On June 18,1964 a Grand Jury called on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Council to leave St. Augustine, Florida for one month to diffuse an escalating situation, claiming that they had disrupted ‘‘racial harmony’’ in the city by protesting the city's segregation policy with pickets and sit-ins.
King replied that the Grand Jury’s request was ‘‘an immoral one,’’ as it asked ‘‘the Negro community to give all, and the white community to give nothing.’’ ‘‘St. Augustine,’’ he insisted, had ‘‘never had peaceful race relations.’’
He was escorted out of town in a Highway Patrol car, with a police dog in the back seat.
Note the dog's expression and poise in the two photographs above. And consider it's the type of dog used a year earlier to attack Civil Rights protesters in Birmingham, Alabama...
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, let's celebrate what citizens can do and reflect on what unchecked governments are capable of.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. photos courtesy of Florida State Archives, Florida Memory.
For more about the St. Augustine Movement visit Standford.edu.