We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

If It Takes All Summer

Martin Luther King, the KKK, and States' Rights in St. Augustine, 1964

Written by Dan R. Warren, with foreword by Morris Dees

Publication Year: 2008

This memoir recounts the struggle against segregation in St. Augustine, Florida, in the early and mid-1960s. In the summer of 1964 the nation’s oldest city became the center of the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King Jr., encouraged by President Johnson, a southerner, who made the civil rights bill the center piece of his domestic policy, chose this tourism-driven community as an ideal location to demonstrate the injustice of discrimination and the complicity of southern leaders in its enforcement.
St. Augustine was planning an elaborate celebration of its founding, and expected generous federal and state support. But when the kick-off dinner was announced only whites were invited, and local black leaders protested. The affair alerted the national civil rights leadership to the St. Augustine situation as well as fueling local black resentment.
Ferment in the city grew, convincing King to bring his influence to the leadership of the local struggle. As King and his allies fought for the right to demonstrate, a locally powerful Ku Klux Klan counter-demonstrated. Conflict ensued between civil rights activists, local and from out-of-town, and segregationists, also home-grown and imported. The escalating violence of the Klan led Florida’s Governor to appoint State Attorney Dan Warren as his personal representative in St. Augustine. Warren’s crack down on the Klan and his innovative use of the Grand Jury to appoint a bi-racial committee against the intransigence of the Mayor and other officials, is a fascinating story of moral courage. This is an insider view of a sympathetic middleman in the difficult position of attempting to bring reason and dialog into a volatile situation.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. vii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-x

For the first time in the history of the civil rights movement, a political insider reveals an eyewitness account of the relationship between money, law, and a white power structure that virtually shut blacks out of the social and economic life of the nation’s oldest city. A southerner by birth, Dan Warren was the state attorney for Florida’s Seventh Judicial...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xi-xii

This book began as an autobiography written primarily for my children. The project was started in 1999; however, when I reached the St. Augustine racial crisis of 1963–64, the more I wrote, the more I realized that this part of my life was a book, not a chapter. Encouraged by my loving wife, Stasia, whose patience and support gave me the freedom to...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-4

In the summer of 1964, as the elected state attorney for Florida’s Seventh Judicial Circuit, a huge circuit that included St. Augustine, I watched as the “nation’s oldest city” became the final battleground in the long struggle for passage of a meaningful civil rights bill. Die-hard segregationists, who believed that the War between the States had been fought ...

read more

1. Protest and Reaction

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 5-32

In 1964 St. Augustine became a battleground in America’s unfi nished Civil War. That war had been fought to preserve the Union and bring a measure of equality to millions who had been held in slavery. At the end of that great struggle, it was the fervent hope of the nation that passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments would end the ...

read more

2. Where Does St. Augustine Stand?

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 33-47

St. Augustine in 1964 was a small coastal city located on the east coast of Florida about forty miles south of Jacksonville. As in Daytona Beach and other cities along Florida’s east coast, it was separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway. Bracketed by the San Sebastian and Matanzas rivers, the harbor at St. Augustine had been the gateway to the ...

read more

3. Birth of a Social Conscience

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 48-64

The seeds of a social conscience were sown in my psyche from birth, planted there by my mother. “Danny Boy,” she would say, “hold your head high. You are just as good as anyone, no better but just as good. Don’t you ever let anyone put you down.” Her deep religious beliefs made it a mortal sin to act superior to another human being, and this idea was drummed ...

read more

4. The Point of No Return

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 65-75

On Friday, March 27, Mrs. Malcolm Peabody, accompanied by her friend Mrs. John Burgess, arrived in St. Augustine. They had been invited, she said, to come to St. Augustine by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and they had come to be arrested. The mayor was all too willing to accommodate her. He blamed the disturbances that...

read more

5. The Fuse Is Lit

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 76-109

On June 11, 1964, Martin Luther King, accompanied by Ralph D. Abernathy, appeared on the steps of the Monson Motor Lodge in the heart of St. Augustine and made a bold move at a defining moment in the civil James Brock, the motel manager, met them at the entrance to the lodge and told the assembled group they could not enter. “We’re segregated at ...

read more

6. Little Children Shall Lead Them

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 110-124

It could have been a scene from a different time, a different country. Racists lashing out blindly against ideas they feared, solely on the basis of physical attributes they had been programmed to hate. The scene reminded me of Pathe newsreels from the 1930s depicting the racial hatred taking place in Germany. It was ironic to see the same intense...

read more

7. State versus Federal Control

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 125-145

The rerouting of the demonstrators was in direct violation of Judge Simpson’s order allowing night demonstrations. I immediately contacted Governor Bryant and reported to him why we had taken this action. The next day he issued an executive order banning night demonstrations in St...

read more

8. Exodus with Honor

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 146-175

The failure of Judge Simpson to promptly rule on the contempt citation was seen as a victory for the state. The judge’s decision to defer a ruling on this critical issue had placed King in a rather precarious situation. The Klan was growing stronger and now the attorney for the Florida southeast district of the NAACP was attacking King. Francisco Rodriguez ...

read more

9. Recrimination and Recovery

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 176-190

In January 1965 I received a letter from Harold DeWolf, dean of the School of Theology at Boston University. He had been Martin Luther King’s faculty adviser when King received his doctorate in theology. He issued an invitation for me to speak in February to the students and the combined faculties of the College of Law and the School of Theology. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 191-199


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 201-210

E-ISBN-13: 9780817380663
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817315993

Publication Year: 2008

OCLC Number: 427564323
MUSE Marc Record: Download for If It Takes All Summer

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Warren, Dan R., 1925-.
  • States' rights (American politics) -- History -- 20th century.
  • Ku Klux Klan (1915- ) -- Florida -- Saint Augustine -- History -- 20th century.
  • Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century.
  • King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- Florida -- Saint Augustine -- History -- 20th century.
  • Civil rights movements -- Florida -- Saint Augustine -- History -- 20th century.
  • Lawyers -- Florida -- Daytona Beach -- Biography.
  • Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access