Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Augustine, FL

When my Internet finally started working early this morning I got a chance to check out the history of this city. They claim to be the oldest continuously occupied city in the USA. I guess they forgot to consider some of the Puebla of the Southwest States which have at least three or four hundred years on them in that regard. I guess what they meant to say is the oldest continuously occupied "white" city in the USA. Which brings me to my next point.

St. Augustine was a hotbed of the Civil Rights battles of the 1960's. Dr. Martin Luther King spent some time in the local jail and while there contacted a Rabbi friend back home and asked him to bring some fellow Rabbis down to St. Augustine to join the demonstrations. This resulted in the largest mass arrest of Rabbis in the history of the USA! During this same demonstration a bunch of people, white and black, jumped into the pool at the "whites only" Monson Motor Lodge. The manager was photographed pouring acid into the pool to get the agitators out.

A local white doctor joined the non-violent march and was attacked by the local Ku Klux Klan ignoramuses and was beaten with clubs and chains. He was "rescued" by the Florida Highway Patrol only to be arrested and charged with assaulting the KKK members, a crime for which he was convicted!

The same doctor contacted a bunch of northern universities asking students to come to St. Augustine for their Spring Break and to join in the demonstrations. This mass invasion of the city filled the jails but eventually turned the tide and integrated St. Augustine!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being denied entry to the whites only Monson Motor Lodge restaurant by owner Jimmy Brock. Current site of Hilton Hotel.

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