Have You Ever Heard About Harry Tyson Moore

20140424-124435.jpg Harry Tyson Moore (November 18, 1905 – December 25, 1951) was an African-American teacher, founder of the first branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Brevard County, Florida, and a pioneer leader of the civil rights movement in Florida and the southern United States.

Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette Vyda Simms Moore, were killed by Ku Klux Klan bombers who blew up the Moores’ home on Christmas night 1951. The Moores were the first NAACP members to be murdered for their civil rights activism; Moore has been called the first martyr of the 1950s-era civil rights movement.

In the early 1930s Moore became state secretary for the Florida chapter of the NAACP. Through his registration activities, he greatly increased the number of members, and he worked on issues of housing and education. He investigated lynchings, filed lawsuits against voter registration barriers and white primaries, and worked for equal pay for black teachers in public schools.

Moore also led the Progressive Voters League. Between 1944 and 1950, he succeeded in increasing the registration of black voters in Florida to 31 percent of those eligible to vote, markedly higher than in any other Southern state.

On Christmas night, 1951, Moore and his wife were fatally injured at home by a bomb that went off beneath their house, in Mims, Florida. It was the Moores’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Moore died on the way to the hospital in Sanford, Florida. His wife died from her injuries nine days later.

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