JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Gov. Haydon Burns, who won a special two-year term in 1964 by opposing civil rights legislation, has died at a nursing home. He was 75 and the cause of his death Sunday was not reported.
Burns won election to the shortened term after 15 years as Jacksonville mayor. He was the first mayor of an American city not in the top 10 in population to be president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Burns had been a popular mayor among Jacksonville blacks but they turned against him after the city sold its golf courses and closed its swimming pools rather than accede to federal court integration orders.
Normally, Florida's governor serves for four years, but the term was shortened to ensure that the Florida gubernatorial elections would not fall in the same years as presidential races.