History of the FSALC


By O. D. Elliott

(This is a 2024 update to the previous “History of the FSALC”. Some of it is corrections and some, new material.)

(The following record of the FSALC is compiled from various sources, i.e. old Convention Booklets, copies of the FSALC’s former newsletter “The Florida Letter Carrier”, various available documents and information provided by the former NALC Director of Information, Nancy Dysart, and from various Branches, most notably Branches 1071, Miami and Branch 1091, Orlando.

Following the establishment of the NALC in 1889, various cities across America began establishing “Branches” and having them officially chartered by the National. At the same time, States began forming State Associations. The Florida State Association of Letter Carriers was chartered by the NALC on September 23, 1913. At the time of this charter, there were already eleven Branches chartered in Florida, including Jacksonville (53), Pensacola (321), Tampa (599), St. Augustine (689), Key West (818), Gainesville (1025), Miami (1071), Orlando (1091), Ocala (1103), Tallahassee (1172), St.Petersburg (1477).

Although chartered in 1913, the first record of a Convention was 1923 in Tampa, Florida. From 1923 through 1968, the FSALC held yearly Conventions. In 1968, the Bylaws were changed due to a statewide referendum to have Conventions only in odd years beginning in 1969. At the 1969 Convention, the issue of only having biennial Conventions was rehashed with charges that the original referendum vote was improper. After much discussion, the issue was discussed with the NALC Committee of Laws and with then NALC President Rademacher. It was decided to have the referendum again. The referendum was sent out and again passed overwhelmingly.
This put the issue to rest and since 1969, the Conventions have been biennial and held each odd year. During the 1920s through 1934, many of the Conventions were held jointly with the National Federation of Post Office Clerks (later to become the APWU), Association of Postmasters, National Association of Postal Supervisors, and the National League of District Postmasters. (This was generally at the request of the Post Office.) By 1928, the NALC had become aware of the growth of the FSALC and began assigning national officers to attend our State Conventions. At the 1933 Convention in Ocala, due to the increased growth and need for organizing assistance, the delegation voted to create five districts patterned after the then five existing Congressional Districts.

Following is a list of State Conventions:
1923 – Tampa 1924 – Orlando 1925 – St.Petersburg
1926 – Miami 1927 – W.Palm Beach 1928 – Ft. Myers
1929 – Tampa 1930 – Orlando 1931 – St. Petersburg
1932 – Miami 1933 – Ocala 1934 – Jacksonville
1935 – Tampa 1936 – W. Palm Beach 1937 – St. Augustine
1938 – St. Petersburg 1939 – Daytona Beach 1940 – (unknown)
1941 – Miami 1942 – Jacksonville 1943 – (unknown)
1944 – Ft. Lauderdale 1945 – (none due to travel restrictions)
1946 – Tampa 1947 – St. Petersburg 1948 – Jacksonville
1949 – Lakeland 1950 – Orlando 1951 – W. Palm Beach
1952 – St. Augustine 1953 – Miami Beach 1954 – Pensacola
1955 – Clearwater 1956 – Orlando 1957 – Ft. Lauderdale
1958 – Tampa 1959 – St. Petersburg 1960 – (unknown)
1961 – Jacksonville 1962 – Clearwater 1963 – Hollywood
1964 – (unknown) 1965 – Ft. Lauderdale 1966 – Cocoa Beach
1967 – (unknown) 1968 – W. Palm Beach 1969 – Jacksonville
1971 – Miami Beach 1973 – Orlando 1975 – Tampa 1977 – Sarasota 1979 – Ft. Lauderdale 1981 – Orlando 1983 –Jacksonville
1985 – Hollywood 1987 – St. Petersburg 1989 – Orlando
1991 – Tampa 1993 – Ft. Lauderdale 1995 – St. Petersburg
1997 – Tampa 1999 – Ft. Lauderdale 2001 – Tampa
2003 – Orlando 2005 – Naples 2007 – Jacksonville
2009 – Naples 2011 – St.Petersburg 2013 – Jacksonville
2015 – St.Petersburg 2017 – Orlando 2019 – St.Petersburg
2021 – Orlando 2023 – Naples

Following is a list of Presidents of the FSALC. As with the Convention sites, the list is incomplete and could only be compiled from the records available.
1914 – 1915 BD Jenks of Br818, Key West
1924 Joe Fletcher of Br1477, St.Petersburg
1925 WS Ferguson of Br1477, St. Petersburg
1926 FM Lang of Br1071, Miami
1927 Hubert V. Hiers of Br1690, W. Palm Beach
1928 WL Jacobs of Br1071, Miami
1929 William Dubose of Br2109, Plant City
1930 – 1931 John Coram of Br599, Tampa
1932 – 1933 (1st name unknown) Paulson of Br1071, Miami
1934 – 1936 CM Kickliter of Br 599, Tampa
1937 – 1940 Luau Queen of Br1477, St.Petersburg
1941 – 1943 Spencer Locke of Br 1091, Orlando
1944 – C. B. Hawkins of Br53, Jacksonville
1945 – 1946 Lon Almand of Br 599, Tampa
1947 – 1948 James Sladky of Br1071, Miami
1949 – 1950 RH Peacock of Br 53, Jacksonville
1950 – 1951 ET Wimbash of Br1091, Orlando
1951 – 1952 Warren Sturgis of Br1477, St. Petersburg
1953 – 1954 Doyle Adair of Br1690, W. Palm Beach
1954 – 1956 JR Mills of Br599, Tampa
1957 Clarence Forbes of Br599, Tampa
1958 – 1959 Clarence Jacobs of Br 1091, Orlando
1960 – 1962 James Dolan of Br1071, Miami
1962 – 1963 Elmer “Red” Mann
1963 – 1965 David Gardner of Plant City (a Rural Carrier)
1966 – 1967 EJ Wilson of Br1071, Miami
1968 – 1970 Bill Corbeau (whom our Scholarship is named) of Br1091, Orlando
1970 – 1973 Albert Arnold of Br599, Tampa
1973 – 1977 Howard Carter of Br599, Tampa
1977 – 1979 Luther Sands of Br5542, Brandon
1979 – 1981 James C. Mahlbacher of Br1071, Miami
1981 – 2009 John Giordano of Br1071, Miami
2009 ~ 2012 Matthew Rose o Br1071, f Miami
2012 – Al Friedman of Br2008, Clearwater

2012 – Al Friedman of Clearwater (As Vice Pres., he assumed the position when then Pres. Rose resigned to take on an assignment from NALC Pres. Rolando.)

The longest serving President in the FSALC was John Giordano, serving for 28 years, from 1981 – 2009. The longest serving officer in the FSALC was O.D. Elliott, serving 38 yrs, as Secretary, Director of Retirees and VP.

FSALC AND THE “SEPARATE CHARTER ISSUE:” At the 1941 NALC Convention in Los Angeles, the delegation created in Article ii, Section I, language providing that cities could have “Separate Charters”, one for black carriers and one for white carriers. In the beginning, there were many cities with “Separate Charters”. This issue became a source of controversy at intervening NALC Conventions. At the 1954 NALC Convention in Cleveland, the delegates voted to remove the “Separate Charter “language from the Constitution. At that time, there were only 17 cities remaining with “Separate Charters”, of which two were in Florida, Jacksonville and St.Petersburg. Although the “Separate Charter” language was removed, it was agreed to allow the 17 Charter Cities to remain status quo. At the FSALC Convention in 1955, the State Association drafted and passed a resolution seeking from National the restoration of the “Separate Charter” language. This resolution failed at the 1956 NALC Convention in Minneapolis. The 17 “Separate Charter” cities continued until April 14, 1961, when the NALC Executive Council issued a directive, in accordance with a mandate from the 1960 NALC Convention in Cincinnati. This directive required all “Separate Charter” branches to merge within 90- days. It further directed that any branch failing to or refusing to comply by July 14, 1961, would have their charters suspended. At the time, Jacksonville’s two charters were “52” for white carriers and “3944” for black carriers. They merged into Branch “53”. St.Petersburg’s two charters were “4463” for black carriers and “1477” for white carriers. They merged into Branch “1477”. Thus ended a regrettable period in our history, but one that cannot be overlooked.

REVENUE: From the beginning of the State Association until the introduction of automatic dues deductions in January of 1965, yearly per capita was collected from the Branches by the State Secretary. Each year the Secretary sent a per capita tax “call” letter to each Branch in the Association. He made a report at each Convention of the Branches that had paid and those that had not. Branches not paying the per capita tax were usually suspended until payment. In 1949, the State Association had some financial problems and sent a ballot by mail to all members in the State proposing to raise the per capita from $1.50 to $2.00 per member. The proposal passed by a margin of 724 (for) to 362 (against) with 98 ballots not returned. At some point between 1949 and 1981 (unknown), the annual per capita was increased from $2.00 per member to $2.50 per member. In 1981 in Orlando, the per capita was increased to $3.00. At the 1987 State Convention in St Petersburg the per capita was increased from $3.00 annually to $3.90 annually. In 2015 at the 73rd Biennial Convention in St.Petersburg, the per capita was increased to $5.20 for active members and $5.10 for retirees.

THE FLORIDA LETTER CARRIER: Much of the information in this document came from old issues of “The Florida Letter Carrier. This was a paper published monthly and mailed to all members. Each month, many of the State Officers and the National Business Agent submitted reports. Also, Branches routinely submitted articles about matters of concern from their cities. This publication began in July 1933 and ended in late 1998. It ended when the publisher ended operations. The State made extensive efforts to secure another publisher. However, no publisher could be found who was willing to sell ads for the paper to cover the costs, as had been done by the previous publishers. The other publishers required between $5,000 and $6,000 per issue to cover the cost of the publishing and mailing. This cost was prohibitive.

FLORIDA STATE ASSOCIATION OF CARRIER RETIREMENT BENEFITS ASSOCIATION: In October of 1953, the FSALC put into place a retirement benefits program for Letter Carriers. This was a voluntary program that would upon the retirement or death of a (contributing) member pay a benefit to the carrier or his/her beneficiary (depending upon the amount contributed). Application was limited to carriers under the age of 45. This Benefits Association continued until the 90s, when it disbanded due to a lack of support.

MEMBERSHIP: Until the 1978 NALC National Convention in Chicago, Branches weren’t required to belong to the State Association. At the 1978 National Convention, Article 2 of the Constitution of the government of State Associations was changed requiring that “Membership of this Association shall be composed of all members in good standing in the National Association of Letter Carriers within the geographical boundaries of their respective State.” Prior to the adoption of this change, all State Associations, including the FSALC had ongoing problems concerning Branches choosing not to belong to the Association or Branches being suspended due to non- payment of per capita tax for their members. It should be noted that in 1977, the largest Branch in Florida, Br 1071, Miami voluntarily rejoined the State Association.

FUNCTION: During all of the NALC’s history, action in the legislative arena has been an important function of all State Associations. Until the NALC obtained the right to bargain collectively in the Postal Reorganization Act following the Postal Strike of 1970, the FSALC as well as all other State Associations, spent time, resources, and efforts in lobbying Congress for decent wages, working conditions, annual leave, sick leave, overtime pay and widows annuities. Instead of collective bargaining, it was much akin to “collective begging”. In January of 1948, the FSALC and other State Associations met at NALC HQ in Washington, D.C. to form an aggressive program to present to Congress concerning pay and working conditions. In the 1949 FSALC Convention in Lakeland, the big issue were bills pending in Congress to give Postal Workers 26 days of AL , 15 days of SL, provide a onetime $100 clothing allowance, provide a pay increase of $150 per year, eliminate the four lowest pay grades which would make the starting pay $2,950 per annum and provide widows’ benefits for deceased Postal Workers. By 1953, these same matters were still pending in the new session of Congress. In 1953 and again in 1954 the FSALC began, along with other State Associations an aggressive legislative campaign of urging Letter Carriers to write, telegraph, and telephone their Congressmen and Senators to urge them to support a wage increase. Many carriers, in their letters, noted that they had to have part time jobs just to support their families. At a District 2 meeting in St. Petersburg in 1954, NALC President William Doherty noted a survey that indicated that 79.66% of Letter Carriers either had outside jobs or their wives were employed outside the home. In February 1957, the FSALC and other State Associations held rallies throughout their states seeking public support in urging Congress not to implement a threatened pay freeze. Again in 1958 and 1959, the FSALC had an aggressive letter writing, telegraphing, and telephoning campaign seeking support from Congress for a reasonable pay increase. A strong legislative agenda has always been of great importance for the FSALC as well as other State Associations. In the early years, the simple recognition of the NALC as a representative of Letter Carriers was paramount. During the 40s and 50s, our legislative efforts were primarily concerned with seeking support for things that we take for granted today, i.e.decent wages, overtime pay, guaranteed hours, clothing allowances, spouses annuities, AL, SL, decent working conditions, etc. After obtaining bargaining rights, there was a concentration of legislative efforts to get the Hatch Ace repealed. Throughout the history of the FSALC, legislative efforts have been made and are continuing to be made to get our members to contact their Congressmen and Senators to support legislation that would be beneficial and to oppose legislation that would not be in our interests. At the 2006 NALC Convention, the Constitution of the Government of State Associations was changed, making activities relating to legislation the sole mission of the State Associations. It is to be noted that in 2016, the FSALC was successful in getting a VOTE BY MAIL bill introduced in the Florida State Legislature, passed unanimously by both houses and signed into law by the governor.

NALC ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE: The History of the FSALC would not be complete without mentioning the Annual Food Drive. The Food Drive has just completed its 25th year and once again the State of Florida is among the nation’s leaders in total food collected. Much of the State’s success is due to the efforts of State President Al Friedman who has secured several major sponsors who provide printed bags and postcard mailings. The success of those efforts resulted in four Branches in Florida being number one in their categories for most food collected in the 2014 Food Drive. They were Br 1477, West Coast Florida Letter Carriers (cat.3) (note: Br 599 Tampa was 2nd in cat. 3.) Br 2008, Clearwater (cat.5), Br 1091, Central Florida Letter Carriers (cat.2), and Br 1103, Ocala (cat.9). Not only did these branches lead their categories, but Br 1477, Br 599, Br 1091, and Br 2008 were Nos. 1,2,3, and 4 overall nationwide. In 2015 the State of Florida was again number one in several categories with Br 1477 being number one overall again. In 2016, the State of Florida had seven Branches who were number one in their categories, with Branch 1091, Central Florida the overall leader, nationwide. In 2017, the State of Florida had several branches that were 1st or 2nd in their categories. In 2018, Florida Branches collected nearly 9 million lbs of food, with Br 1071 collecting the 2nd largest amount in the nation, and branches 1091, 1477, 2072, and 11 coming in first in their categories. As in past years, the collective total of Florida Branches exceeded that of all other states.

STATE BAND- In 1953, then President Doyle S. Adair started the State Band. This band was primarily composed of Letter Carriers, active and retired, and sometimes their family members. The band would attend all State and National Conventions. Until the early eighties, many States had bands that would accompany them to the Conventions. Often, National Conventions would begin with a parade in which Delegates would march and be accompanied by the State bands. The bands would also play at various venues throughout the Convention. The Florida State Band was supported entirely by donations. Branches were asked to set up a “Good Guys Club” just for donations to support the Band. Each month, the Florida Letter Carrier listed by Branch donations received from the Good Guys Club. Because of the increasing costs to send Bands to the National Conventions, most State Bands, including Florida folded by the mid-eighties.

MARY LOU JACKMAN/WILLIAM CORBEAU SCHOLARSHIP -This scholarship was established in 1969 and named after William Corbeau who was President of the FSALC from 1968-1970 and Mary Lou Jackman who was President of the State Auxiliary during the same period. The eligibility requirements are that the student must have graduated from an accredited high school or have a GED. The student must be a dependent of an FSALC member or spouse of a deceased member who has not remarried. They must enroll as a full-time student in an accredited college or university and submit proof of enrollment. There are four scholarships of $2000 each awarded, two for males and two for females.

FSALC AUXILIARY – The NALC auxiliary was established in 1905 by a group of women interested in Letter Carriers’ issues because of their relationships to Letter Carriers. Although local chapters of the Auxiliary were already established, the FSALC Auxiliary wasn’t established until 1933. It was established by Eleanor Marshick, then President of Auxiliary 181, St.Petersburg (est. 1924). Eleanor went on to serve in numerous National Auxiliary offices until elected as their President in 1960. The State Auxiliary has historically held their Conventions in conjunction with the FSALC. For many years the FSALC and the Auxiliary held joint installation of officers. The Auxiliary became politically active during elections. This was especially important during the many years Carriers were under the restraint of the Hatch Act. They were active in letter writing, telephoning and meeting with Congressmen and Senators concerning issues that affected Letter Carriers and their families. They were also involved in assisting members of their particular branches who were in need, supporting the State Band and supporting the Letter Carriers’ efforts to raise money for MDA. More recently, they have been actively supporting the Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp out Hunger Food Drive. Over the years, they have been an asset in assisting with Letter Carrier issues.

NOTES OF INTEREST:(1) Two of Region 9’s National Business Agents, Matty Rose and Judy Willoughby, and our National President, Fred Rolando all served as the FSALC’s Director of Education. (2) At the 73rd Biennial Convention, in July 2015, the Delegates passed a resolution honoring former past President, John Giordano with the title of “President Emeritus”. (3) The election of the District 4 Chairperson at the 2017 State Convention created a first in FSALC history. The two candidates, Bob Henning and Frank Marinnaci tied with 139 votes each. The candidates agreed to a coin toss to determine the winner and Bob Henning won the toss. FSALC VP, Anthony Ali was appointed by President Rolando as an RAA for Region 9 where he will be working under the leadership of our new NBA, Lynne Pendleton of Branch 1091, Orlando. (4) For a period during the mid-sixties, the Association along with the Florida Letter Carrier sponsored a Beauty contest. The contestants were required to be daughters or granddaughters of a Letter Carrier, be between the ages of 17 and 21, never been married or had an annulled marriage, and if under 21, the parents written permission to participate was required. (5) In the early sixties, a carrier named Robert C. McFadden of the Jacksonville Branch invented a canvas bag for the wire baskets of the Postal bikes. These bags protected the mail and were used until the Anthrax attacks through the mail in 2001, at which time the Postal Service ceased using the wire baskets and developed an aluminum basket that could be locked. (6) The Singing Mailmen of Miami was formed in 1954. They became nationally recognized, appearing on the Ted Mack Show, Bob Poole Show and Mitch Miller’s show. They performed for various Civic functions and Conventions in Miami. They did a 4000 mile “Good Will Tour” by chartered bus and performed in the Govenors’s office in Tallahassee and in the cities of Jacksonville, Atlanta, Greenville, Charleston, Buffalo, Toronto Canada, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. They also did a command performance in the Postmaster General’s Office in Wash.,D.C. singing “The Men With the U.S. Mail.” They also performed at the 1960 FSALC Convention and for various venues during the 1964 NALC Convention in Miami.
(7) The Open Air, St.Petersburg Letter Carriers’ Bicycle Drill team was established in the late 1930s. This team performed during local Christmas Parades and other Civic Functions. They also performed in the opening parades that the NALC Conventions used to have on Sundays preceding the Convention. They used Schwin Cycle Trucks adapted specifically for the Postal Service. For many years, Schwin provided the Team with new cycles specifically for their drill team and shipped them to and from the NALC Convention cities by rail. We have a picture of the team performing in the parade at the 1954 NALC Convention in Cleveland.


PANDEMIC OF 2020/2021 – The Covid -19 Pandemic which began in late February, early March 2020, created many logistical problems at all levels for conducting Union business.The FSALC was no exception. All meetings of the Executive Board were conducted by telephone conferences. Many branches conducted their monthly meetings via zoom, webinar, etc. Others, while continuing to hold regular meetings, did so within the CDC guidelines, requiring masks and separation. As of July 2021, most branches have begun holding in-person meetings once again. However, the larger branches indicate they plan to continue using zoom as an adjunct for the members who live too far from their Union Halls to normally attend the meetings. Training for new Officers and Stewards was generally conducted by zoom or webinar, with no face-to-face meetings. While logistics were problematic, the real loss to many of our members was the suffering they endured and are still enduring from having had the disease. Many others suffered the loss of loved ones to Covid. The NALC established a memorial noting the letter carriers who have died from Covid. As of this update, of the 72 noted by the NALC, three are from Florida. They are Angela Hampton and Ivoral Davidson of Branch 2550 and Danny Pocchiari of Branch 1477.

Branch # Name Charter Date

53 Jacksonville 08/14/1890
321 Pensacola 05/12/1892
599 Tampa 01/16/1897
689 St.Augustine 01/02/1900
818 Key West 08/12/1901
1025 Gainesville 10/08/1901
1071 Miami 01/29/1906
1091 Orlando 05/24/1906
1103 Ocala 09/22/1906
1172 Tallahassee 02/24/1908
1477 St.Petersburg 11/04/1912
1690 W.Palm Beach 11/03/1915
1753 Bradenton 01/08/1917
1779 Lakeland 11/17/1917
2008 Clearwater 09/11/1922
2072 Ft.Myers 11/08/1923
2148 Sarasota 06/21/1924
2550 Ft.Lauderdale 09/13/1926
2591 Deland 11/13/1926
2689 Melbourne 03/21/1927
2750 Lake Wales 12/05/1927
2796 Madison 02/06/1928
2889 Perry 01/04/1929
3018 Williston 02/06/1930
3367 Panama City 06/18/1934
3641 Monticello 05/01/1938
3663 Apalachicola 06/23/1938
3667 Chipley 07/02/1938
4000 Avon Park 05/14/1948
4559 Ft.Walton Beach 03/14/1955
4716 Naples 03/19/1957
5192 Apopka 06/04/1959
5201 Port St. Joe 06/16/1959
5480 Venice 07/20/1960
5951 Edgewater 08/14/1962
5955 Altamonte Springs 08/28/1962
5957 Lake Alfred 09/06/1962
6013 Inverness 03/05/1963
6200 Blountstown 09/17/1964
6491 Crystal River 05/24/1968

FSALC and the Boo Hum Ditt Dums: The Boo Hum Ditt Dums National Association entitled “National Association of Boo Hum Ditt Dums – Letter Carriers’ Fun Organization began at the 1941 National Convention in Los Angeles as a group of delegates to the Convention got together to establish a “fun” organization just for Letter Carriers. This Association consisted of “Tribes” at the local levels, State and National level Officers. The organization consisted only of men during its history. Members of Tribes were required to be members in good standing of their local NALC Branch. New members were voted in and then underwent an initiation ceremony. Generally, these Tribes held monthly meetings, often in their Branch’s Union Hall. For many years, at the NALC Conventions, meetings of Boo Hum members were noted in the daily bulletins, giving date, time and place. Likewise, for many years, at the FSALC Conventions the Convention Book noted the date, time and place of the Boo Hum meetings. The State monthly publication “The Florida Letter Carrier” had a regular column for the Boo Hums. In the 1990s, the Boo Hum organization became an item of contention, viewed by many as anti-feminine and racist as female carriers and most Black carriers were excluded. At the 57th NALC Convention in 1990 in New Orleans, the issue became a hot topic of conversation on the Convention floor following Sec-Treas O’Connell’s closing announcements of the next day’s activities, during which he announced the date, time and location of the Boo Hum Ditt Dums meeting. During the following day’s session, Sister Jeana Watts, a delegate of Branch 9, Minneapolis asked that no future announcement or coverage of the Boo Hums be given at the NALC Conventions due to their reputation of excluding women and Blacks. Her request brought a roar of approval and applause from the delegates. During future Conventions the Boo Hums were no longer given any coverage. Although the Boo Hums was not begun as anti-feminine or racist, following the 1990 National Convention its membership began to wane and has now become mainly a thing of the past. It should be noted that over the years, the Boo Hums were active in the NALC’S political efforts. In Florida, they raised money to help send our State Bands to Conventions, helped the Local Auxiliaries with various functions and contributed money to assist fellow carriers in need.

[Over the years I have been provided helpful information from Alan Peacock, Past President of Br 599, Patty Badini of Br 1690, Dan Tegreeny past President of Branch 1091, Nancy Dysart, former Director of Information for the NALC, Matty Rose, former Region 9 NBA and from Nicole Rhine, Sec-Treas, NALC.

Much of the information provided by those listed above was in the form of copies of issues of the old Florida Letter Carrier. Many thanks to all those listed above for their contributions.

I would like to continue adding to and making corrections, where necessary, to this History of the FSALC. If you have any pertinent information or documentation which would be helpful in updating this History, please contact me, O.D. Elliott at 101 78th Ave NE, St.Petersburg, Florida 33702-4413 or call me at 727-526-2673. Any documentation provided will, at the sender’s request, be returned to the sender.]

Provided by O.D. Elliott
Vice President