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Everglades National Park Commission (Miami, Fla.)
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida. Attorney General (1941-1949 : Watson)
Florida. Comptroller's Office (1946-1955 : Gay)
Florida. Department of Agriculture (1923-1960 : Mayo)
Florida. Governor (1945-1949 : Caldwell)
Florida. Office of Secretary of State (1930-1961 : Gray)
Florida. State Department of Education (1939-1949 : English)
Florida. Supreme Court Justice (1938-1969 : Thomas)
Florida. Treasurer's Office (1941-1965 : Larson)
Fort Myers High School (Fort Myers, Fla.)
GFWC Florida Federation of Women's Clubs
Historical Association of Southern Florida
Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce
Miami Daily News
Miami Herald Publishing Company
Miami Herald Publishing Company
Miami Pioneers, Inc.
National Association of Travel Officials
National Audubon Society
National parks and reserves -- Florida -- Everglades
Parks -- Florida -- Everglades
Protected areas -- Florida -- Everglades
Saturday evening post
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
United States. Congress. House
United States. Congress. Senate
United States. Department of the Interior
United States. National Park Service
United States. President (1945-1953 : Truman)
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
Jamestown Island (Va.)
Statue of Liberty National Monument
Palm Beach County
Collier County (Fa.)
Saint Johns County
Indian River County
Dedicated by President Harry S. Truman
December 6, 1947
Subject - Corporate
Subject - Person
Dedicated by President Harry S. Truman
December 6, 1947
December 6, 1947
The President of the United States
The Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Senator Claude Pepper
U.S. Senator Spessard L. Holland
Governor Millard F. Caldwell
John D. Pennekamp
Ceremonies at Florida City, December 5, 1947, first day of issue of the Everglades National Park three cent Postage Stamp.
John D. Pennekamp, Presiding
Invocation...Deaconess Harriett Bedell
Selection...Fort Myers High School Band
Introducing Ernest F. Coe and Other Distinguishing Guests...August Burghard
Presentation of Royal Palm State Park Plaque...Mrs. W.S. Jennings and Mrs. L.J. McCaffrey to Mr. Newton P. Drury
Selection...Fort Myers High School Band
Remarks...Senator Claude Pepper
Remarks...Senator Spessard L. Holland
Presentation of Area to Nation...Governor Millard F. Caldwell
Dedication...Secretary of the Interior Julius a. Krug
Address...The President of the United States
Benediction...Rev. E.A. Finn
Star Spangled Banner...Fort Myers High School Band
Wah Nese Red Rock, Soloist
Deaconess Harriett Bedell
Almighty God, Whose never-failing Providence ordereth all things in Heaven and earth, we praise Thee and thank Thee for Thy gifts of the wonders and beauties of nature -- that Thou hast put it into the heart of man to preserve some of the beautiful places of the earth -- beautiful birds, and animals, and rare plants -- that through man's selfishness and commercial greed they may not become extinct.
Bless, we pray Thee, this park we are dedicating today. May it be a haven not only for the wild life, but where we may find the beauties and peace of nature -- where we may go apart from the hurry and anxieties of this life.
We especially thank Thee for the approval and presence of our President, President Truman. May he have wisdom and strength to know and do Thy will.
Give grace and wisdom, we pray Thee, to those who are furthering the ideals of this park, that it may be a place of joy and pleasure.
May all who visit it be drawn nearer to God and get a glimpse of His peace and majesty amid the changing social order of the world to-day.
We ask all this through Him who brought peace and goodwill into the world at the first Christmas time, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
John D. Pennekamp
We are here to dedicate the Everglades National Park, the twenty-eighth in the United States System. In its present, undeveloped state, it is geologically, biologically and horticulturally one of the finest. In it ultimate development it will justify the great and generous faith of our people in making it available to the Nation.
We are highly honored by the presence here to participate in these ceremonies, of the President of the United States; the distinguished Secretary of the Interior, the Honorable Julius A. Krug; Florida's Senators, the Honorable Claude Pepper and the Honorable Spessard L. Holland, who have contributed so much to the progress which led to today's historic assembly in this tropical setting; and the Governor of Florida, the Honorable Millard F. Caldwell, whose administration always will be known as that in which the fulfillment of this State's twenty-year dream of a National Park was achieved.
Music on this program will be by the Fort Myers High School Band, and, because the circumstances of this program may make an introduction at a later time impossible, I should like to present at this time Wah Nese Red Rock, who will be the soloist when the Star Spangled Banner is played.
The Fort Myers High School band under the direction of Frank Lodwick, will now play Florida's State Song, "Suwannee River."
Band Plays "Suwannee River"
Isn't that well done and inspiring?
The Everglades National Park was brought into being by the Everglades National Park Commission, an official State agency created by the Legislature some eighteen year ago. The able and industrious chairman of that commission is Mr. August Burghard, whom I am proud to present.
Neighbors and Friends:
We, of the Everglades National Park Commission, feel that it is important that you know the people assembled on this platform. Here before you are many of the leaders of Florida. People who control and mold the destiny of the Peninsular State. Here, also, are national and international figures. They are a picturesque and interesting--as well as a potent group. Only such an important event as the Dedication of the Twenty-eighth National Park could have brought them together here at Everglades.
Rigid time limitations forbid that we hear from these distinguished guests. Nor will I have the pleasure to expand on whom and what they are. But we do want to see them. To know them. And we want to acknowledge our appreciation of their presence here today.
As I call their names I want them to rise.
First I want you to meet a gentleman who has worked on this Park for many years. He is a former landscape engineer. He has been called by some the "Daddy of the Everglades Park." Certainly, Mr. Coe has been identified with the Park
Next, you must meet the man who will run the Park. Naturalist, conservationist, ornithologist, writer, amateur, artist--"the grand young man and the new superintendent of the new Everglades National Park"--Daniel B. Beard.
Here, representing the Legislature of the State of Florida are the Honorable Scott D. Clarke, President of the Senate, and the Honorable Thomas D. Beasley, Speaker of the House.
From the Supreme Court of Florida is Chief Justice Elwyn Thomas.
From Governor Caldwell's Cabinet are the Secretary of State, R.A. Gray; the Attorney General, J. Tom Watson; the Comptroller, C.M. Gay; the Superintendent of Education, Colin English; the Commissioner of Agriculture, Nathan Mayo; and the State Treasurer, J. Edwin Larsen.
Members of the Everglades Drainage Board are Chairman Dewey Hilsabeck, Miami; Sam Chastain, Palm Beach; Jess Durrence, Brighton; Louis Fisher, Pompano; and Jim Beardsley, of Clewiston.
Among your local hosts are Commissioner D. Graham Copeland, Chairman of the Collier County Board of County Commissioners; Commissioner Charles Crandon of Dade County; and Commissioner Eduardo Gomez of Monroe County. And here are Barron Collier, Jr., Miles Collier and Sam C. Collier, sons of the founder of Collier County, Barron C. Collier.
And now to jump to Washington, we have Representative Robert Sikes, member of Congress; Representative Joe Hendricks; Representative George A. Smathers.
And here are the Honorable J. Mark Wilcox, President of Ernest Coe's Park Association, and Pat Cannon, former members of Congress, both of whom were tremendously helpful in advancing the cause of the Park during their terms in Congress.
Here is Joseph M. Cheatham, President of the Historical Association of Southern Florida, and President of Miami Pioneers, Inc.
Next, from Washington, Mr. Newton P. Drury, Director of the National Park Service; Thomas J. Allen, Regional Director, National Park Service from Richmond, Va.; Ray Vinten, of the Park Service, National Monuments, of St. Augustine; Albert Day, Fish and Wildlife Service; Mrs. W.S. Jennings, of Jacksonville, and early President of the Florida Federation of Woman's Clubs; and Mrs. L.J. McCaffrey, present President of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs; Mrs. T.V. More, a past President of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs, and like Mrs. Jennings, a member of the Everglades National Park Commission.
Now I want to present Mr. John S. Knight, publisher of the Miami Herald, and of newspapers in Chicago, Detroit and Ohio; and Mr. Dan Mahoney, general manager of the Miami Daily News.
Here is Attorney Paul R. Scott, of Miami, the man who first suggested the idea for an Everglades National Park stamp and carried on the negotiations which resulted in its acceptance.
Also present in I.N. Parrish, First Vice President of the National Association of Travel Officials and manager of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Next is C. Kay Davis, of Fort Lauderdale, who headed the Federal Soil Conservation project, and is an authority on the soils of the Glades. Kay Davis and his knowledge and his maps and his cooperativeness, has been of great help to the Park Commission.
John Baker, of New York, the great head of the great Audubon Society, is here. His organization helped preserve values here until the Federal Park people could take over.
Theodore Pratt, author of "The Barefoot Mailman," who wrote the Saturday Evening Post article about Ernest Coe and the Park, and who has brought this Park to the attention of millions, is here.
Also, Marjorie Stoneman [Douglas], author of the new book, "The Everglades, River of Grass," important in the Rivers of America series.
Now as I approach the end of my introductions, I want you to meet the members of the Everglades National Park Commission. This group, named by Governor Caldwell less than two years ago, and serving unselfishly and without pay, from all parts of the state, have brought this Park into its present state of actuality. Here are Karl Bickel, Sarasota; Gen. Albert H. Blanding, Bartow; Carl Brorein, Tampa; Harold Colee, Jacksonville; D. Graham Copeland, Everglades; Mrs. Joseph L. Gray, Lake City; Joe Hall, Tallahassee; Carl Hanton, Fort Myers; Fayette Holland, Jacksonville; Mrs. W.S. Jennings, Jacksonville; A. Cliff Johnson, Pensacola; J. Kennard Johnson, Miami; Dr. E.C. Lunsford, Miami; Mrs. Gillen McClure, Apopka; A.B. Michael, Wabasso; Mrs. T.V. Moore, Miami; John D. Pennekamp, Miami; Richard D. Pope, Winter Haven; Nelson P. Poynter, St. Petersburg; Leonard K. Thomson, Miami; G.G. Ware, Leesburg; Norberg Thompson, Key West; and our Managing Director Gilbert Leach, of Leesburg and Miami; Mr. and Mrs. Meyer, from the Everglades Park office; the Honorable Will M. Preston, Miami, our distinguished Commission attorney; and McGregor Smith, President of the Florida Power and Light Co., and Chairman of our Dedication Committee.
Now that you have seen so many of these men, I think that I will just ask the handsome women who are their wives to stand and be seen, and recognized by you. I am sorry that I could not present each of these charming ladies to you personally.
Next, we are going to bring one of our own Commission members, the wife of a former Governor of Florida, and a distinguished member of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, and the present President of the Florida Federation, Mrs. L.J. McCaffrey, to the microphone to make the official presentation of the Royal State Park to Mr. Newton Drury, Director of the National Park Service. Mrs. W.S. Jennings, of Jacksonville, and Mr. Drury.
Presentation of Plaque
And here is the first lady of Florida, Mrs. Millard Caldwell, Mrs. Louise F. Maclay, from beautiful Killearn Gardens at Tallahassee; and Mrs. Elwell Thomas, wife of the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
Finally, I want to advise you in more detail as to your Master of Ceremonies. I am turning the program back to a man who has worked, and fought, and dreamed, and spoken, and hoped for an Everglades National Park for years. He has played an important park on our Everglades Park Commission, and has served as Chairman of our all-important Legislative Committee. He is John D. Pennekamp.
Mr. Pennekamp: Thank you, Chairman Burghard.
Mr. President, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: I am happy to present Florida's Senior Senator, and long a stalwart advocate and supporter of the Everglades National Park project.
Remarks by Senator Pepper
Amid these scenes of enchanting interest today the President of the United States and the Governor of Florida rededicate to nature and to the people, this vast area of half a million acres which has ever been nature's majestic own.
Hereafter and for all time it belongs only to nature, to nature's God, and to the American people. For today this primeval expanse, containing vast areas where white man has never set foot, becomes the twenty-eighth national park--the Everglades National Park.
They will see the crocodile, the giant manatee, the alligator, the white tail deer, and 700 varieties of aquatic creatures. They will see the white egret and the roseate spoonbill, the wood ibis, the flamingo, the heron.
Too, they will see the world's tallest mangrove trees and fourteen miles of virgin beaches; a constellation of sparkling lakes, streams, bays, and inaccessible swamps in this river of grass--the Everglades.
We wish to express our thanks and gratitude to the President of the United States, not only for his great and strong interest in the success of this project but for the immeasurable compliment of his personal appearance here today; to the Secretary of the Interior, to the National Park Service, and to the Governor and his cabinet and Legislature of Florida; to others too numerous to mention whose determined and untiring services have brought at long last to the people of this State and this country, this tropical monument of nature.
And now to the people's Federal Government and to the National Park Service we happily commit the protection and care of this rare and beauteous treasure for the health and happiness of all the American people.
May it long be a comforting refuge to those who seek inspiration and satisfaction at the shrines of nature.
Mr. Pennekamp: Thank you, Senator Pepper.
Our next speaker has made monumental contributions to the Everglades National Park, as Governor of Florida, and as our Senator--the Honorable Spessard Holland.
Remarks by Senator Holland
President Truman, Governor Caldwell, Secretary Krug, ladies and gentleman: The presence here of the President of the United States and the Secretary of the Interior to dedicate the Everglades National Park shows clearly the importance which the Federal Government gives to this newest of national parks--the Nation's only subtropical park. Mr. President and Mr. Secretary, the thousands of Floridians, both officials and private citizens, who have, through the years, worked together to make possible the grants of State land and State money by which the creation of this park was made possible are deeply grateful to you for your unfailing interest and assistance, as well as for your coming here today.
Aside from the public and civic agencies which have functioned so effectively in Florida in the long effort to create a great national park, I feel that this is the appropriate time to call public attention, with gratitude, to the big parts played by two great organizations, the Florida Federation of Women's Clibs and the National Audubon Society. The club women acquired, thirty-one years ago, the royal palm hammock and preserved it against the destruction which occurred in most of our other stands of native royal palms. As a result the royal palm hammock, recently deeded to the Federal Government, has become part of the park, bringing to the park the most majestic royal palms in our Nation along with many other native subtropical trees.
The Audubon Society supplied the supervision, the equipment, and the wardens by whose efforts, beginning in 1901, many species of the incomparable bird, animal, and fish life of the park region were safeguarded and, in some instances, saved from extinction. The thousands of Florida club women and the tens of thousands of Audubon members throughout the Nation have every right to feel happy today that their devoted efforts have borne such good fruit.
I sincerely hope that the National Park Service which now begins its patient labor of years to safeguard this immense wilderness and at the same time make it
subject to visitation and enjoyment by millions of citizens will have the continuing ardent support of these two great organizations as well as the sympathetic interest and backing of lovers of nature everywhere and of the entire American public.
Mr. Pennekamp: Thank you, Senator Holland.
It is a high distinction at this time to present the man whose direction and resourcefulness brought the Park into being during his term as Governor of Florida--the Honorable Millard F. Caldwell.
Presentation of Park
Governor Millard F. Caldwell
In making this formal presentation of what may well become the Nation's most popular and unique national park area, it is fitting that due recognition be accorded those who have been responsible for the accomplishment.
It is not possible within this brief moment to identify all of the individuals, groups, and organizations whose interests and efforts have been unceasing to this end, but they must know that their services are appreciated. Among those who have labored effectively and are entitled to especial mention are the President, the Secretary of the Interior and other Federal officials, Ernest Coe and his Association, the Everglades National Park Commission, Florida's delegation in the Congress, and the members of the Florida cabinet. It is worthy of note that ten sessions of the Florida Legislature and five of Florida's governors have unstintingly supported the effort.
The State of Florida has contributed toward the creation of this national park than any other State of the Nation has contributed toward the establishment of any other national park. We have given hundreds of thousands of acres of state-owned land and $2,000,000 in cash to the Federal Government to assist in the park's creation.
We are confident that the marvelous attractions of the area, together with the operation plans of the Park Service, will result in the bringing of a multitude of visitors to Florida and redound to the mutual benefit of the Nation and of the State.
And now, Mr. President and Mr. Secretary, in presenting this area to the Nation, Florida wants you to know that it is given in token of our desire to be ever closer bound to the commonwealth of states and to further cement the good will of all of the people of the Nation. We leave its future in your hands, confident that it will be administered with the same wisdom and progressive good judgment which has characterized your administration.
Mr. Pennekamp: Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of the Interior, the Honorable Julius A. Krug.
Acceptance of the Park
Secretary of the Interior
Mr. President, Governor Caldwell, Mr. Pennekamp, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: As Secretary of the Interior, it is my pleasure to accept, on behalf of the Federal Government, this world famous area as a generous gift to the Nation from the people of Florida and formally dedicate it as Everglades National Park--the twenty-eighth in our great system of national parks.
Without making a formal speech at this historic occasion, I wish to emphasize that the Federal Government and the Department of the Interior appreciate their new responsibilities and will carry forward--arm in arm with you--the work remaining to be done, to the end that these beautiful Everglades will become not just another reservation of public land but, as it should be, a new and brilliant gem in our exciting chain of national parks with its unusual attractions second to none.
In this endeavor, we are fortunate to have a national leader who really understands conservation and loves our national parks. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.
The President was given a long ovation.
President of the United States
Not often in these demanding days are we able to lay aside the problems of the time, and turn to a project whose great value lies in the enrichment of the human spirit. Today we make the achievement of another great conservation victory. We have permanently safeguarded an irreplaceable primitive area. We have assembled to dedicate to the use of all the people for all time, the Everglades National Park.
Here in Everglades City we can savor the atmosphere of this beautiful tropical area. Southeast of us lies the coast of the Everglades Park, cut by islands and estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico. Here are deep rivers, giant groves of colorful mangrove trees, prairie marshes and innumerable lakes and streams.
In this park we shall preserve tarpon, trout, and pompano, bear, deer, and crocodiles--the rare birds of great beauty. We shall protect hundreds of kinds of wildlife which might otherwise soon be extinct.
The benefits our Nation will derive from this dedication will outlast the youngest of us. They will increase with the passage of years. Few actions could make a most lasing contribution to the enjoyment of the American people than the establishment of the Everglades National Park.
Our national park system is a clear expression of the idealism of the American people. Without regard for sectional rivalries or for party politics, the Nation has advanced constantly in the last seventy-five years in the protection of its natural beauties and wonders.
The success of our efforts to conserve the scenery and wildlife of the country can be measured in popular use. The national park system covers but a fraction of one per cent of the area of the United States, but over 25,000,000 of our fellow countrymen have visited our national parks within the past year. Each
citizen returned to his home with a refreshed spirit and a greater appreciation of the majesty and beauty of our country.
These are the people's parks, owned by young and old, by those in the cities and those on the farms. Most of them are our today because there were Americans many years ago who exercised vision, patience and unselfish devotion in the battle for conservation.
Everglades Different From all Other Parks
Each national park possesses qualities distinctive enough to make its preservation a matter of concern to the whole Nation. Certainly, this Everglades area has more than its share of features unique to these United States. Here are no lofty peaks seeking the sky, no mighty glaciers or rushing streams wearing away the uplifted land. Here is land, tranquil in its quiet beauty, serving not as the source of water but as the last receiver of it. To its natural abundance we owe the spectacular plant and animal life that distinguishes this place from all others in our country.
Our park system also embraces such national shrines as Jamestown Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the battlefields of Yorktown and Gettysburg. These historic places--as much as the scenic areas--also need to be protected with all the devotion at our command in these days when we are learning again the importance of an understanding loyalty to our national heritage.
Our parks are but one part of the national effort to conserve our natural resources. Upon these resources our life as a Nation depends. Our high level of employment and our extraordinary production are being limited by scarcities in some items of our natural wealth. This is the time to develop and replenish our basic resources.
Conservation has been practiced for many decades and preached for many more, yet only in recent years has it become plain that we cannot afford to conserve in a haphazard or piecemeal manner. No part of our conservation program can be slighted if we want to make full use of our resources and have full protection against future emergencies.
If we waste our minerals by careless mining and processing, we shall not be able to build the machinery to till the land. If we waste the forests by careless lumbering we shall lack housing and construction materials for factory, farm, and mine. If we waste the water through failure to build hydroelectric plants, we shall burn our reserves of coal and oil needlessly. If we waste our soil through erosion and failure to replenish our fields, we shall destroy the source of our people's food.
Each conservation need is dependent on the others. A lashed and burned forest brings erosion of uplands and fills downstream reservoirs with silt so that water power is lessened and irrigated farms lose their water supplies. Eroded farm lands contribute to devastating floods. Uncontrolled rivers mean lost electricity, farms without water, and perennial and increasing flood danger.
To maintain our natural wealth we must engage in full and complete conservation of all our resources.
Full conservation of our energy resources can be accomplished by continued construction of dams, hydroelectric plants and transmission lines; by greater use of natural gas, by research for more efficient methods of extraction of coal and oil, and by exploration for new resources.
Conservation Seen as Vital Necessity
In forests, conservation can be achieved by adhering to the principle of sustained yield and forest management so that timber is harvested each year just as other crops are. This should be true for both privately owned and public owned forest lands.
In minerals, we can come closer to the proper balance with increased efficiency in extraction and with scientific exploration for new reserves. When ores contain several minerals, we should extract all the useful products and waste none. Despite a bounteous nature, this country has never been selfsufficient in all minerals. We have always imported minerals to meet these deficiencies and we must continue to do so.
In water, we need to prevent further dropping of the water table, which in many areas is dangerously low. Surface water must be stored, and ground water used in such a way as to cause the least depletion. Although the water level is high now here in the Everglades, there has been damage from a lowered freshwater table, and during the war, fires raged through the Glades--fires fed by dry grass which should have been covered by water.
The battle for conservation cannot be limited to the winning of new conquests. Like liberty itself, conservation must be fought for unceasingly to protect earlier victories.
Public lands and parks, our forests, and our mineral reserves, are subject to many destructive influences. We have to remain constantly vigilant to prevent raids by those who would selfishly exploit our common heritage for their private gain. Such raids on our natural resources are not examples of enterprise and initiative. They are attempts to take from all the people for the benefit of a few.
As always in the past when the people's property has been threatened, men and women whose primary concern has been their country's welfare have risen to oppose these selfish attacks. We can be thankful for their efforts, as we can be grateful for the efforts of citizens, private groups, local governments, and the State of Florida which, joined in common purpose, have made possible the establishment of the Everglades National Park.
The establishment of this park is an object lesson and an example to the entire Nation that sound conservation depends upon the joint endeavors of the people and their several governments. Responsibility is shared by the town, the State, and the Federal Government; by societies and legislatures and all lovers of nature.
Wisdom Essential to Nation's Future
No man can know every element that makes a nation great, when people, the daily cooperation, the helpfulness of one citizen to another are elements. A nation's ability to provide a good living for its people in industry, business, and on the farm is another. The intelligent recognition by its citizens of a nation's responsibilty for world order, world peace, and world recovery is still another.
The wise use of our natural resources is the foundation of our effectiveness in all these efforts.
The problems of peace, like those of war, require courage and sustained effort. If we wish this Nation to remain prosperous, if we wish it still to be "the home of the free," we can have it so. But, if we fail to heed the lesson of other nations which have permitted their natural resources to be wasted and destroyed, then we shall reap a sorry harvest.
And for conservation of the human spirit, we need places such as Everglades National Park, where we may be more keenly aware of our Creator's infinitely varied, infinitely beautiful, and infinitely bountiful handiwork. Here we may draw strength and peace of mind from our surroundings.
Here we can truly understand what the psalmist meant when we sang, "He
maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters; He restoreth my soul."
"The Star Spangled Banner"
Mr. Pennekamp: The Fort Myers High School Band supplied that stirring music, and we are grateful to Wah Nese Red Rock for the beautiful solo rendition.
The Benediction will be pronounced by the Pastor of Everglades Community Church, the Rev. E. A. Finn.
The Rev. E. A. Finn
Our Father God, let thy benediction rest upon the exercises of this day, and the purpose for which we are here.
May this Park be used for the blessing and benefit of mankind, in this and future generations.
We beseech thee to bless our President, our Governor and all others in authority. Bless every citizen of this our great Republic.
In the name of God,
One day preceding the Dedication rites, that is on December 5, 1947, a beautiful new 3-cent postage stamp, pictured on the back cover of this pamphlet, was placed on sale at Florida City, the nearest postoffice to Everglades National Park and the southernmost postoffice on the mainland of the United States.
An appropriate public program was observed at Florida City on that day, attended by Hon. Jospeh J. Lawler, third assistant Postmaster General; Secretary of the Interior Julius A. Krug; United States Senator Spessard L. Holland; Governor Millard F. Caldwell of Florida, and many other public officials of Federal and State governments. The principal address was given by Mr. Lawler and was as follows:
Address by Mr. Lawler
It is a great honor and a pleasure to be here in Florida City today representing the Postmaster General, Hon. Jesse M. Donaldson, upon the occasion of this first day of issue of this beautiful new stamp commemorating the establishment of Everglades National Park.
This magnificent natural wonder, the Florida Everglades, now takes on greater glory and significance in the public eye by reason of its dedication to the people of the United States as one of the Nation's great national parks. The importance of the occasion can truly be attested by the fact that our great Chief Executive, Hon. Harry S. Truman, has seen fit to honor it by his presence at the dedication of the Park tomorrow.
In the past the Post Office has issued special commemorative stamps for ten of the national parks. In presenting a case in behalf of this stamp, your distinguished Senator, Hon. Spessard L. Holland, has represented to the Post Office Department that the State of Florida has cooperated and contributed in greater degree than any other state heretofore in that Florida has conveyed 800,000 acres of land to the United States, an area twice as great as the State of Rhode Island, as well as appropriating over $2,000,000 to round out the area.
So, too, Senator Claude Pepper, Governor Millard Caldwell, and each member of Congress from Florida presented briefs in the cause of this stamp.
Today on this spot is being issued for the first time a beautiful stamp designed after an idea submitted by the Everglades National Park Commission. The stamp is in dimensions commonly known as the special-delivery size, but arranged vertically. The central design is an outline map of Florida, emphasizing the Everglades National Park area. In the foreground and partly covering the map outline is a great white heron, symbolic of the exotic wild life of the region. The coloring in delicate shadings of green is symbolic of the perennial verdant foliage of this summery land.
Notwithstanding the symbolic features its potential utility has not been sacrificed. The stamp is in the 3-cent denomination, the one in most common use, and as such will carry the story and the glory of Everglades National Park to the farthermost corners of this land and to lands beyond. Even today it is expected upward of one-half million letters bearing this stamp will emanate from this honored postoffice Florida City. Millions of additional stamps will be sold after tomorrow at every other postoffice in the United States.
The issue of a new stamp is a great undertaking by the Post Office Department and is deemed outstanding recognition to the subject so honored. Therefore, it is a source of deep gratification when the recipient signifies its cooperation and appreciation in the wholehearted and elaborate manner displayed at all times by the Everglades Park Commission under the able and energetic guidance of its chairman, Mr. August Burghard. This cooperation and interest has been indicated not only in the furtherance of the project but in every phase of its progress even to its culmination in these appropriate ceremonies today.
The Department is not mindful of the inestimable assistance of Mr. Paul R. Scott, who made personal trips to Washington to confer with our esteemed former Postmaster General, Hon. Robert E. Hannegan, and myself. And I have been reliably informed by their colleagues of the untiring and ceaseless efforts put forth by Mr. John D. Pennekamp, associate editor of the Miami Herald, and Mr. Will Preston.
This spirit of cooperation and appreciation could be no more suitably and amply climaxed than in this final touch of dignity by having here to accept this first issue, your highest ranking official, Hon. Millard Caldwell, Governor of the State of Florida.
Governor Caldwell, I am proud, I am honored to present to you with the compliments of Hon. Jesse M. Donaldson, Postmaster General of the United States, this album suitably inscribed with your name and covering the first sheet of stamps of the special issue commemorating Everglades National Park.
Sets New Park Stamp Record
In the United States Senate on December 12, 1947, Senator Spessard L. Holland received unanimous consent to have the following excerpt from a letter to him from Hon. Joseph J. Lawler made a part of the Senate Record for that day:
I have just received a report from the postmaster at Florida City in connection with the first-day sale of the stamp and she reports that there were 466,647 first-day covers canceled and 802,500 stamps sold, amounting to $24,074. This was, indeed, quite a fine showing and it eclipsed that of any first-day sale of national-park stamps. In 1934, the Department issued ten national-park stamps and they proved to be very popular. I am sure that the Everglades stamp will continue to be one of our popular issues.
Continuing to address the Senate, Mr. Holland said:
"Mr. President, I am sure that I speak for the entire Florida delegration and also for the State officials of Florida and for our entire public in expressing to the Postmaster General our very great appreciation for this recognition of the importance of the creation of the Everglades National Park by issuing the beautiful commemorative stamp.
"Mr. President, speaking for the Florida delegation, let me say that we appreciated greatly the presence of the distinguished senior Senator from Colorado (Mr. Johnson) at the dedicatory celebration, and we hope that he enjoyed there the beauties which I think are apparent to all who come--blue skies, bright sunshine, beautiful green palms, and the myriad bird life, animal life, fish life, and much vegetation which cannot be found anywhere else in our Nation. Here and now I wish to extend a warm invitation to all Members of the Senate who have not had the privilege of visiting that particular southernmost part of our Nation. That invitation is extended to them by the Florida delegation, and we hope they will visit us at their early pleasure and will enjoy for themselves the undoubted beauties of the only subtropical national park in our entire national-park system, and the only one that can ever be in the national-park system of the United States. We shall be greatly pleased by the presence of any Members of the Senate, and we draw no political lines whatever in the extension of this cordial invitation."
Everglades National Park Commission
Operating under Acts of the
and appointed by
Governor Millard F. Caldwell
August Burghard, Chairman
Gen. Albert H. Blanding
D. Graham Copeland
Mrs. Joseph L. Gray
Mrs. W. S. Jennings
A. Cliff Johnson
J. Kennard Johnson
Dr. E. C. Lunsford
Mrs. Gillen McClure
A. B. Michael
Mrs. T. V. Moore
John D. Pennekamp
Richard D. Pope
Nelson P. Poynter
Leonard K. Thompson
G. G. Ware
Will M. Preston
Daniel B. Beard
Dedication Field Director
604 Biscayne Building
Miami 32, Florida
First Day of Issue
Everglades National Park
United States Postage
Chicago Manual of Style
Everglades National Park Commission (Miami, Fla.). Everglades National Park Dedication Ceremony Program, 1947. 1947-12-06. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/345850>, accessed 2 October 2022.
Everglades National Park Commission (Miami, Fla.). Everglades National Park Dedication Ceremony Program, 1947. 1947-12-06. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.<https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/345850>
AP Style Photo Citation
(State Archives of Florida/Everglades National Park Commission (Miami)