We had just, ha-t-was .r $1,000,000, say,

it was a terrible big number, 4 mfignTre $163,000,000. Some

fantastic number, that was more money than the basic program
WHoLF TVil/i-
cost, you know, we doubled theAdamnA which under normal circumstances

would have made us, God, tremendous- And it should have, it was

the biggest package ever put together. You know, and so he wasn't
mad at us here, he just, you -know- said, "Hey, what are you

guys doing?" You want to, you know, Commissioner Christian was,

Christian was a fSPRF DEr/T OFF.E.A.. He's a life member. His

name is on the plaque on the building over there.because he

headed the committee that builf that building they're now in.
N0#- DA
You know, he's a teacher. You don't just, you know/ say, "Hey,

look, I'm management," and he wantFhis idea was to save the F.E.A.

because had that strike gone a couple more days, there would have

been none at all. They were bankrupt, they borrowed their $1,000,000,

I think it is from the National Education Association. The N.E.A.

was getting ready to cut them off. We met with Hannan, you know the

HFE 3a 40


F: N.E.A. sent a man down here.

W: Tell me about that.

F: What's his first name? Hannan, he was a nice fellow who tried to,

who mediated at the end, who recognized that the F.E.A. had gone

too far to try to save their face because they were draining the

treasury all over the country. They almost wrecked the N.E.A.


W: That what Hannan said?

F: No, that's just generally understood that the N.E.A. was in

terrible bad trouble because Florida had become a symbbl to the

rest of this country and they had to support them, you know.

If they didn't support them, they would have looked like, well,

if you don't support Florida, who are you going to support? But

they knew they were losing, Hannan was a, he had more legislative

know-how than, and understanding than Phil Constans did.

W: How could you document that?

F: Just by the way you talk to the man and the questions he asks

you. You know, and you can tell who knows more about government

than, it's a special language, legislature rnd- government.

W: Give me any examples of that? So I can make a case?

F: No, not off hand. I don't even remember what his background

was. But he was a skilled, you know, a....

W: What did he do? You said he acted as a mediator, how did that


F: I'm trying to remember what he did. Who he talked to besides us.

He talked to Phil, he talked to us. I can't remember all the people

he talked to, but they sent him down, kind of like to take charge.

HFE 3a 41


F: I understand he wanted to get it over with, you know. An.d he

worked with us in the final end with the, with the cabinet and the
last agreements, he was involved with tAeu-must-final agreements.
T4 7- A-/P
To get, that the F.E.A. agreed to, andF kind of,AI'm trying to

remember. Miami went back in first, Dade County jumped the gun

to go in, okay. I forget some of this, too. When you live through

it, you don't pay that much attention to the details.

W: Anything else you remember? I can't think of any other questions.

Except you made a casea-f every, everything the N.E.A. reported,

even their political atmosphere )X study? came out in May of '66,

was distorted. The figures were distorted.

F: IT /5 H I keep everything.

Well, I don't, I don't know where it is. Have you read it, I'm

sure you have. Here. This is not a mock up. Marie .Cole will be

here later and maybe she can remember some of the things.

A/WELL there are errors in it', something's wrong and I just

don't know offhand what it is, you know. I can't give you an
YFA 01
answer real quick, you know. They were mad at Haydon Burns because

he held the line.
W: Newspapers document it, they said X threat of his being in total


F: It wasn't anti-education, it was, was straight cutting, we wont"
//:(r vo VO T6
go' 4r anything/anybody.
wEFRE ,P p"
W: 'Cept f-r that you'e going to use the bond technique for rows.

F: Which failed.

W: Yeah, but, they tried FOR ITT 7-//Y-_ at least advocatePit, that was

his, because it failed doesn't mean he didn't try. It ought to

HFE 3a 42


W: have failed.

F: Well, you know.
W: You know what interests that is involved, 4e-yotr- Big, big industry

will get a lot of profit from the roi-. WHAT --Oo WILL ) KoAP po

p'[7 Tonly need one of them.

F: Well, I can't put my hand on it, you know, but you got the clippings,

it doesn't show anything in the clippings?

W: No rebuttal from the state department.
F: Oh, we just rolled with it, three wa--S rebuttaz. Yeah, we, our

position was to take advantage of it. Even when they started, you

know, we didn't really like the idea.of h*e. putting posters on

the walls, you know, saying sanctions, and I mean, the teachers
WIHFN 77-'7
in=Ze, gave Florida a bad national reputation. But in all

honesty, you know, we were willing to take advantage of it to
try to get more money. Because it gave us a beef '-caue- y-ot

get more money for schools, which has always been one of our main

concerns. But we didn't like that business about sending letters

all over the country, don't come to Florida, that kind of thing,

telling teachers not to come. We felt that was wrong, that wasn't

"professional, we opposed that. You know, the situation was not

that bad, you see, because up until '65, we had lots of good

sessions, we did a lot of great things for Florida. It wasn't

that really bad.
UC/T 4JoaT
W: -Btrt everybody said, though, since '57, there hadn't been a pro-

education legislature in terms of money, large increases in te

money. There had been some reorganization, development of some

outstanding programs, but there hasn't been a tremendous amount

HFE 3a 43


W: of money placed.

F: In '57?

W: Since '57.

F: They said it was the great, with the big package.

W: Yeah, that was Leroy Collins.

F: '59. I could look it up, he's got it, he's got it out there.
THE #iXOON UyrrS ScS5/oN
We, I doA't, up, up until, I don't know, tad
VP Vt71f-
but there, e-ve that period.of-time, we were always able to say

we did some great thing every session. We always passed some
T7-- P/D
new kind of legislation to-de something brand new. It wasn't

always, you know, massive, but we did something new for schools

every session I've been here.

W: Right.

F: There's always something happening, you know. We never got

what we had, we never got as much as we asked for, well, one session,

Collins gave teachers, gave us a teacher pay raise which was

one hundred dollars more than we were getting ready to ask for.

You know, that was interesting. Where else can we go?

W: We're done, I don't have anything I want to ask you.

F: Okay.

W: You have anything you remember?

F: Just don't quote Allen whatever you do.

W: Who"

F: Don't quote Allen anywhere.

W: Why not?

F: Hmm? Because, you know, for lots of reasons, just don't quote Allen.

W: You don't want me to interview Allen Irksley?

HFE 3a 44


F: Hmm?

W: You don't want me to interview him?

F: Well, he just, he-s- justAdelivery downstairs, and he doesn't really

know what happened. The commissioner doesn't like him anymore.

Wish I could remember what it was in here that was so obvious.

There was one....maybe it'll come to me later. You'll be here
77 7I0 r TO /:12If z 70
Monday, and if you're here when Marie Kohler comes in,4find that

stuff in here somewhere.
W: So it was a-peo-r_ __hat:--was responsible. North

Florida rural people.
/r wA A; Tir9
F:A Same people that passed the MF.P. North Florida rural people.

They passed the financial program in the first place. They passed,v

they gave us everything. They passed the '57 program.
A-AP All this -A.ST-F.A.. money.
W: Well, Howard, this state did have many problems in education.

Very low salaries, crowding was, Christian points to them all

the time. He documents them in every speech he makes, he says

there was a crisis in education. So it's obviously the handling

of these people in a certain area was more effective than

another, they can be....

F: We, we're getting hung up on our own phrases because we always

took advantage of every situation to try to get more money for

schools, you know. We created a crisis when there was no crisis.

VOU KNow, +-wrote, I wrote most of those speeches, I wrote speeches

for three commissioners for twenty-seven years and we always

talked about crisis because that's the only way you get any

money. You, you always talk....

HFE 3a 45


W: You were distorting it purposely?
F: No, no. You always talk about/Ishortcomings. You know, the
responsibility of a, of a superintendent, commissioner, knowing
that you need to do better and/you always can is 4-e focus

on what you can do better.

W: Wha you have contributed.

F: So you know, you kind of self, self destruct, I guess.

W: Yeah, yeah, but you have contributed to an atmosphere in which

the teachers were functioning in the belief that they were in a-

crisis. Demoralizing situation.

F: 'Cause you self destruct, you know?

W: I know, but you ha4 contributed then, haven't you?

F: BUt I just, you know, the Hayden Burns year was not that bad. It

was bad, but it was not that bad. Just, you know, I just am a

you know, it was not an anti-education session, it just wasn't a

pro-education session. And that, combined with the, you know,

the programming of guys like Phil Constans and the new militancy

of the people in general, gets It kept right

on going till it toppled the president, you know, same militancy.

Same threat that started with Martin Luther King and the bus in

Birmingham-went right on through until Lyndon Johnson got off the,

was no longer a candidate. It's the same threat. It's run it's

course. Nobody goes to universities anymore because J. pON ELI lF

THfY wantA education, they just didn't want to go to war. Isn't that


W: Um hum. It is.-
plCT t4r /, OF
F: 1 H-fOP TO 6-OP you know. A HLL OF /f IN the American
f'o PLE. You KQow. T-T EY P/ INT i-fT7 To o To SCHOOLQ TYF%"
r-us7 Pi/p r /wA/r To C-6 To VI/T/VAM. I/11HAf yooR scIEputLE rTI
wfFKF W WHAT 7A5' you ol/#C -ro DOJ