Augustine, Florida View of St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the contiguous United States.
In , a group of Huguenots led by Jean Ribault arrived in Spanish Florida to establish a colony in the territory claimed by Spain. They explored the mouth of the St. Spain learned of this French expedition through its spies at ports on the Atlantic coast of France. He arrived at the mouth of the River May on June 22, , sailed up it a few miles, and founded Fort Caroline. He was ordered as well to drive away any intruders who were not subjects of the Spanish crown.
Augustine , August 28, the fleet sighted land and anchored off the north inlet of the tidal channel the French called the River of Dolphins. On September 6, he returned to the site of his first landfall, naming it after the Catholic saint, disembarked his troops, and quickly constructed fortifications to protect his people and supplies.
Jean Ribault had already put out to sea with his ships for an assault on St. Augustine, but was surprised by a storm that wrecked his ships further south. After several parleys with the Spanish, Jean Ribault and the Frenchmen with him between —, sources differ surrendered; almost all of them were executed in the dunes near the inlet , thereafter called Matanzas Spanish for "slaughters".
In , the settlement was relocated to the mainland, in the area just south of the future town plaza. Augustine some stability for a few years. When the English got ashore, they seized some artillery pieces and a royal strongbox containing gold ducats , the garrison payroll.
Augustine against the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia. The charter of for the new Province of Carolina , issued by King Charles II of England , was revised in , claiming lands as far southward as 29 degrees north latitude, about 65 miles south of the existing settlement at St.
Augustine in , killing sixty people and pillaging government buildings, churches and houses,  after which his pirates ransomed off some of their hostages and sold others into slavery. This raid and the establishment of the English settlement at Charles Town spurred the Spanish monarchy to finally acknowledge the threat represented by the new English colonies to the north and strengthen the city's defenses.
In , Queen Regent Mariana ordered the Viceroy of New Spain to disburse funds for the construction of a permanent masonry fortress, which began in Failing to take the fort after a siege of 58 days, the British troops burned St.
Augustine to the ground as they retreated. Augustine became a Loyalist haven during the American Revolutionary War. Andrew Turnbull 's troubled colony in New Smyrna had fled to St. Augustine in , and made up the majority of the city's population during British rule. This group was, and still is, referred to locally as " Menorcans ", even though it also included settlers from Italy, Corsica and the Greek islands as well.
The royal administration of Florida was neglected, as the province had long been regarded as an unprofitable backwater by the Crown. The United States, however, considered Florida vital to its political and military interests as it expanded its territory in North America, and maneuvered by sometimes clandestine means to acquire it.
Augustine, still its capital at the time, to the United States. The capital of the territory was moved to Tallahassee in Civil War[ edit ] Florida joined the Confederacy after the Civil War began in , and Confederate authorities remained in control of St.
Augustine for fourteen months, although it was barely defended. The Union conducted a blockade of shipping.
In Union troops gained control of St. Augustine and controlled it through the rest of the war. With the economy already suffering, many residents fled. Rockefeller of the Standard Oil Company , spent the winter of in St. Augustine and found the city charming, but considered its hotels and transportation systems inadequate.
Augustine a winter resort for wealthy Americans from the north, and to bring them south he bought several short line railroads and combined these in to form the Florida East Coast Railway. He built a railroad bridge over the St. Johns River in , opening up the Atlantic coast of Florida to development. Augustine with these hotels, giving it a skyline and beginning an architectural trend in the state characterized by the use of the Moorish Revival style.
With the opening of the Ponce de Leon in , St. Augustine became the winter resort of American high society for a few years. Wealthy vacationers began to customarily spend their winters in South Florida, where the climate was warmer and freezes were rare. Augustine nevertheless still attracted tourists, and eventually became a destination for families traveling in automobiles as new highways were built and Americans took to the road for annual summer vacations.
The tourist industry soon became the dominant sector of the local economy. Augustine movement In late , nearly a decade after the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation of schools was unconstitutional, African Americans were still trying to get St. Augustine to integrate the public schools in the city. They were also trying to integrate public accommodations, such as lunch counters,  and were met with arrests  and Ku Klux Klan violence.
These protests were often met with police violence. Homes of African Americans were firebombed,  black leaders were assaulted and threatened with death, and others were fired from their jobs.
In the spring of , St. Hundreds of black and white civil rights supporters were arrested,  and the jails were filled to capacity.
Augustine and were arrested together with Southern activists. Augustine was the only place in Florida where King was arrested; his arrest there occurred on June 11, , on the steps of the Monson Motor Lodge's restaurant. The demonstrations came to a climax when a group of black and white protesters jumped into the hotel's segregated swimming pool. Photographs of this, and of a policeman jumping into the pool to arrest the protesters, were broadcast around the world. The Ku Klux Klan responded to these protests with violent attacks that were widely reported in national and international media.
Augustine generated national sympathy for the black protesters and became a key factor in Congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of ,  leading eventually to passage of the Voting Rights Act of ,  both of which provided federal enforcement of constitutional rights. Augustine[ edit ] In , St. Augustine celebrated the th anniversary of its founding,  and jointly with the State of Florida, inaugurated a program to restore part of the colonial city. Augustine Preservation Board was formed to reconstruct more than thirty-six buildings to their historical appearance, which was completed within a few years.
Augustine assumed control of the reconstructed buildings, as well as other historic properties including the Government House. In , the city transferred control of the historic buildings to the University of Florida. Augustine celebrated the th anniversary of its founding with a four-day long festival and a visit from Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia of Spain.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message View of St. Augustine from the top of the lighthouse on Anastasia Island St. Access to the Atlantic Ocean is via the St. Augustine Inlet of the Matanzas River. Augustine has a humid subtropical climate or Cfa — typical of the Gulf and South Atlantic states.
The low latitude and coastal location give the city a mostly warm and sunny climate. Like much of Florida, St. Augustine enjoys a high number of sunny days, averaging 2, hours annually.
Unlike much of the contiguous United States , St. The hot and wet season extends from May through October, while the cool and dry season extends November through April. The Bermuda High pumps in hot and unstable tropical air from the Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico, which help create the daily thundershowers that are typical in summer months.
Intense but very brief downpours are common in mid-summer in the city. In the dry winter season, St. Augustine has generally mild and sunny weather typical of the Florida peninsula. From November through April, St. Augustine often has long periods of rainless weather. Early spring April can see near drought conditions with brush fires and water restrictions in place. Augustine averages six frosts per year. Hurricanes occasionally impact the region; however, like most areas prone to such storms, St.
Augustine rarely suffers a direct hit by a major hurricane. The last direct hit by a major hurricane to the city was Hurricane Dora in Extensive flooding occurred in the downtown area of St. Augustine when Hurricane Matthew passed east of the city in October