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Workers celebrate 150 years of GPO

By Ed O'Keefe

Current and former employees responsible for designing and printing most of the government's documents gathered Wednesday to mark the 150th anniversary of the Government Printing Office.

President James Buchanan signed a law establishing GPO on June 23, 1860, after Congress determined that a government-run printing shop was the only way to end years of contract fraud by private printers (thus making GPO an early example of government in-sourcing).

The agency employs several generations of families, including 18 members of the Simms family and 14 members of the Crawford family (see some of them in the video above). John Crawford, a GPO production manager for 45 years, said members of his family have worked with the agency for more than a century.

"Printing is a family business; in fact it's historical," Crawford said. There's a lot of GPO employees who have their family members here, and we're going to continue that tradition."

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 23, 2010; 3:28 PM ET
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GPO is the workhorse agency of government. In my work at a customer congressional agency, I had lots to do with GPO. Yes, a workhorse department full of thoroughbreds. They meet impossible deadlines, especially in preparing material for Members of Congress.

They are taken for granted; I hope the anniversary inspires at least a few customers and citizens to recognize the sheer volume and extraordinary quality of their products.

Well done, GPO.

Old Hand
Liaison to GPO

Posted by: bluhvn | June 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Murderers of Trees.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 25, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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