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Francis Williams Sargent (July 29, 1915 – October 22, 1998) was an American politician who served as the 64th Governor of Massachusetts from 1969 to 1975. Born in 1915 in Hamilton, Massachusetts, he was known for his sharp wit and self-deprecating manner. A Republican, "Sarge" graduated from Charles River School, Noble & Greenough School and was a student in the architecture program[1] at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
where he was a classmate and friend of I.M. Pei, although Sargent never graduated.[2] He had served in World War II
World War II
and fought in Italy. He would earn a Bronze Star
Bronze Star
and a Purple Heart.[1] He was an avid fisherman on Cape Cod
Cape Cod
and became interested in the environment because he was frustrated by overfishing and the use of illegal nets.[3] He was a dedicated conservationist who delivered the keynote address at MIT on the first Earth Day
Earth Day
in 1970. He had earlier served as state commissioner of natural resources for ten years, and went on to win appointment as state Commissioner of Public Works in 1964. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts
with the slogan "Put Sarge in Charge"[3] and was elected in 1966, and in 1969, he became governor when Governor John Volpe
John Volpe
(R) became secretary of Transportation under President Richard Nixon.[4] In 1970, Sargent won election in his own right, defeating Boston Mayor Kevin White.

Contents

1 Policies as governor

1.1 Cabinet

2 Anti Inner Belt 3 Personal life 4 References 5 External links

Policies as governor[edit] When he first entered office, the budget was in turmoil because of spending increases on welfare and other benefits. He tightened rules for qualifying for Medicaid
Medicaid
and introduced a new corporate tax.[3] According to Barney Frank's book The Story of America's Only Left-handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman by Stuart E. Weisberg, In the election of 1970, against Kevin White, White was the first mayor to declare the city had a race problem and that people did not want him to become governor and keep him as mayor. Frank said, "Sargent was seen as a good liberal and some liberals reasoned that if we elect Kevin White as governor, who knows who is going to be Mayor of Boston." Frank said it was Sargent's popularity that won him the election.[5]

Governor Francis W. Sargent (right) supporting William L. Saltonstall (left) during his campaign for the U.S. Congress, in Haverhill, 1969

He was governor of the Commonwealth during the strife over school busing following Judge W. Arthur Garrity's 1974 decision to desegregate Boston public schools through court-mandated redistricting of the Boston school system, including busing some students out of their neighborhoods to end a pattern of racial segregation in the schools. Sargent had previously vetoed attempts to repeal or water-down the state's Racial Imbalance Act, which prohibited state aid to racially imbalanced school districts. When Sargent called for obeying the federal court order, anti-busing forces complained that he and his neighbors in the well-to-do suburban Boston town of Dover, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
did not have to share any of the burden of desegregating Boston schools. Carl Sheridan, a former Dover police chief, said this of the incident, "I think people will most remember him for the busing situation. I remember one time a bus load of demonstrators came out to Dover looking for Sargent and his house. But because the town had no street lights, they got out of the bus and were standing in the pitch black. They got back in the bus and left. Sargent was still laughing about that two weeks ago."[3] Other accomplishments of the Sargent administration were far reaching. Statewide laws protecting the environment and wetlands were instituted, and Sargent advocated the introduction of no-fault auto insurance. Governor Sargent was very much a man of his time. He ordered the flag to half-mast in recognition of the student killings at Kent State, was the keynote speaker at the first Earth Day
Earth Day
at MIT, and sponsored legislation challenging the legality of the war in Vietnam. Sargent also created weekend prison furlough program.[6] After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
ruled that this right extended to first-degree murderers because the statute did not specifically exclude them, the Massachusetts
Massachusetts
legislature quickly passed a bill prohibiting furloughs for such inmates. However, in 1976, Michael Dukakis vetoed this bill.[7] Willie Horton
Willie Horton
was released on June 6, 1986 for a weekend furlough, but did not return. On April 3, 1987 in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Horton twice raped a local woman after pistol-whipping, knifing, binding, and gagging her fiancé. He then stole the car belonging to the man he had assaulted. He was later captured by police after a chase. On October 20, Horton was sentenced in Maryland to two consecutive life terms plus 85 years. The sentencing judge, Vincent J. Femia, refused to return Horton to Massachusetts, saying, "I'm not prepared to take the chance that Mr. Horton might again be furloughed or otherwise released. This man should never draw a breath of free air again."[8] He also created the Massachusetts Appeals Court
Massachusetts Appeals Court
in 1972, and elected Alan M. Hale, who was a justice of the Superior Court at the time, along with David Rose, Edmund Keville, Reuben Goodman, Donald Grant, and Christopher Armstrong, and were sworn under oath in October 1972. Hale said of the experience, "I wasn't too darn anxious to come here. I liked what I was doing. I enjoyed the experience on the Superior Court, meeting people and lawyers all over the State. I didn't want to leave, but the challenge of setting up an entirely new court was one I could not refuse." The Governor went on to speak of Chief Justice Hale and his five associates, "I have sought individuals who have a proven record of outstanding legal accomplishment, wisdom and good judgment. It is my belief that the men we have selected will allow this court to take its rightful place in our judicial system. It is a bench both balanced and responsive. It will, from the outset, be able to shoulder its full share of an appellate overload which for many years has been staggering." Sargent called the creation of the Appeals Court "the single most significant step in judicial reform in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
this century."[9] He retired from politics after his defeat for reelection by Michael Dukakis in November 1974. He died in 1998 in Dover, Massachusetts,[10][11][12] and is buried at the Highland Cemetery in Dover, Massachusetts. Cabinet[edit]

The Sargent Cabinet

OFFICE NAME TERM

Governor Francis W. Sargent 1969 – 1975

Lt. Governor Donald R. Dwight 1971 – 1975

Secretary of Transportation Alan Altshuler 1972 – 1975

Secretary of Communities and Development Thomas I. Atkins 1971 – 1975

Secretary of Environmental Affairs Charles H. W. Foster 1971 – 1975

Secretary of Consumer Affairs William I. Cowin John R. Verani 1971 – 1972 1972 – 1975

Secretary of Human Services Peter C. Goldmark, Jr. Lucy W. Benson 1971 – 1974 1974 – 1975

Secretary of Elder Affairs Rose Claffey 1974 – 1975

Commissioner of Administration and Finance Donald R. Dwight Charles R. Shepard Robert Yasi William I. Cowin David Marchand 1969 – 1970 1970 – 1971 1971 – 1972 1972 – 1974 1974 – 1975

Secretary of Public Safety Richard E. McLaughlin 1971 – 1975

Secretary of Energy Henry Lee 1971 – 1975

Anti Inner Belt[edit] He achieved renown among conservationists and advocates of a multi-modal urban transportation system by canceling most highway construction inside Route 128, with the exception of the Northern Expressway in 1970. Sargent became a strong advocate for changing the federal laws governing aid to states for highway construction so that more funds were available for mass transit projects such as subways and light-rail vehicles.[13] Frederick P. Salvucci, an engineer, said this of Sargent and the cancellation of the inner belt:

Yes, of course. In many ways the most thrilling moment in the history of the antihighway fight was when we won. And then Governor Sargent went on television and said, basically, he had been the public works commissioner who had fought for the inner belt earlier in his career and, as governor he said it was a mistake and "I'm going to admit that mistake and stop the program and we're going to shift towards public transportation." I mean it was thrilling. It was thrilling for us that had worked hard on it, but also, in fairness to Sargent how often do you see a public official who gets up and says, "I was wrong"? I mean it was an incredibly courageous thing for Frank Sargent to do, and I'm a Democrat. I don't say many good things about republicans. But he was a great man. I mean he had worked for this program. He always had an environmentalist bent to him. [A] lot of people do political analysis as to why he did this or that. I think he just believed what he said. "This was a mistake and we're going to go in a different direction." It was a thrilling moment in the history of it. And then we actually moved in that new direction. I mean we shifted the funds, partly under Governor Sargent, partly under Governor Dukakis. Those monies that were going to go into destroying those neighborhoods or building the highways were shifted into refurbishing the commuter rail system, extending the Red Line, relocating the Orange Line, basically rebuilding the public transportation infrastructure of the city. That came out of that decision and another component of the same decision – you can go check that speech that Frank Sargent gave – was that the only highways that would continue to be studied within Route 128 would be the depression and widening of the Central Artery and the extension of I-90 over to Logan in an additional tunnel, the two components that are today called the Big Dig. Those were really part of that, if you will, anti-highway – "anti-highway's" probably the wrong name – pro-city decision that was made by Frank Sargent to shift towards a transportation strategy that would build the city instead of destroying it. And a major component of that was, stop building destructive roads. Another major component was, put a lot of money into improving public transportation, and the third component that we're seeing built now is, take the existing Central Artery that's there and fix it. I mean fix it both from a transportation point of view, because it doesn't work, but also fix what it did to the city by etting it underground and knit the city back together again. That was a very thrilling moment in my life, when Sargent did it. And I've always respected him a great deal because of the courage that it took to do that.[14] Sargent also called in Alan A. Altshuler, a political science professor at MIT take a new look at where we were headed in transportation policy. Sargent made him Secretary of Transportation and he presided over the Boston Transportation Planning Review. This review basically led to the stopping of the inner belt and the southwest expressway. Frederick P. Salvucci
Frederick P. Salvucci
called them "two major very destructive interstate highways". But, the funds were reallocated towards public transportation, and saw the extension of the Red Line to Braintree and the relocation of the Orange Line.[15] Personal life[edit] While at MIT, he became a member of the Number Six Club, also known as the Tau Chapter of Delta Psi. Francis W. Sargent married Jessie Fay Sargent in 1938. She wrote a memoir in 1973 about their time in office, entitled The Governor's Wife: A View from Within. She helped to launch the Doric Dame, a group of volunteers that led tours of the Massachusetts
Massachusetts
State House. Jessie died on August 15, 2008, peacefully in her sleep.[16] They have a son, Bill Sargent of Ipswich and two daughters, Fay of Acton and Jay of Middletown, Rhode Island. Sargent's son, Francis W. "Bill" Sargent, Jr. was a candidate for the United States
United States
House of Representatives seat in Massachusetts's 10th congressional district in 1996. He lost the Republican nomination to Edward B. Teague III.[17] In 1978 Sargent, Jr. was considered by the State Republican Committee to succeed William A. Casey as the Republican nominee for Massachusetts State Auditor
Massachusetts State Auditor
after Casey dropped out to support Democrat Edward J. King
Edward J. King
in the Governor's race.[18] References[edit]

^ a b http://www.doverhistoricalsociety.org/documents/DoverDays_new/cyber_millenium/profiles.html[permanent dead link] ^ "MIT Alumni Association". alum.mit.edu. Retrieved June 11, 2016.  ^ a b c d "Former Mass. Governor Francis Sargent
Francis Sargent
Dies at 83". The Washington Post. January 4, 1999.  ^ "Francis W. Sargent, Ex-Governor, Dies". The Boston Globe. October 23, 1998. ^ Weisberg, Stuart E. (January 1, 2009). Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman. Univ of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Press. ISBN 1558497218.  ^ Lauter, David (July 2, 1988). "Prison Furloughs: Campaigns Obscuring Complex Issue". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 14, 2017.  ^ Toner, Robin (July 5, 1988). "Prison Furloughs in Massachusetts Threaten Dukakis Record on Crime". New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2017.  ^ Bidinotto, Robert (July 1988). "Getting Away with murder". Reader's Digest.  ^ sjc (July 22, 2013). "Reporter of Decisions". Court System. Retrieved June 11, 2016.  ^ Funeral to be Nov 4 for Francis Sargent. The Boston Globe, October 24, 1998. ^ LA Times Obituary ^ MIT News Obituary ^ Oliver Gillham, Alex S. MacLean (2002). The Limitless City. Island Press. ISBN 1-55963-833-8.  ^ http://frumin.net/ation/transit/ ^ "Great Projects: The Building of America . Interviews PBS". www.pbs.org. Retrieved June 11, 2016.  ^ Marquard, Bryan (August 27, 2008). "Jessie Sargent, at 92; helped broaden role of governor's wife". The Boston Globe.  ^ Massachusetts
Massachusetts
Election Statistics 1996.  ^ Brown, Thomas S. (September 26, 1978). "Republicans Seek Casey Replacement". Associated Press. Retrieved June 13, 2011. 

External links[edit]

History of Integrated Boston Busing

Political offices

Preceded by Elliot Richardson Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts January 5, 1967 – January 1971 Acting Governor January 22, 1969 – January 1971 Succeeded by Donald R. Dwight

Preceded by John Volpe Governor of Massachusetts January 1971 – January 2, 1975 Succeeded by Michael Dukakis

v t e

Governors of Massachusetts

Colony (1629–86)

Endecott Winthrop T. Dudley Haynes Vane Winthrop T. Dudley Bellingham Winthrop Endecott T. Dudley Winthrop Endecott T. Dudley Endecott Bellingham Endecott Bellingham Leverett Bradstreet

Dominion (1686–89)

J. Dudley Andros Bradstreet

Province (1692–1776)

W. Phips Stoughton Bellomont Stoughton Governor's Council J. Dudley Governor's Council J. Dudley Tailer Shute Dummer Burnet Dummer Tailer Belcher Shirley S. Phips Shirley S. Phips Governor's Council Pownall Hutchinson Bernard Hutchinson Gage

Commonwealth (since 1776)

Hancock Cushing Bowdoin Hancock Adams Sumner Gill Governor's Council Strong Sullivan Lincoln Sr. Gore Gerry Strong Brooks Eustis Morton Lincoln Jr. Davis Armstrong Everett Morton Davis Morton Briggs Boutwell Clifford E. Washburn Gardner Banks Andrew Bullock Claflin W. Washburn Talbot Gaston Rice Talbot Long Butler Robinson Ames Brackett Russell Greenhalge Wolcott Crane Bates Douglas Guild Draper Foss Walsh McCall Coolidge Cox Fuller Allen Ely Curley Hurley Saltonstall Tobin Bradford Dever Herter Furcolo Volpe Peabody Volpe Sargent Dukakis King Dukakis Weld Cellucci Swift Romney Patrick Baker

Italics indicate acting officeholders

v t e

Lieutenant Governors of Massachusetts

Colony (1629–86)

Goffe Humphrey T. Dudley Ludlow Bellingham Winthrop T. Dudley Bellingham Endecott Winthrop T. Dudley Endecott T. Dudley Endecott Bellingham Willoughby Leverett Symonds Bradstreet Danforth

Dominion (1686–89)

Stoughton Nicholson

Province (1692–1776)

Stoughton Povey Tailer Dummer Tailer S. Phips Hutchinson A. Oliver T. Oliver

Commonwealth (since 1776)

T. Cushing B. Lincoln Adams Gill S. Phillips Robbins L. Lincoln Cobb Gray W. Phillips L. Lincoln Jr. Morton Winthrop Armstrong Hull Childs Reed Cushman Huntington Plunkett Brown Benchley Trask Goodrich Nesmith Hayden Claflin Tucker Talbot Knight Long Weston Ames Brackett Haile Wolcott Crane Bates Guild Draper Frothingham Luce Walsh Barry G. Cushing C. Coolidge Cox Fuller Allen Youngman Bacon Hurley Kelly Cahill Bradford A. Coolidge Sullivan Whittier R. Murphy McLaughin Bellotti Richardson Sargent Dwight O'Neill Kerry E. Murphy Cellucci Swift Healey Murray Polito

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 9036456 LCC

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