III. ACCORD Freedom Trail Site - 650 Julia Street
Home of Audrey Nell Edwards - West Augustine
This house was built in 2008 by Habitat for Humanity for one of the Ancient City's civil rights heroes, Audrey Nell Edwards. Along with JoeAnn Anderson Ulmer, Samuel White, and Willie Carl Singleton, she was one of the "St. Augustine Four." As young teenagers, they were arrested for seeking service at the segregated lunch counter of the local Woolworth store on July 18, 1963, and spent the next six months in jail and reform school when they refused to sign a statement for the County Judge that they would no longer take part in civil rights demonstrations. Their case attracted national attention as an example of injustice, and pressure from around the country finally forced the governor and cabinet of Florida to free them in January 1964. They had missed Thanksgiving and Christmas with their families, but they had shown that the civil rights movement could not be crushed. The St. Augustine Four were praised for their steadfastness by Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (who called them "my warriors").
A block north of here is historic Woodlawn Cemetery, the final resting place for many prominent African Americans. Among them is Miss Cuter Eubanks (1927-1985) whose arrest with Mrs. Mary Peabody, the 72-year-old mother of the governor of Massachusetts, at the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge was front-page news across the country in 1964. Willie Carl Singleton and Samuel White, two of the St. Augustine Four, are buried there, as are civil rights activists Loucille Plummer and Gertrude Bias
The movement in St. Augustine led directly to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.