Hotel Owner Pours Acid Into Pool With African-American Swimmers, 1964
June 17, 1964
At the height of the Civil Rights movement, hotel owner James Brock is photographed pouring acid into a pool at the Monson Motor Lodge as several black people enter the whites-only swimming pool.
"The swim-in was part of protests planned by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Brock would not allow King and others to eat at the Monson restaurant on June 11, 1964, and he had them arrested for trespassing, St. Augustine historian David Nolan explained in 2006.
King, who was jailed, wrote to a group of rabbis meeting in Savannah, asking them to help the demonstrators draw attention, including a planned swim-in at the Monson pool, which was located on the bayfront. On June 17 a dozen rabbis arrived, knelt in front of the restaurant and began to pray to distract Brock while the men jumped into the pool, Nolan said."
Fortunately for the protesters, racism and intelligence rarely go hand-in-hand. It was muriatic acid (HCL), and with a pool that size the only injury sustained was the pH level.