“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

St. Augustine Beach Wade-Ins

ACCORD Freedom Trail

St. Augustine Beach Wade-Ins image. Click for full size.
By Mrs. Shirley Williams-Galvin, March 5, 2011
1. St. Augustine Beach Wade-Ins
Inscription. Some of the most widely-publicized events of the civil rights movement took place at St. Augustine Beach in the summer of 1964, when wade-ins were conducted at what had historically been a beach reserved for “Whites Only”. Many courageous local residents took part in the wade-ins, along with a number of staff members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), including Rev. C.T. Vivian, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Dorothy Cotton, Al Lingo, Rev. LaVert Taylor, Benjamin Van Clarke, Golden Frinks, Rev. S. B. Wells, Dana Swan, Willie Bolden, and J. T. Johnson.

Black and white supporters came from different parts of the country during a campaign organized by Dr. Robert B. Hayling that brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and SCLC to St. Augustine. The many rallies, marches, sit-ins, and wade-ins that took place here led directly to the passage and signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed racial segregation in hotels, motels, restaurants and other public accommodations, and job discrimination against blacks and women.

Images broadcast internationally, of peaceful demonstrators being brutally attacked, yet holding their ground, helped to change American attitudes and inspired the world for generations to come. Dr. Martin Luther King went on from here to receive the Nobel Peace
St. Augustine Beach Wade-Ins image. Click for full size.
By Mrs. Shirley Williams-Galvin, March 5, 2011
2. St. Augustine Beach Wade-Ins
Prize in 1964.

The inside story of how law enforcement protection was finally provided to demonstrators, after a number of beatings had taken place, is told by Dan Warren in the book If It Takes All Summer, published by the University of Alabama Press in 2008. The events at St. Augustine Beach, and their wide-ranging historic significance, form an important episode in Jeremy Dean's award-winning movie "Dare Not Walk Alone," and in books by Pulitzer Prizewinning authors Taylor Branch and David Garrow.

ACCORD and the Northrop Grumman Corporation present this Freedom Trail marker in 2009 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of St. Augustine Beach, and the 45th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Historical Marker Presented this 2nd Day of July, 2009 by Northrop Grumman
Erected 2009 by The 40th Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc. (ACCORD).
Marker series. This marker is included in the Florida, St. Augustine Freedom Trail, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. marker series.
Location. 29° 51.396′ N, 81° 15.956′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. Marker is on Highway A1A South. Touch for map. St. Augustine Beach Pier. Marker is at or near this postal address: Highway A1A South, Saint Augustine FL 32080, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Spanish Chimney and Well (approx. one mile away); The St. Augustine Amphitheatre (approx. 1.6 miles away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 1.6 miles away); Coquina - Foundation of St. Augustine (approx. 2 miles away); Old Spanish Quarries (approx. 2 miles away); St. Augustine Alligator Farm (approx. 2.2 miles away); a different marker also named St. Augustine Alligator Farm (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Augustine.
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsNotable Events
Credits. This page was last revised on January 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 6, 2011, by Gwendolyn Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,116 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 6, 2011, by Gwendolyn Duncan of St. Augustine, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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