St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument - St. Augustine, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 29° 53.545 W 081° 18.696
17R E 469914 N 3306905
Quick Description: The St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument is in remembrance of those who engaged in peaceful protest in St. Augustine during the early 1960s to advance the cause of civil rights, contributing to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 1/28/2012 1:15:22 PM
Waymark Code: WMDKZC
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 13

Long Description:

"St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument is located near the corner of King St. and Charlotte St. in the Southeast corner of the Plaza De La Constitucion (known as "the Plaza"), an historic public park in downtown St. Augustine, Florida. It is in remembrance of the people who engaged in various forms of peaceful protest in St. Augustine in the early sixties to advance the cause of civil rights, contributing to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The monument, commissioned by the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Remembrance Project, Inc. (the "Project"), was installed and unveiled in May, 2011.

Physical Description

The 675 LB bronze monument designed by sculptor Brian R. Owens of Deltona, Florida - features four life-size portraits of anonymous foot soldiers placed shoulder to shoulder, in front of a relief illustrating a protest in the same Plaza where the monument is now installed. The portraits represent an approximate demographic profile of the foot soldiers: A Caucasian college student, and three African Americans: A male in his thirties, a female in her sixties and a 16 year old female. The 7500 LB tapered cast-stone base - designed by Enzo Torcoletti of St. Augustine - includes Coquina, a naturally occurring material used in the construction of many historic structures in St. Augustine. An historic plaque is displayed on the front of the base and a donor-recognition plaque is on the back.

History of the Installation Site

The Project - a non-profit tax-exempt organization separate from government - desired to install a monument in the Plaza, which is owned by the City. The location was considered ideal for a number of reasons: The Plaza - originally built on orders from the king of Spain in 1598 - features a number of historic items and structures, including a Confederate Monument and a "Slave Market". The Slave Market - an open, roofed structure that was once used as public market pavillion where property was sold, including slaves - is located in the Northeast corner. There are still some who believe that it was named the Slave Market in order to promote it as a tourist attraction in the early 20th century and that slaves were never actually sold there, but historian David Nolan discovered incontrovertible evidence in the form of multiple advertisements, deed books and City Council minutes proving that numbers of slaves were auctioned there. The evidence also proves that slaves were punished in the structure by public whipping in the 1840s. David Nolan concluded this research in the 1980s at the request of a City Commissioner. The Plaza is also a place where history was made. The first attempts to integrate food counters in St. Augustine were at a Woolworths that faced the Plaza. Later, Foot Soldiers made numerous "night marches" to the Plaza. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US settled by Europeans, therefore it is almost certain that the Plaza is the oldest public park in the US that still functions as a public park. The Plaza is prominent, unique in appearance and natural beauty and crossed by large numbers of tourists. Protests were held at many places in St. Augustine, but the Woolworths and Monson Motor Lodge (the privately owned places most familiar to students of history) have moved out or no longer exist. The Plaza however, appears much as it did in the 1960s. In April 2009, the St. Augustine City Commissioners amended a City Code that precluded the placement of monuments in the Plaza celebrating historical events occurring after February 21, 1821 so that this monument could be installed, recognizing as historian David Nolan put it - "the most important event in St. Augustine's modern history". The installation site is located near the Slave Market. The monument faces away from the Slave Market, towards King St. and the building where Woolworths was located."

-- Source

Civil Right Type: Race (U.S. Civil Rights movement)

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