550 containers (300 linear feet).
Arranged in nine series: Series 1. Legislative Correspondence, 1981-1992; Series 2. Committee and Subcommittee Files, 1976-1992; Series 3. Bills Sponsored and Cosponsored, 1978-1992; Series 4. Press Files, 1975-1992; Series 5. Source Files, 1976-1992; Series 6. Personal and Travel Files, 1973-1992; Series 7. Federal Programs and Case Files, 1973-1992; Series 8. Images, Audiotapes, and Videotapes, 1973-1992; and Series 9. Memorabilia, 1973-1992.
Most of these documents were created by Congressman Lehman and his staff while he was a member of the United States House of Representatives -- They reflect Lehman's committee activities, the needs of his constituents, and his personal interests. The Congressman initially served on the House Committee on Education and Labor, and the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service. He later served on the Committee on Budget. In 1979 the House appointed him to the President's Commission on the Holocaust. He then served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. During his second decade in office he became a member of the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families, and the Committee on Appropriations. As a member of the Appropriations Committee he served on the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, where he became directly involved in development assistance, and the Subcommittee on Transportation. He became chairman of the powerful Subcommittee on Transportation in 1985. A strong advocate for urban mass transit, he helped channel millions of dollars in federal funding to South Florida for projects such as the Tri-County Commuter Rail System and Dade Mass Transit (Metrobus, Metrorail, Metromover, and Paratransit). To help the State of Florida mitigate the financial impact of the enormous influx of Cuban and Haitian refugees during the 1980s, he joined forces with other Florida congressmen to obtain federal funding. In 1988 he met with Fidel Castro, secured the release of longtime political prisoners, and flew them to Miami on a chartered plane. He secured funding for Israel and advocated for Soviet Jews seeking resettlement in Israel. He helped pass legislation to ease restrictions on international adoptions. In addition, he worked to pass legislation and/or secure funding for environmental and other issues directly impacting Florida including oil leasing and offshore drilling, acid rain, the Kissimmee River Restoration Project, the Miami River (Harbor) Project, Munisport / Interama (Dade County, Florida) Superfund proposal, coastal zone management and beach restoration, Everglades protection, traumatic injury treatment, and Hurricane Andrew relief.
Papers include correspondence with constituents, colleagues, and other individuals and groups; bills sponsored and cosponsored; correspondence, research papers, pamphlets, ephemera, and other materials relating to legislative issues; committee and subcommittee reports, testimonies from hearings, information packets, and related materials; press releases, newsletters and drafts, copies of speeches, and clippings; personal correspondence, memberships, campaign materials, and travel materials; correspondence primarily from organizations, universities, agencies, and other entities and individuals requesting the Congressman's support for their projects along with related reports, studies, proposals, announcements, memos, and other documents related to federal programs; case files of constituents seeking the Congressman's assistance in dealing with problems with the Federal Government; photographs, audiotapes, and video tapes; and memorabilia.
Closed until 2015.
Cite as: William Lehman Papers, Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library, Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida.
Collection materials mainly in English. Some items in Spanish, Creole, and other languages.
William Marx Lehman (1913-2005) was a United States Congressman from Florida (1973-1993) Lehman was born on October 5, 1913, in Selma, Alabama. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he moved to New York in 1934 to work as a trainee for the CIT Corporation, an industrial finance company. The following year he was sent to Miami, Florida to finance auto dealerships. In 1936 he left his job to open a used car business. The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor he enrolled in Embry Riddle School of Aviation where he earned a certificate in aircraft mechanics. He instructed U.S. Army Air Force cadets in aircraft mechanics before transferring to San Paolo, Brazil to train cadets for the Brazilian Air Force. After the war he returned to Miami and reopened his automobile business. As his business prospered, he acquired additional dealerships. He became known as "Alabama Bill" because of his advertising campaigns on radio and television. In 1963, after earning a teaching certificate from the University of Miami, he began teaching English at Miami Norland High School. In 1964, realizing he needed to devote more time to his automobile business, he left his full-time teaching position to teach part-time evening courses at Dade County Junior College. He was elected to the Dade County School Board in 1966 and served as its chairman from 1971 until 1972. In 1972 he campaigned as the Democratic candidate for Florida's newly created 13th Congressional seat. He was elected to the 93rd Congress and served from1973 until1983 when he was elected, after redistricting, as the Representative from the 17th District. He declined to run for reelection in 1992. He died in Miami Beach on March 16, 2005.