State of New Jersey
Executive Order #54

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, Assemblyman John S. Watson was born in Camden in 1924, served honorably with the United States Merchant Marine fleet during World War II, and devoted many years in public service to the people of the State of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, Assemblyman Watson had the distinction of being Mercer County's first African-American Freeholder in 1970; and

WHEREAS, he became the State's first African-American chosen President of a Freeholder Board in 1977 in Mercer County; and

WHEREAS, he served the people of New Jersey in the Assembly for 12 years and sponsored, among other important measures, legislation to preserve thousands of acres of farmland through the Open Space Preservation Bond Act; and

WHEREAS, he served as Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee; and

WHEREAS, it is with deep sadness that we mourn the loss of Assemblyman Watson and extend our sincerest sympathy to his family and friends; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and appropriate to honor the memory and the passing of Assemblyman Watson;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Tuesday, July 9, 1996 in recognition and mourning of the passing of Assemblyman Watson.

2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal
this 9th day of July in the Year of
Our Lord, One Thousand Nine
Hundred and Ninety-Six, and of the
Independence of the United States,
the Two Hundred and Twenty-First

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman


/s/ Harriet Derman
Chief Counsel to the Governor