June 9, 1964, Civil Rights activist and leader, Andrew Young led a march from Lincolnville to the Plaza de la Constitución where they met violent opposition. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr sent Young to St. Augustine to organize peaceful protests in the city. It was here, at the corner of King Street and St. George Street, where Andrew Young was beaten by a large white mob. Despite being struck down several times, he continued to stand up and walk, staying true to Dr. King’s non-violent strategy. Historians agree that this event was one of the pivotal moments of the Civil Rights movement and played a role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Lyndon B Johnson, who had visited the city not long before.
The spot where Young’s progress was halted has been memorialized by designer Jeremy Marquis of Halback & Associates with several bronze footsteps and quotes from Andrew Young, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and President Lyndon B Johnson. Each coquina panel is named after different civil rights goals: freedom, nonviolence, equality, and justice.
Andrew Young was the first African-American Ambassador to the United Nations. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, Young helped put human rights and economic advancement of underdeveloped countries on the US foreign policy agenda.