ACCORD Freedom Trail – St. Augustine, FL

On Friday afternoon we journeyed to St. Augustine FL to take a tour of the ACCORD Freedom Trail.  Founded in 2003 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the trail consists of 31 historic markers located at various sites significant to the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement.  The tour took us steps closer to understanding the rich St. Augustine history and gave us an opportunity to recognize and honor the brave and courageous individuals who marched, sat and died so that we may live freely.

During the trolley tour, students learned that St. Augustine was one of the leading battlefields of the movement in the 1960’s as it was the only place in Florida where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested.  We visited homes where MLK, Jr. stayed, churches that he held press conferences and led sermons, local residents homes that were firebombed during the movement, and one of the leaders of the movement Dr. Hayling’s Dentist Office.  Dr. Hayling is currently a Lauderhill resident and has been called the “father” of St. Augustine’s civil rights movement. In his dental office, he coordinated demonstrations and provided office space for out-of-town lawyers and leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The demonstrations in St. Augustine have been credited for directly leading to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Our day in St. Augustine ended with dinner at Chili’s Restaurant before we got back on the road to head to Charlotte, NC.   Good day, good food, good times!

Next up….Johnson C. Smith University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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