Remembering A Civil Rights Swim-In: 'It Was A Milestone' : NPR: On June 18, 1964, black and white protesters jumped into the whites-only pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla. In an attempt to force them out, the owner of the hotel poured acid into the pool.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had planned the sit in during the St. Augustine Movement, a part of the larger civil rights movement. The protest — and the owner's acidic response — are largely forgotten today, but they played a role in the passing of the Civil Rights Act, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
J.T. Johnson, now 76, and Al Lingo, 78, were two of the protesters in the pool that day. On a visit to StoryCorps in Atlanta, the pair recalled the hotel owner, James Brock, "losing it."
"Everybody was kind of caught off guard," J.T. says.