II. ACCORD Freedom Trail Site - 1074 West King Street
Home of Civil Rights Activist, Mrs. Georgie Mae Reed - West Augustine
This was the home of Mrs. Georgie Mae Reed (1926-1995), who took part in one of the most famous events in the civil rights movement that changed America and inspired the world.
On March 31, 1964, Mrs. Reed was one of five St. Augustine women who accompanied Mrs. Mary Peabody, the 72 year old mother of the governor of Massachusetts, to the Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge on U.S. 1 North. The group sat down in the restaurant there and asked to be served. They were arrested instead.
That event was reported on the front page of newspapers around the country, and from that point on, international attention was focused on the activities in St. Augustine that led directly to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Mrs. Reed suffered from polio, but she did not allow that to stop her on the day that she put on her Sunday best and walked off into American history. She told her story to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch when he was in St. Augustine in 1991, but did not live long enough to see his book Pillar of Fire (1998) in which her heroism was celebrated.