COLLECTION FINDING AID



BENJAMIN F. BAILAR PAPERS, 1973-78

Deputy Postmaster General, 1974-75;
Postmaster General, 1975-78




SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

Scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, magazine articles and some speeches and interview transcripts concerning his activities with the Untied States Postal Service and one speech about postal matters delivered to the Economic Club of Detroit on March 8, 1976.

QUANTITY
0.8 linear feet (ca. 1600 pages)

DONOR
Benjamin F. Bailar. (accession numbers 81-25 and 81-26)

ACCESS
Open

COPYRIGHT
Benjamin Bailar donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by Barbara White, May 1982
[s:\bin\findaid\bailar, benjamin - papers.doc]


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION


Benjamin F. Bailar


April 21, 1934 - Born, Champaign, Illinois

1955 - B.S., geology, University of Colorado.

1955-1957 - Lieutenant, United States Navy

1959 - M.B.A., Harvard University

1959-1962 - Coordinating and planning staff, Continental Oil Company

1962-1972 - Financial analyst and vice-president, American Can Company

1972-1974 - Senior Assistant Postmaster General for Support and Administration, Unites States Postal Service

1974-1975 - Deputy Postmaster General, United States Postal Service

1975-1978 - Postmaster General of the United States

1978-- Executive vice-president, director, U.S. Gypsum Company


INTRODUCTION

Benjamin Franklin Bailar was named the sixty-first Postmaster General of the United States by the Postal Service Board of Governors on February 16, 1975, succeeding Elmer T. Klassen. In 1970, the Postal Service was created as a semi-independent establishment of the executive branch under an eleven-member Board of Governors. The purpose of the reorganization was to bring a more business-oriented administration to the huge federal postal system. As both the Postmaster General, and previously as the Deputy Postmaster General, Bailar sat on this board.

Bailar, with his background in finance and management, attempted to place the postal service on a strong economic base. His major responsibility was to administer this semi-independent government corporation so that it could support itself on revenues from mail users. Bailar was especially concerned with the quality of mail service and postal costs. One significant cost was labor, and Bailar negotiated a contract which averted a strike by the unionized postal employees in July 1975.

The Bailar files consist of five scrapbooks dating form December 1974 through March 1978, when Bailar resigned as Postmaster General, with scattered items from the period immediately following; and one speech, "Postal Service - Political Birthright or Economic Choice," delivered to the Economic Club of Detroit, March 8, 1976. A video-cassette of the first day of issue ceremony for the telephone centennial stamp and two albums of photographs depicting his activities, May 1973 to January 1978, were transferred to the audio-visual collection.

The scrapbooks consist almost entirely of national and local newspaper and national and trade magazine clippings arranged chronologically. Other related materials include transcripts of news interviews, press wires, invitations, commencement programs, speeches, correspondence, and cartoons. There are no office files. The majority of the papers document interviews and public appearances, such as first day of issue ceremonies and press coverage of major issues, including postal costs and the integrity of the mail. Subjects include the rate increase of first class stamps to 13 cents; CIA mail tampering; postal labor union negotiations in 1975; possible postal cost-cuts, such as small and rural post-office closings and deleting Saturday delivery; and Bailar's appointment, background and resignation.

Related Materials (May 1982)
Related materials may be found in the files of F. Lynn May, of the Domestic Council, Postal Service Subject File, 1974-76; and in the White House Central Files categories Federal Government - Organizations (FG 18 - Post Office Department and FG 295 - U.S. Postal Service) and Postal Service (PO).


CONTAINER LIST

Box 1 - Scrapbooks and a Speech

  • Speech - Economic Club of Detroit, 3/8/76
  • Items Transferred to the Audiovisual Collection
  • Scrapbooks, 1-2

Box 2 - Scrapbooks and a Speech

  • Scrapbooks, 3-5