The Anniversary to Commemorate the Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc. (ACCORD) was envisioned in 2002 after the interment of one of the Black Community's Civil Rights Sheroes, Mrs. Katherine Twine. On that December afternoon, a few people gathered at the South Seas Restaurant to have lunch. Those in attendance talked about the upcoming 40th year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s visit to the Nation's Oldest City leading a nonviolent campaign against segregation and discrimination. Those in attendance discussed the possibilities of having some type of celebration or commemoration. One person in particular left with a mission: to get the job done.
David Nolan, local historian contacted a person with whom he thought might be interested in helping and gave an instruction to that person to put a thinking cap on. From that humble beginning, the ball started rolling and the 40th ACCORD, Inc. is a result. A group of committed citizens organized and became incorporated in January, 2004. Since our inception, we have sponsored many events and participated in numerous activities to bring recognition and honor to the many Heroes and Sheroes of the Civil Rights Movement of St. Augustine, Florida. Our mission is to remember, recognize, and honor all of those who risked their lives to attain civil rights for all and to celebrate St. Augustine’s pivotal role in the passage of the Landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The ACCORD Freedom Trail is one of our greatest tasks to date. Through the generosity of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, Phase I and II of the ACCORD Freedom Trail has been launched. The first ten markers on the trail were unveiled in 2007 and the next ten were unveiled in 2008. Our goal is to increase the nation's awareness of one of the greatest events that took place in American History. With the aid of the faithful few committed citizens, our Senior Advisors, Dr. R B Hayling & Attorney Dan R. Warren , our sponsors and supporters, we will continue to press onward and upward. We've come this far by faith!
The 40th ACCORD, Inc has collaborated with several organizations locally and nationally to present to the public the history of the civil rights movement in St. Augustine, FL. These events has touched many audiences from all over the nation; who were interested in hearing the untold and well-kept secrets of the city’s past, including the honoring of key demonstrators by Governor Jeb Bush. The organization developed and distributed Commemorative booklets and programs nationwide.
In addition, the National Library of Congress archived the 2004 City-Wide Anniversary Celebration’s Commemorative booklet in Washington D.C. The 40th ACCORD, Inc. events draw many citizens from the local community, local media, and newspaper personnel. Events sponsored by 40th ACCORD receive recognition and are attended by the following dignitaries or their representatives: Governor Jeb Bush (Ms. Leslie Steele) , U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (Ms. Michelle Barth) , Florida State Senator Tony Hill, Dr. Robert B. Hayling, leader of the St. Augustine Movement, +Miss Dora McDonald, Dr. King's personal secretary and confidant, City Commissioner and Former Mayor George Gardner, City Commissioner Errol Jones, Dr. Joseph Joyner, Superintendent of St. Johns County Schools, Tommy Ford, Actor from sitcom “Martin”, Mr. Richard Burton, Sr., NAACP National Board Member, among others. Several of these events are listed below:
~ Dr. Robert B. Hayling Street Re-naming Ceremony from Scott Street to Dr. Robert B. Hayling Place, June 2003
~ Historical Display at the St. Johns County Main Public Library during Black History Month, February 2004
~ 40th ACCORD Poster Contest in SJC Schools by Shirley Bryce, April - May 2004
~ 1st Annual Black & White Gala Fundraiser at St. Augustine Art Association Building, Music by the Oceansiders, May
~ St. Augustine Four Recognition & Appreciation Ceremony, First Baptist Church, Pastor Michael McConnell, May 2004
~ Reconciliation Service at First United Methodist Church, King St., by Pastor Patrick Turner-Sharpton, June 2004
~ Presentation and Book Signing by Deric Gilliard, Author, “Living in the Shadows of a Legend: Unsung Heroes & Sheroes Who Marched With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Baker Center & Willie Galimore Community Center, June 2004
~ Clennon King’s Documentary Film, “Slave Market Diary” shown at Bishop Baker Center and the Historic St. Paul A.M.E. Church, June 2004
~ Recognition Service honoring Rev. Thomas A. Wright, Rev. Thomas B. DeSue, and the Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, St. Paul A.M.E., January 2005
~ Remembering, Recognizing, & Honoring Lawyers Alvin Bronstein & Ralph Temple, Civil Rights Lawyers who defended, in the courts, Pro-Bono, civil rights demonstrators, March 2005
~ Special Civil Rights Cancellation Ceremony, celebrating the release of 10 National Civil Rights Stamps & Demonstrators of the Civil Rights Movement, co-sponsored by USPS, at the St. Augustine Postal Service, August 2005
~ Courageous Women of Colors Recognition Service at the Historic St. Paul A.M.E. Church. Keynote speaker was Miss Dora E. McDonald personal secretary, aide, confidante`, and family friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. Charles Allen Lingo, guest speaker, white gentleman who was arrested along with other Black Demonstrators in 1964 when then owner, James “Jimmy” Brock poured acid in the Monson Pool. This was the 38th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King. April, 2006
~ 40th ACCORD, Inc. Historic Preservation Tour of Civil Rights Landmarks on the RED Sightseeing Train with David Nolan, Historian. May 2006
~ 40th ACCORD G.I.R.L.S.’s Summer Program coordinated by Dalonja Duncan June – July 2006
~ Unveiling of New Neighborhood Park Sign In Remembrance of the Late Mr. & Mrs. Henry & Katherine Twine. Sponsored by ACCORD, Inc. Northrop Grumman and the City of St. Augustine January, 28, 2007
~ Fountain of Youth Timeline for the 442nd Birthday Celebration of St. Augustine, September 1, 2007
~ Freedom Trail Historic Civil Rights Landmark Tours with Historian David Nolan January 19 & February 16, 2008
~ Attorney Dan Warren, author of "If It Takes All Summer," Book Signing & Reception St. Paul AME Church March 8, 2008
~ Participation in the 1st Annual West Augustine Easter Parade March 23, 2008
~ Remembrance Service in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King on the 40th Anniversary of his death, April 4, 2008
~ Phase 2 ACCORD Freedom Trail Celebration presented by Northrop Grumman included Family Fun Day and 2nd Annual Freedom Trail Luncheon at Casa Monica—Guest Speaker Rev. C.T. Vivian, June 28, 2008 - July 2, 2008
~ 2nd Train the Trainer Workshop for SJC School Teachers, February 13, 2009
~ Points of Light Reception for David Nolan at St. Paul AME Church, February 23, 2009
~ Phase 3 ACCORD Freedom Trail Celebration presented by Northrop Grumman included Freedom Trail Tours on the Ripley's RED Sightseeing Train w/ David Nolan, 3rd Annual Freedom Trail Luncheon at Casa Monica—Guest Speaker Attorney Willie Gary, special guest Leon Russell of NAACP, July 2, 2009
~Participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration (Gwendolyn Duncan introduced St. Augustine City Commissioner Errol Jones), Middleburg, FL, January 15, 2010
~ Freedom Trail Tour narrated by David Nolan and sponsored by St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, January 16, 2010