City of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wade-ins of the Summer of 1961

On July 4, 2011, the City celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first wade-in by seven (7) African American residents wading in at the City’s segregated beaches. The celebration reenacted the the first wade-in.

The wade-ins lasted for six (6) weeks. The City filed suit in the Broward County Courthouse to stop the wade-ins. A white, elected circuit court judge, Judge Ted Cabot, sided in favor of the NAACP and against the City of Fort Lauderdale.

The judge’s state court decision resulted in the desegregation of the public beaches of Broward County, Florida.

The author wrote an academic paper entitled, “The Long Hard Fight for Equal Rights,” published in Tequesta magazine by HistoryMiami in 2007, which formed the scholarly basis for the State of Florida consenting to the erection of a State Marker, remembering the wade-ins of the summer of 1961 as well as another State Marker memorializing the segregated “Colored Beach” at the north end of John U. Lloyd State Beach Recreation Area.

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