Attacked at a 1964 Civil Rights Protest, Mimi Jones, Who Died at 73, was the Subject of an Iconic PhotoBreaking News
tags: civil rights, Florida, St. Augustine
In 1964, Mimi Jones was a 17-year-old civil rights activist when she joined other activists who traveled by bus from her home in Albany, Ga., to a protest at a St. Augustine, Fla., motel that denied service to Blacks.
Their destination was the Monson Motor Lodge, where “Black folks were denied a reservation there, they were denied the opportunity to have breakfast at the motel, and of course you were denied the opportunity to swim in the pool,” she told WGBH-TV in 2017.
Jones — she was Mamie Nell Ford then — donned a bathing suit and joined other protesters in a pool swim-in, only to be attacked when the hotel manager poured acid into the water next to her on June 18, 1964.
“All of a sudden, the water in front of my face started to bubble up like a volcanic eruption,” she told WGBH. “I could barely breathe. It was entering my nose and my eyes.”
Jones, who later moved to Boston and had lived in Roxbury, died Sunday in her home. She was 73.
A photo of her reacting to the acid being poured into the pool became a defining image of the civil rights era. And condemnation of the attack in the nation’s capital helped push forward federal civil rights legislation.
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