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First Coast Connect

The largest mass arrest of rabbis in US history

Protesters swim in the pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine in 1964.
Protesters swim in the pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine in 1964.

In the spring of 1964, as St. Augustine celebrated its 400th anniversary and civil rights protesters clashed with violent klansmen, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. brought in rabbinical reinforcements from around the country. They joined civil rights organizers at the Monson Motor Lodge “swim-in” on June 18, 1964, and all 16 of them were arrested.


  • Rabbi Merrill Shapiro, president of the St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society.
  • Marcia Grado, St. Augustine Jewish Historical Society officer.
  • Melissa Williams, Holocaust educator at Jewish Family Community Services.

Then, we’re hearing a lot about ROI for stadium and sports expenses these days, but what about spending on the arts? Diana Donovan, executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, joins us to discuss how dedicated civic spending in recent years has affected the arts community — and the local economy. Jason Peoples, executive director of JAMS, discusses the impact civic funding has on his organization.

And, zines, comics and DIY publications are the focus of the Third Annual Duval Comic and Zine fest at the Main Library. Fans are invited to trade, borrow, read or buy the work of independent artists, underground creators and the alt press at this free event June 15 at the Main Library.


  • Dan Waily, zine and comic maker, festival organizer.
  • Lindsay Anderson, zinester, festival organizer.

Plus, a summer camp teaches kids about life on the bright side of the footlights. Next Stop Broadway! teaches wannabe actors and aspiring extroverts about the rigors and challenges of ensemble performance.


  • Shelley Henley, Florida State College at Jacksonville Artist Series.
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Anne Schindler joined WJCT News 89.9 as host of First Coast Connect in October 2023, after nearly three decades in Jacksonville print and television. Anne has worked in the Jacksonville media market since 1995, first as a reporter for the original Folio Weekly, then as the publication’s editor-in-chief from 2002 until her departure. In 2012, Anne transitioned to television as executive producer of special projects for First Coast News, Northeast Florida’s NBC and ABC affiliates. You can reach Anne at <a href=""></a>.