Darryl Paulson


St. Petersburg, Florida, has long had the image of being a haven for retirees and tourists. People are drawn to the city by its beaches, its sunshine, and its tranquility. The peaceful climate of St. Petersburg was shattered in 1968 when a work stoppage in the sanitation department mushroomed into a four-month strike. What started as a nonviolent effort using marches, picketing, and economic boycotts in an attempt to increase wages, transformed itself into fire bombings, arson, gunfire, and riots. At the conclusion of the strike, the workers found their situation no better than before the walkout, but the strike did open the door to a better way of life for both black and white residents of St. Petersburg.