Martin Luther King Jr Arrest Site - Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront

Martin Luther King Jr Arrest Site - Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront

On June 12, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was arrested on the steps of the Monson Motor Lodge when he asked to be served at the whites-only hotel restaurant. He was taken to the Old St. Johns County Jail where he wrote to Rabbi Israel Dresner of New Jersey, encouraging rabbis to assist in the St. Augustine movement. On June 18, sixteen rabbis were arrested at the Monson Motor Lodge for praying at the entrance, resulting in the largest mass arrest of rabbis in US history.

Seven minutes later, owner James Brock infamously poured muriatic acid into the pool when black and white activists jumped in to protest segregation policies. This event created one of the most prominent images of the movement and led to the passing of the Civil Rights Bill on June 19. On July 2, President Lyndon B Johnson signed the bill into law as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Though the motel was demolished in 2003, the steps upon which King was arrested are preserved and marked by a plaque citing the historic incident. You can find them at the Hilton St. Augustine on the historic bayfront.


Martin Luther King Jr Arrest Site - Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront

32 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL 32084


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