Memorandum to the Files
Conversation with Governor Farris Bryant
Lee C. White
July 20, 1964

Lyndon Banes Johnson Library
July 20, 1964

Memorandum to the Files

Subject: Conversation with Governor Farris Bryant on St. Augustine

On Thursday, July 16, I called Governor Bryant to relay to him some information and reports regarding the St. Augustine
situation that had come to my attention.

I told him about the re-testing of some restaurants which had admitted Negroes after the signing of the Civil Rights Bill,
but had changed their policy by last Monday, July 13 because of intimidation by white hoodlums (possibly Klaners).
Apparently five of 7 re-tested establishments had changed their policy.

I also told him that we understood that there were only 2 State Troopers and that local police had given no protection to
restaurants which had requested it. In addition, I understood that the four man committee to re-establish
communications between the races had not met. I also relayed a rumor that Martin Luther King intended to go to St.
Augustine Thursday night or Friday.

The Governor said he would look into the matters and called back later that afternoon to report that he had four
Troopers on duty and had ordered an additional 10 to St. Augustine. He said that the local establishments were having
a very difficult financial squeeze because of white pickets urging tourists and others not to patronize those restaurants
which admitted Negroes. He said there had been an agreement reached that there would be no white pickets pending
the decision in two court cases being served in the District. In answer to my question, he said that during that time
Negroes would continue to be served (the Justice Department has subsequently told me that the restaurants do not
intend to serve Negroes while the law is being tested in the North).

Once again I indicated our desire to be kept informed and to be helpful in any way we could. The Governor said that if
King could be headed off it would be helpful. I told him I would do my best but that King was probably already en route. I
relayed the information to John Doar in Burke Marshall’s office, but apparently he could not get in touch with King in
time, or if he did, King was determined to go any way.

Lee C. White
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Florida Governor C. Ferris Bryant
Lee C. White
Special Counsel to
President Lyndon Baines