Sixty years ago, St. Augustine, Fla. played a pivotal role in passage of the American Civil Rights Act.  This year, more than a dozen St. Johns County area cultural organizations have collaborated to present a full month of events and exhibitions to commemorate the Civil Rights era.

Numerous free and ticketed events will be held throughout June for the public to learn more about the 1960s demonstrations organized by Dr. Martin Luther King and local activists including Dr. Robert Hayling, along with activities that explore five centuries of Black history in America’s oldest city with tours, speakers, film, concerts, and new permanent and temporary exhibitions. 

Events include:

June 1 through September 15: The St. Augustine Historical Society presents A Pictorial History of the Black Community in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, featuring the photography of John L. Jackson and Lenny Foster at the Tovar House, 22 St. Francis Street in  St. Augustine. Free and open to the public.

June 1 through September 15: St. Augustine Historical Society presents Lincolnville through the Lens of Richard Twine: St. Augustine’s First Professional Black Photographer to be held at the Dunham House,271 Charlotte Street in St. Augustine. Free and open to the public.

June 5 at 5 p.m.:  Opening of Waves of Change, a permanent exhibition at the Cultural Arts Center at the St. Augustine Beach Hotel that tells the history of St. Augustine Beach, including the wade-ins of 1964. The St. Augustine Beach Hotel is the only Florida property listed on the National Register of Historic Places with a National level of significance for the Civil Rights movement.  The opening event will be followed by a concert with Billy Buchanan and his Rock ‘n Soul Review to be held at 350 A1A Beach Boulevard in St. Augustine Beach. Free and open to the public.

For more events in St. Johns County, visit