St. Augustine Prepares to Unveil Monument to Honor Civil Rights Icon | Arts & Culture

Title (Max 100 Characters)

St. Augustine Prepares to Unveil Monument to Honor Civil Rights Icon

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Workers were back-filling dirt and blowing leaves off a new monument in the Plaza de la Constitucion on Wednesday.

The piece, to be unveiled Saturday, honors a little-known event in the Civil Rights movement, Andrew Young's crossing.

"450 years of history and only 47 years ago, we had one of the most profound histories that changed our nation, changed our culture," explained John Regan, St. Augustine city manager.

Young was leading a group of activists into the Plaza on June 9, 1964, when an opposing group stopped them and began to beat Young in the intersection of King Street and St. George Street.
That intersection will be re-named Saturday as "Andrew Young Crossing" in honor of his leadership that day. 

Young will retrace his steps almost exactly 47 years later, walking from the Lightner Museum back to the Plaza for the dedication. 
Inside the sidewalk that cuts across the city square, crews installed metal footprints to mark Young's intended path.

During the ceremony, Young will be the first to walk across the new marker.

"It's very symbolic that these footprints-- that are actually Andrew Young's footprints--continue through into this plaza," said Mayor Joseph Boles.  "So we are completing the march that was cut short in 1964."  

 According to Regan, the project cost less than $6,000 and was completed by city employees.  He said it is a gift from the city to both residents and visitors. 

Activist J. T. Johnson vividly remembers Young's crossing.  He believes Saturday will be an emotional day for everyone involved.

"It's going to be quite interesting watching Ambassador Young.  You know, he's a cry baby," Johnson laughed.  "We'll probably see him shed a few tears."

The event will begin at the Lightner Museum at 9:45 a.m. and is open to the public. 

St. Augustine Deals

St. Augustine Businesses