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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tallahassee in Leon County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site

 
 
1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site Marker-Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, June 19, 2019
1. 1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site Marker-Side 1
Inscription.  (Side 1)
Throughout the 1950s-1970s, large-scale, nonviolent demonstrations by audacious students attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), Florida State University, and the University of Florida, as well as local high school students and Leon County residents, played important roles in the dangerous fight for racial equality. Hundreds of students were arrested in 1960 for participating in sit-in demonstrations at the Woolworth’s and McCrory’s lunch counters in Tallahassee. Priscilla and Patricia Stephens, FAMU students and founding members of Tallahassee’s Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); siblings John and Barbara Broxton; William Larkins; Angela Nance; Merritt Spaulding; Clement Carney; and high schooler Henry Steele chose to serve a 60-day jail sentence instead of posting bail, staging America’s first student-led jail-in protest. Three years of constant protest ensued. From September 14-16, 1963, over 350 demonstrators, mostly FAMU students, were arrested for mass picketing, trespassing, and disturbing the peace. On September 14th, 200 students picketed the segregated Florida Theatre. Police arrested 157.
1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site Marker-Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, June 19, 2019
2. 1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site Marker-Side 2
Later that evening, about 100 protesters gathered at the county jail and 91 were arrested.
(Continued on other side)
(Side 2)
(Continued from other side)
The jail overflowed as arrest numbers swelled to 248. Covered quarters at the Leon County Fairgrounds, normally used for cattle and other animals, were converted to temporary jails. On September 15th, 250 FAMU students, led by ministers C.K. Steele, David Brooks, and E.G. Evans, resumed protesting at the county jail downtown. No arrests were made. On September 16th, some 250 students protested at the jail again, and 100 were arrested. Besides imprisonment, Civil Rights foot soldiers and student leaders such as Reuben Kenon, Calvin Bess, Roosevelt Holloman, John Due, Julius Hamilton, FAMU Student Government Association President Prince McIntosh, and many others suffered arrest records, threats, physical attacks, school suspensions, and delayed graduations. Most students remained in the crowded, unsanitary fairground facilities for many days, and slept on floors with blankets provided by jail officials. Black and white citizens, FAMU employees, CORE, NAACP, and the Inter-Civic Council raised money for bails, fines, and attorney fees. The Leon County Fairgrounds is a historic site of the Civil Rights Movement because of its significance in one of Florida’s and the nation’s largest student-led,
1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tim Fillmon, June 19, 2019
3. 1963 Civil Rights Protest Jail Overflow Site Marker
jail-in demonstrations.
 
Erected 2017 by Leon County Commission, Commission Bill Proctor, Florida A&M University, The Carrie Meek-James N. Eaton Southeastern Regional Black Archives and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-986.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities marker series.
 
Location. 30° 24.236′ N, 84° 16.83′ W. Marker is in Tallahassee, Florida, in Leon County. Marker is on South Monroe Street 0.1 miles south of East Paul Russell Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is at the South Monroe Street entrance to the North Florida Fairgrounds. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tallahassee FL 32301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Coach Alonzo "Jake" Gaither Home (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Florida A&M University Hospital (1911-1971) (approx. 1½ miles away); Wilhelmina Jakes And Carrie Patterson: Initiators of The Tallahassee Bus Boycott (approx. 1½ miles away); Florida A&M University (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named The Florida A&M University Hospital (1911-1971) (approx. 1.6 miles away); a different marker also named Florida A&M University
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(approx. 1.6 miles away); Lucy Moten Elementary School (approx. 1.8 miles away); Old Fort Park (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tallahassee.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil Rights
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 20, 2019, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 20, 2019, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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